Brings full-service pharmacy and fresh, affordable groceries to underserved area
SAN DIEGO, CA, July 17, 2013 – Today Walmart opened the City of San Diego's first Walmart Neighborhood Market at 2121 Imperial Avenue. Store manager Luciano Villela and his 65 associates were excited to open the store and begin serving the community.
"We are thrilled to provide fresh, affordable groceries and a full-service pharmacy to Sherman Heights and the surrounding communities, so residents can save money and live better," said Villela, who is managing a store for the first time. "This neighborhood has been anxiously awaiting the store, and we welcome customers to see this new store format."
Villela grew up in San Diego and started working for Walmart as a 16-year-old high school student, pushing carts at a store in Chula Vista. He worked his way through high school and college while with Walmart, earning a bachelor's degree in economics from San Diego State University along the way.
The company opened 24 stores across the country on July 17.
Walmart Neighborhood Market Format
The first Neighborhood Market opened in 1998, and today there are approximately 250 Neighborhood Market stores nationwide. The stores offer quick and convenient shopping for groceries, pharmacy items and general merchandise, and this store size is typical of the format at approximately 42,000 square feet.
The new store features fresh produce, a bakery, prepared food options, and a selection of natural and organic items. It also features family apparel, health and beauty aids, automotive products, pet supplies, household goods and more. The store is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
"The Neighborhood Market will be a benefit for this community," said Connie Zuniga, President of the Central Commercial District Revitalization Corporation. "Not only will the store increase residents' shopping choices for fresh and affordable food, but by revitalizing this building, Walmart is helping to reinvigorate the Imperial business corridor."
Walmart is proud to be an active member in the communities where it locates. In the past two years, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated more than $4.5 million to charitable and civic organizations that serve residents of San Diego, including Sherman Academy, Barrio Station, Alpha Project and Family Health Centers of San Diego.
"We are excited for the new Neighborhood Market on Imperial Avenue," said Tim Wolf of King Chavez Neighborhood of Schools. "Not only will Walmart bring fresh groceries and a full-service pharmacy to our neighborhood, Walmart has proven to be a good community partner. Through the company's support, King Chavez Neighborhood of Schools will be able to furnish a new preschool classroom, helping start our children on a lifelong journey of learning."
More than 600 neighborhood residents attended a community open house last week to get ready for the store opening, at which grants totaling $69,500 were given out to several community organizations, including:
- Neighborhood House Association, $50,000
- YouthBuild, $10,000
- San Diego Police Officers Association Toy Drive: $3,000
- Logan Heights Library, $2,000
- Embrace San Diego, $1,500
- Girl Scouts of San Diego, $1,000
- Friends of Villa Montezuma Museum, $1,000
- William J. Oakes Boys and Girls Club $1,000
The store features a number of special services available to customers, including a variety of financial services, such as bill pay, money transfers, money orders, check cashing and more. Walmart Money Cards and Rapid Reload, which allow customers to add cash to most prepaid cards, will be available.
"With this project, we had three goals in mind: Restore, Refresh and Reinvest," said Aaron Rios, Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Walmart. "Because of the nature of this building and the character of this community, a primary goal was to restore this building to something that the community could be proud of."
The majority of the building, including the exterior walls and the grain silo, were maintained and integrated into the store design. Walmart is taking the lead on sustainability in San Diego and worldwide and is committed to using sustainable practices. The new roof, in addition to being safe for customers, is what is known as a white roof, which helps reduce energy use and has a lower heat island effect than darker roofing, in line with Walmart's sustainability goals and initiatives. The new store also includes energy-efficient technology and environmentally friendly features to reduce energy, water consumption and minimize waste. All internally illuminated exterior building signage will use light emitting diodes (LEDs). Highly efficient and low-flow toilets and faucets will reduce water use in the restrooms. The store also operates a recycling program and promotes sustainable product purchases.
In addition, the store offers Site-to-Store, a free service that allows customers to ship online orders from www.walmart.com free to any Walmart store for pickup.
Store Features a Full-Service Pharmacy
The store features a full-service pharmacy, giving shoppers a place to get prescriptions filled and ask questions about their medication. Ahmed "Adam" Eldahmy is the store's pharmacist.
"I am so excited to serve this community and assist customers with their health and medication needs," said Eldahmy, who is eager to help his customers.
To help families live healthier, Walmart offers a $4 Prescription Program, through which customers can choose from hundreds of generic drugs and over-the-counter medications for $4 for a 30-day supply or $10 for a 90-day supply. Since the launch of the $4 Prescription Program in 2006, Walmart U.S. customers have saved more than $4.8 billion on their medications.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our more than 10,800 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2013 sales of approximately $466 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmartnewsroom. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.