The most popular story on San Ramon Patch in April came in its first week, when we reported on why Walmart believes its new .
We asked our readers if they agreed and a majority did, with 54 percent of the people in our poll saying "Yes," a Walmart Neighborhood Market will be good for San Ramon.
The story generated a debate in the comments section of the article about the pros and cons of having a Walmart Neighborhood Market in town.
One commenter, who called themselves a "San Ramon Resident," said, "I think it is going to be fantastic. It is NOT a Walmart, it is a Walmart Neighborhood Market Grocery Store! They are also putting one of these markets in Pleasanton, Hayward and San Jose. If you don't like the idea, then don't shop there. But I bet you will!"
But not everybody felt that way, with some commenters concerned the Neighborhood Market could hurt other area grocery stores and lower home prices in the area.
Commenter "Kelly H" wrote, "For me, the problem with Walmart is that they hire non-unionized workers, practice shady business and exploit workers in other countries. Even if I refuse to shop there, my fear is that they may put other stores, such as Safeway or Luckys out of business. Check out the documentary 'WAL-MART: The High Price of Low Cost'."
The story is republished below and keep the discussion going in the comments section of this article.
Originally published April 3
Walmart plans to open its Neighborhood Market off Alcosta Boulevard in San Ramon this fall, according to Walmart media director Delia Garcia.
Last month, Walmart awarded the construction contract to Reeve-Knight Construction to transform the empty 55,000-square-foot vacant space in the Country Club Village Shopping Center into a neighborhood market.
Walmart did not need city approval to move into the storefront, since the site was already zoned off for a grocery store. Previously, Ralph's and an independent Asian grocery store have occupied the location, which has been without a tenant since 2006.
There has been outspoken resistance to Walmart having one of its grocery stores in San Ramon.
Small protests have taken place in the Country Club Village Shopping Center. Former Mayor H. Abram Wilson and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union , which hires non-unionized workers.
But Walmart believes the new store will be good for the local economy and its customers.
"This will bring 75 new to the community," said Garcia, the Walmart media director. "Plus, it will revitalize an existent vacant building and help attract other economic development."
Garcia said that though the jobs aren't unionized, they are quality. She said the company offers competitive pay and benefits and said there are opportunities to advance.
"We are really excited to start serving customers affordable groceries in San Ramon with all the benefits of job growth, economic development and business attraction," Garcia added.
The Neighborhood Market in San Ramon is one of 14 grocery stores the Arkansas-based company is planning to open in California this year, as it expands its grocery store chain to the West Coast. Currently, there are 168 locations nationwide, with new Northern California stores planned in Pleasanton, Hayward and the Sacramento area.
Neighborhood Markets are full-service grocery stores, selling everything shoppers would find in a regular grocery store, according to the Walmart website.
You can signup for San Ramon Patch's daily newsletter here: sanramon.patch.com/newsletters