A Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market grocery store in Dallas. (Donna McWilliam / Associated…)
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced plans to open a grocery store in Panorama City, part of a big push by the nation's largest retailer into the highly competitive Southland grocery business.
The 31,000-square-foot store will be located in the Vannord Center at 14530 Nordhoff St. in the vacant space once occupied by Valley Foods Warehouse, the company said Monday.
"There is no doubt that Panorama City residents need more affordable grocery options," said Wal-Mart spokesman Steven Restivo. "Anyone who knows that part of town knows that the Valley Foods closing in 2007 had a negative ripple effect in the surrounding area."
Wal-Mart has announced plans for 14 smaller-format grocery stores in California, including two in Orange County, another in Ventura County and one in San Diego.
A forthcoming Neighborhood Market in downtown L.A.'s Chinatown area has sparked the ire of both the City Council and community activists, who have long accused the company of providing poor wages and benefits to employees while driving out mom-and-pop businesses.
Restivo said there are no signs that the Panorama City store, which will employ about 60 workers, will inspire the same kind of rallies and opposition faced by the Chinatown location.
Construction is already underway, Restivo said, and the store should be open by the end of 2012.
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