by TImothy Rutt
According to a Walmart press release, opening ceremonies will start at 7:30 AM Friday, with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The doors will open to the general public at 8 AM. The store is located at 2408 Lincoln Avenue, at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Figueroa Drive.
“I’m excited to see this new Walmart Neighborhood Market open and occupy a building that has been vacant for nearly a decade,” said Altadena Town Council chair Bernardean Broadous,who was quoted in the press release. “I believe this Neighborhood Market will offer a positive impact to the Altadena community as it has already created much needed good local jobs and contributed to local charitable organizations.”
The store will employ 65 full- and part-time workers, or "associates' in Walmart parlance, according to the press release. The store will also give $6,500 in grants from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation to local organizations, including John Muir High School, Andrew Jackson Elementary School, Mentoring and Partnership for Youth Development (MPYD) and Neighbors Acting Together Helping All (NATHA).
“This store will be a great fit for this community,” said Jennifer Gonzales, Altadena market manager, in the press release. “The smaller Walmart Neighborhood Market format will fill a need for shoppers seeking lower prices and quality merchandise, with a full selection of groceries and health and beauty items.”
Gonzales expects the store to draw customers from Altadena, Pasadena and La Cañada, according to the press release.
Walmart says the grand-opening day celebrations will include product samplings and giveaways from companies including Wonderful Pistachios, Pepsi, Bimbo Bakeries, Monster, 7UP, Frito-Lay, Kellogg’s, Nabisco and more. Other activities scheduled include face painting and a character appearance by the Bimbo Bear. The grand-opening activities will continue through Sunday, March 3, including more character appearances, vendor samples and events. All events are family-friendly, free and open to the public, according to Walmart.
The market promises to offer a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, fresh cakes and bread, as well as meats, cheeses and prepared foods. The deli will feature a Grab-and-Go section with rotisserie chicken, fresh-baked pizza and standard deli sides. In addition to the fresh produce, bakery and deli items, the store will carry a full line of groceries, including frozen foods, meat and dairy products and organic items. Customers can also print their own digital photos at the store. The approximately 28,000-square-foot store will be open from 6 AM. to 10PM., seven days a week. The store will also offer Site-to-Store, a free service that allows customers to ship online orders from Walmart's website free to the market for pickup.
Walmart says that the store also features a pharmacy, paper goods, pet products and hardware items -- all things which have been a concern to Altadena businesses that already trade in these items, and are worried about Walmart's reputation as a local small business killer. Since the announcement that Walmart was going to move into the location, two local anti-Walmart groups have sprung up.
UPDATE: Gary Altadena sent us this interesting encounter today, along with his own pictures:
Driving by the Lincoln/Figoura Walmart site and found workers installing the new signage. After taking a few snaps a middle-aged man named Daniel from atop the scissor lift , barks out "No pictures of the sign going up" Why? "Against corporate rules and it's also against the law."
I inform Daniel that I'm standing on the sidewalk witch is public property and of the concept of public domain. "If you don't stop talking photos I'll call the police" says Daniel. Alright then.
I walk to the east side of the store to find a second sign going up and Daniel is right behind me. "Someone from Wall Mart is coming out." Yep, Her badge says Walmart, Karen Keyes, 20 years. "Corporate meeting going on inside, no pictures of the sign going up." OK, don't need any trouble. Not very neighborly.
For future reference, everybody: if you're standing on the sidewalk or another public right-of-way, you can take pictures of anything you see.