Walmart’s new La Mesa grocery store “is moving along and should be opening later this fall,” a spokeswoman for the retailer said this week as a sign went up on its home in the former Circuit City building.
A San Diego publicist for the retail giant said she had no date for the opening of the Walmart Neighborhood Market at 8820 Grossmont Blvd.
But late this week, the Walmart logo went up on the building west of Drew Ford and a block away from Ralphs. Shopping cart racks dot the parking lot.
HBI Construction, remodeling the space, still has a 36-foot office trailer on site. In early May, contractors told Patch the store would be ready this summer.
Windows at the Walmart grocery store were mostly papered, but one panel was left uncovered Friday, affording a view of the naked shelves and $0.00 signs within, plus registers and other electronics still covered in plastic. Green is the dominant color scheme.
Meanwhile, local unions scheduled a rally and march Saturday to demand that Walmart executives meet with community organizers before opening new stores in San Diego.
The march was to start at Golden Hill Park and go to the site of a planned Walmart Neighborhood Market in the old Farmers Market Building in Sherman Heights.
Walmart opponents, including union leaders, went to court to try to stop the retail giant from altering the historic structure, but lost.
“We’ve seen how this company mistreats its employees and how it bulldozes over residents in a community,” said Genoveva Aguilar of Casa de Vecinos Organizados. “We don’t need Walmart to come into our city, bringing poor paying jobs and destroying our cultural history.”
Walmart spokeswoman Rachel Wall argued that the store had more fans than foes, saying 120,000 people would shop Saturday at Walmarts in San Diego County.
“The majority of residents know we’re not only trying to provide communities with new options for jobs and affordable groceries, but we’re also making a positive economic contribution by generating much-needed tax revenue, working with local suppliers and supporting nonprofits,” Wall said.
—City News Service contributed to this report.