From The Los Angeles Times:
A hotly contested Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market had its soft opening Friday in Chinatown, where it was met by some of the protesters who have fought its arrival for more than a year.
The store, located on the ground floor of the Grand Plaza building at Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard and Grand Avenue, is Wal-Mart’s seventh outpost in Los Angeles and its first location downtown.
The 34,000-square-foot market is a fifth the size of a standard Wal-Mart super-center and is meant to serve the Chinatown, downtown, Bunker Hill and Echo Park neighborhoods, according to the Bentonville, Ark., retail giant.
The store opens in a space that Wal-Mart said has been vacant for more than two decades. The rest of the building includes senior housing, offices and other stores. The company added that new businesses have opened in empty retail spaces nearby in anticipation.
The Neighborhood Market will be open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and employ 65 workers. Offerings include fresh produce in the grocery section, a self-serve bakery and a full-service pharmacy across a walkway from the main store.
The store will also be the first in the chain to sell tortilla strips and salsa from local nonprofit group Homeboy Industries.
[Updated, Sept. 13, 2:20 p.m.: Steve Restivo, Wal-Mart's senior director of community affairs, said shoppers were sending "a message that they want more affordable grocery options in their neighborhood."
"The community response is clear and we look forward to serving residents here for years and years to come," he said.]