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North Bay Business Journal

Thursday, October 3, 2013, 3:02 pm

Wal-Mart plans small-format store in northeast Rohnert Park

65-employee store set to open in fall 2014

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    ROHNERT PARK — Wal-Mart, which has been trying to expand grocery selections at its existing west Rohnert Park store, plans to open one of its smaller-format stores in the northeast part of the city.

    Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market produce

    Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market stores includes a full grocery. (image credit: Wal-Mart)

    A 33,000-square-foot “Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market” store is targeted to open in fall 2014 in the former Pacific Market space in the Mountain Shadows Shopping Plaza at Golf Course and Country Club drives, according to a company announcement Wednesday. The store would employ 65 full- and part-time.

    “The community has long needed a grocery option again in Mountain Shadows Plaza,” said Rohnert Park Mayor Pam Stafford in a statement. “With the Neighborhood Market as an anchor store, the current businesses will better thrive and families in Rohnert Park can once again shop right in their own neighborhood.”

    Pacific Market closed about two years ago and was the anchor tenant for the center.

    “We’ve received significant feedback from the community regarding this vacancy and an overwhelming majority has asked that we consider an affordable grocery tenant in this location,” said Jeff Boyd, manager of plaza owner Mountain Shadows Investors, LLC.

    Arkansas-based Wal-Mart launched the smaller markets in 1998 and now has 250 nationwide and three in the North Bay. In addition to an existing store in Vacaville, another is opening there along with a new store in Vallejo.

    This smaller-store expansion comes as United Kingdom-based retail giant Tesco encountered troubles over the past several years in launching small markets about half the size of the forthcoming Wal-Mart store in Rohnert Park. A Southern California billionaire inked a deal with Tesco in early September to acquire about 150 Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market stores, including ones in Napa and Vacaville.

    The Walmart Neighborhood Market format has a full grocery department with certified-organic and “natural” foods. The store is set to have prepared foods, a bakery, self-serve deli, health and beauty products, a pharmacy, pet supplies and household goods.

    “We are thrilled to have a Neighborhood Market in this location,” said Yolanda Ramirez, owner of Straw Hat Pizza and one of 20-plus tenants still at the center. “We are glad to see the plaza secure a business that will bring new customers to the entire shopping center.”

    “We serve thousands of customers each month at our current store, and we see Rohnert Park as a great fit for both the expansion of our current store and the new Neighborhood Market,” said James Groh, area manager for Wal-Mart. A total of 150 new jobs are envisioned at the two stores.

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    Comments

    8 Comments

    1. October 3, 2013, 4:13 pm

      by John

      Classy, Wal-Mart. Real classy!


    2. October 3, 2013, 4:15 pm

      by John

      Nice job, Mayor Stafford. Run out a local business for a chain to open in the same location. You should have kept your mouth shut. Show some class and consideration to the people you put out of business.


    3. October 3, 2013, 4:33 pm

      by Graham Lower

      How disappointing. As a resident of the area, I can say I’d rather see it empty than a Wal-Mart, which is saying a lot considering how badly I wanted something there. I cannot support its business practices, it’s treatment of employees, nor the overall effect on the community.


    4. October 3, 2013, 9:25 pm

      by shannon

      Wal-mart and Casino. Lets turn Rohnert Park into a ghetto attracting trash to the community.


    5. October 4, 2013, 8:40 am

      by Kathy Starkey

      I have never been more disappointed in Rohnert Park (and this includes the casino) than I am now. I live across the street but I will never shop there. They are anti-labour and non community. This town is a joke.


    6. October 4, 2013, 2:25 pm

      by Concerned

      Will this be 24 hours?? There are already low lifes congregating over there at all hours.


    7. October 4, 2013, 8:50 pm

      by Shannon

      I can not believe the negative comments that are coming from the local community! First of all, the opening of this market will generate jobs for the local public, which in turn, will boost the economy; secondly, Walmart, is like any other corporation, just like Starbucks, Safeway, and every other establishment in the US–so, unless you grow your own food, and make your own clothes–consumers have to shop in these establishments in order to obtain their necessities. I am assuming the previous comments come from individuals who don’t go to any of the establishments I mentioned above i.e. Starbucks and must live on a farm!


    8. October 22, 2013, 5:17 pm

      by Salamihandler

      I am happy they are coming to that dump of a shopping center. About time we had a grocery store there.


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