A new Walmart opened last week to serve the downtown Los Angeles/Echo Park area.
“The Chinatown community has waited more than 20 years for a full service grocery store to open at Grand Plaza. The Walmart Neighborhood Market will continue Chinatown's revitalization and offer Chinatown and Downtown residents a much-needed grocery store with fresh produce in our community,” George Yu, Chinatown Business Improvement District. “Additionally, the store is putting local residents back to work by hiring 65 associates, said in a written statement. New businesses have opened in vacant retail space in Grand Plaza. Nearby businesses will also benefit from increased foot-traffic.”
However, not everyone is in favor of the new business. Many, including the Los Angeles Alliance for a new Economy (LAANE), protested the opening.
residents, small businesses, and community activists had organized to fight the
store via a moratorium and lawsuit and had delayed the opening by
a year and a half from when the store was first proposed in February 2012. They say the fight is ongoing.
“This has been a long and hard fight,
but we anticipate that the momentum and passion that energized the community
will lead to a more dramatic Black Friday action challenging Walmart’s
cutthroat practices,” Aiha Nguyen, Director
of the Grocery & Retail Project with the LAANE, said in a written statement. “The backlash in Chinatown
underscores a clear need for both more worker organizing and a larger policy
regionally to not just protect, but raise worker standards.”
At 34,000 square-feet, this Walmart Neighborhood Market is about one-fifth the size of a typical Walmart Supercenter. The store will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.