Walmart Reps Tout Plan to Open Neghborhood Market in Coachella

Walmart officials on Friday announced plans to open a "Neighborhood Market" location at Avenue 48 and Jackson Street in Coachella.

"The store will fill a former retail space in the shopping center which has been vacant for more than two years," a Walmart rep said in a statement. "The new store will provide local customers with a convenient option for their grocery shopping needs, including fresh produce and pharmacy services."

Walmart's market format includes a grocery department and pharmacy.

"We are pleased that Walmart is opening its newest store in Coachella," Tom Flavin of the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership said in an announcement. "Coachella is a growing community, and I am pleased that Walmart is part of our growth here in the Coachella Valley business community. This new store will create opportunity by attracting additional businesses, creating jobs, bringing more city revenues and boosting our local economy."

The first Neighborhood Market opened in 1998 and the first in California opened last year in Huntington Beach, according to Walmart. The Coachella store will provide approximately 65 new jobs in the community.

"We are excited to have Walmart come to our community," Coachella Chamber of Commerce president Mike Ethridge said. "There has been a need for a store that offers fresh, healthy groceries and a pharmacy in that part of the city, and we are excited to welcome Walmart to provide for those needs."

About three months before the store opens in 2014, a temporary hiring center will be opened near the store to help ensure the jobs are convenient to the community, according to Walmart.

As of Oct. 31, 2013, the average wage for regular, full-time hourly Walmart associates in California was $13.03, according to reps. Walmart claims to employ more than 81,000 people in California, including more than 12,000 in the Inland Empire.

The new Walmart location in Coachella will be about 50,000 square feet, according to plans.

Construction on a new Walmart in Indio is expected to begin in 2014, with an anticipated opening in 2015, according to Walmart reps.


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