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Walmart Reps Announce Plans to Open Store in Indio

Detail of architect's drawing, Aug. 2012. Redlands-Loma Linda Patch photo by Guy McCarthy.
Detail of architect's drawing, Aug. 2012. Redlands-Loma Linda Patch photo by Guy McCarthy.
Walmart reps announced this week the multinational retail corporation will bring its first Walmart store to the City of Indio.

The new store location is planned in North Indio off Interstate-10, "where it will be most convenient for Indio residents and for visitors to the Coachella Valley region," Walmart reps said in a statement distributed Friday Oct. 25.

Indio Mayor Elaine Holmes helped announce the project during a State of the City event on Thursday.

"As Mayor, I am pleased that Walmart is an important part of Indio's future," Holmes said. "Indio is a vibrant, growing community, full of progress, prosperity and opportunity. Our new Walmart store will create hundreds of jobs and new city revenues and will attract additional new business to boost our local economy."

The new store is expected to bring about 300 job opportunities to the community, Walmart reps said.

The planned store is expected to provide general merchandise, a pharmacy, "as well as a full-line of grocery and fresh produce offerings," Walmart reps said.

Construction is expected to begin next year, with an anticipated opening in 2015, Walmart reps said.

"We look forward to better serving local families with our new Indio store," Kim Sentovich, Senior Vice President of the Pacific Division of Walmart, said in the announcement. "We're excited to bring one-stop shopping to Indio residents because we understand the importance to families and seniors to find fresh food and general merchandise at affordable prices."

Walmart reps emphasized the corporation supports communities where it operates by contributing to local charitable causes.

"Last fiscal year, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation contributed more than $3.5 million to charitable and civic organizations in the Inland Empire, including Family Services of the Desert, Desert Arc and FIND Food Bank," Walmart reps said.

"The Indio Chamber is thrilled that Walmart is planning to open a new store in Indio," Joyce Donaldson, IOM, President/CEO of the Indio Chamber of Commerce, said in the statement distributed by Walmart.

"The new Walmart store will be a huge asset for our residents, visitors and neighboring businesses.," Donaldson said. "We commend Walmart for their vision and commitment to the City, and we look forward to a successful partnership with Walmart and thank them for enhancing our community."

The planned store will be about 177,000 square feet and will include technology and features to reduce energy, water consumption and minimize waste, including energy management systems to monitor and control heating, air conditioning, refrigeration and lighting systems, Walmart reps said.

The corporation operates three Walmart stores and one Sam’s Club location in the Coachella Valley, employing more than 1,150 associates, and has plans to open Riverside County’s first Walmart Neighborhood Market in Palm Desert early next year.

New Walmarts are welcomed in some communities and stir controversy in others. Here's a report from July in Redlands, where some residents oppose a plan for a Walmart super center:

Walmart Touts Court Ruling on CEQA Suit Filed by Redlands Good Neighbor Coalition

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