Wal-Mart to open grocery store in Chinatown

Not the kind you're thinking about, but a grocery-type operation called Neighborhood Markets. A story in next week's Business Journal says that the retail giant is leasing 33,000 square feet of a senior housing complex on Cesar Chavez Ave., just north of the 101 in Chinatown. Since the space is already entitled, Wal-Mart might avoid protracted legal battles - a strategy that it's employing in several Socal locations. It's good news for downtown, which continues to be underserved by supermarkets. Earlier this week came word that Wal-Mart would be opening two Neighborhood Markets in OC. From the Register:

The Walmart Neighborhood Markets are among a string of new food stores Wal-Mart is developing across the country to broaden the chain's portfolio. So far, the company has opened 167 stores that offer shoppers a full line of groceries in a footprint that rivals the size of traditional supermarkets like Vons, Ralphs or Sprouts. In Huntington Beach, the 31,000-square-foot Walmart store is taking over a former Rite Aid on Beach Boulevard and Atlanta Boulevard near Mama's on 39. The store, along with the 33,000-square-foot Rancho Santa Margarita market, will carry fresh produce, frozen foods, meat and dairy. Organic foods will also be available.

Up in Pleasanton, a group of residents is appealing the city planning department's approval of a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market on a site that already has been zoned for grocery use. Frankly, it's the major supermarket chains that should be the most ticked off by Wal-Mart's maneuvering.

Below is a SocalConnected piece from late last year on how Wal-Mart is moving into more urban communities.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
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