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.
 
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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