Rumors were flying, but as of this morning, Wal-Mart affirms to Altadena Patch: the company will be moving into an empty building at Lincoln and Figueroa. Construction will begin immediately, and “Wal-Mart is aiming for a January of 2013 opening,” reports Patch.
And so, little by little, we see the Los Angeles Business Journal's unsourced September prophecy come true: Wal-Mart is planning to sneak at least 15 new stores into SoCal via permit loophole.
Anti-Walton activists and unions were able to stave off the chain in liberal California for years, thanks to various local policies regulating the size of new retailers.
But Wal-Mart found a way around that: Unlike their big-box locations, each of which could easily feed and clothe a small African village (albeit in Dora the Explorer garb), the chain has developed a cuter new model called the “Walmart Neighborhood Market.”
Along with the hermit-shell plan that Wal-Mart is utilizing in Burbank, these smaller grocery-style outlets (like the one being viciously protested in Chinatown) are allowing the $200+ billion Wal-Mart empire to take SoCal by storm.
In Altadena, the company is using both strategies at once. The new store will set up shop at 2408 North Lincoln Avenue, right down the street from the Super King Market.
(Goodbye, Super King Market.)
The general consensus among commenters at Altadena Patch is that despite its friendly new “neighborhood” package, Wal-Mart will be a curse on the community.
“GO AWAY WE DONT WANT YOU,” writes Steve Lamb. “We've worked for twenty years to get a small local market on Lincoln we have one and you were not interested before they proved there was a market here. GO AWAY.”
We've contacted Wal-Mart for more details on the new project.