LOS ANGELES (Sept. 19, 2013) – Today, local leaders and community members joined Walmart, its 65 associates and hundreds of customers for the grand opening of the Walmart Neighborhood Market in downtown Los Angeles at 701 W. Cesar E. Chavez Ave. The store soft opened on Friday, September 13 to give neighbors and the local community an opportunity to preview the store and since then it has served more than 10,000 customers.
The 34,000 square-foot store occupies the ground floor of the Grand Plaza building, a space that was intended for a supermarket but left vacant for more than two decades. This is the second Walmart Neighborhood Market in the City of Los Angeles and is serving residents of downtown Los Angeles, Bunker Hill, Echo Park, Chinatown and more.
"I'm happy this new Walmart Neighborhood Market is finally open and to see new investment that will continue to revitalize Chinatown and downtown Los Angeles, and bring much needed jobs to local residents," said George Yu, executive director, Chinatown Business Improvement District. "Chinatown, Echo Park, Downtown and Bunker Hill residents have been waiting for more than 25 years for a full-service grocery to this community."
The grand opening ceremony was held this morning at 7:30 am with brief remarks from several community leaders, store manager Kenney Tran and featured a traditional lion dance intended for good fortune performed by the East Wind Foundation for Youth.
"We welcome Walmart and are very excited to have the Neighborhood Market in our community to offer affordable grocery options," said Gary Toebben, president and chief executive officer, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. "This new Neighborhood Market has offered 65 much needed jobs to local residents and has already served as an anchor to drive new businesses to the Grand Plaza building."
The Walmart Neighborhood Market will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, offering local residents a new, convenient option for their grocery shopping needs, including fresh produce and a full-service pharmacy.
"The Walmart Neighborhood Market will drive continued growth and development to the downtown area and support our vision for a lively downtown community," Carol Schatz, president and chief executive officer, Central City Association of Los Angeles. "We thank Walmart for investing in downtown and putting local residents back to work."
In Los Angeles County, there are seven other Neighborhood Markets, including Panorama City (in the City of Los Angeles), Altadena, Downey, Torrance, Hawthorne, Bell Gardens, and Hawaiian Gardens.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation has provided more than $40,000 in grants to local organizations that service the community and impact causes Walmart associates and customers care about. As part of the grand opening celebration, Walmart will be presenting grants to the following local organizations, including:
- Chinatown Service Center ($1,500) – proceeds support the CSC Youth Center's Dodger Day.
- Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts ($1,500) – funds will support arts education programs and help families with teens who are homeless.
- Association of the U.S. Army, Greater Los Angeles ($1,000) – the grant contributes to the Los Angeles Army Birthday Ball, which is an event that celebrates soldiers who have returned home from multiple deployments.
- Los Angeles Fire Department ($1,000) – proceeds support the LAFD Wounded Warrior Weekend.
- Friends of the Chinese American Museum ($10,000) – funds will support "Lens Wide Open" educational program for high school students.
- Plaza de la Raza Child Development Services ($15,000) – the grant contributes to a "Family Health & Fitness Conference" focusing on increasing nutrition literacy, cooking techniques and healthy physical activities.
Every Walmart store participates in community giving throughout the year, and interested groups can visithttp://foundation.walmart.com for more information.
New Store, New Jobs
The new store employs about 65 full- and part-time associates, selected from among the more than 8,000 applicants who submitted interest in working at the downtown Los Angeles store over the last year. Store The store is under the leadership of Kenney Tran, a San Diego State University graduate who joined Walmart in 2006 and an active reservist in the U.S. Army.
"It is a really exciting time to be a resident and business operator in downtown Los Angeles, and see the revitalization happening throughout the area," said Tran. "I'm excited to be a part of this new energy and know that Walmart will be a contributor to the long-term economic well-being of this neighborhood and the community at-large."
Smaller Store, More Convenience
The Walmart Neighborhood Market is similar to a traditional grocery store and offers fresh produce, including California-grown produce; a full line of groceries, including frozen foods, meat and dairy products; some organic and gluten-free items; self-serve deli meats, cheeses, prepared foods and a self-serve bakery, including fresh baked bread daily and a cake case.
The downtown Walmart Neighborhood Market is offering customers a choice of reusable or paper bags for their groceries, months in advance of the City of Los Angeles ban on plastic bags, which goes into effect January 1, 2014.
This store also includes a full-service pharmacy with a separate entrance, offering customers even more convenience when filling or transferring prescriptions, receiving one-on-one consultation with a pharmacist about their medications, or purchasing over-the-counter medications and health and beauty products.
Expanded Partnership with Homeboy Industries, Inc.
This store will be the first Walmart store in the nation to feature Homeboy Industries products including Tortilla Strips and Salsa, supplied by Los Angeles-based non-profit Homeboy Industries, Inc., which provides free services, job placement and referrals for former gang members. Homeboy Industries funds these programs in-part through social enterprise endeavors, including Homegirl Café & Catering, Homeboy Bakery and Homeboy Grocery.
A Big Family Welcome
Walmart is happy to be part of the downtown community and is ready to continue the celebration with residents on Saturday, September 21. On Saturday, Walmart will bring customers "A Big Family Welcome," a chance to meet associates at the downtown Neighborhood Market, and enjoy fun family activities such as face painting, barbecue, music, mural signing, cupcake decorating and reusable bag distribution. Join the celebration on Saturday from 12 p.m. noon to 3 p.m. at the store.
Join the Conversation
Walmart invites Los Angeles shoppers to share their in-store experience on Facebook. Visit the My Local Walmart Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/walmart3086. Fans of the local page can receive information about rollbacks, in-store events, meal solutions and more.
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.