OCEANSIDE — The fourth Walmart is set to open in Oceanside after the first of the year.
The store is a smaller scale Walmart Neighborhood Market, which carries produce, meat, dairy and groceries and offers pharmaceutical services.
The 31,000-square-foot supermarket will open in the Mission Plaza Shopping Center on west Mission Avenue. It is about one-fourth the size of a Walmart supercenter.
City Council members said they welcome the economic boost the store will bring the community.
Councilman Jerry Kern gives the store kudos for the 65 jobs it brings and its focus on hiring recently discharged military veterans.
“I am pleased that Walmart offers job opportunities to our veterans through their Welcome Home Commitment program for qualified veterans who have been honorably discharged within the past 12 months,” Kern said. “Walmart is a great community partner and we look forward to their grand opening within the next few months.”
Mayor Jim Wood said he expects the supermarket to have a positive economic impact.
He added that the three Walmart superstores on Marron Road, College Boulevard and Vista Way have been successful through the recession.
“They helped us through some tough times,” Wood said. “I hope it benefits most people in the downtown area.”
One positive effect is that Walmart stores bring a customer following.
Another benefit is the supermarket will serve downtown residents and tourists. The next closest supermarket is El Super located several blocks east on Mission Avenue past the Interstate 5 bridge.
“Seniors, veterans and other people want them,” Wood said. “We need a market downtown. We’ve needed one for years.”
Currently, interior remodeling is under way in preparation for the store’s opening in early 2014. The building was formerly used for retail so the transition is expected to go smoothly.
There is no significant impact expected on traffic and no complaints yet on the possibility that the chain supermarket might take business away from smaller markets in the area.
“We are excited to bring a new Walmart Neighborhood Market to the area, providing local families a place where they can shop and save money to live better,” Joseph Cisneros, store manager, said.
Walmart follows nonunion hiring practices and has run into fair wage protestors when it has opened at other locations.
Rachel Wall, Walmart senior manager of communications, said it is common for retail stores to be nonunion. She added Walmart pays competitive wages and offers opportunities for employee advancement.
“Most retail store are nonunionized,” Wall said. “We’re proud of our jobs’ pay and benefits. You can start at an entry level position and work your way up into a management job.”
Wall said a full-time store associate makes an average of $13 an hour. Store managers earn between $50,000 and $100,000 a year.
“I’ve seen neighborhood markets go into shopping centers, they’re a magnet for other businesses and bring in a steady flow of foot traffic,” Wall said.
The first Walmart Neighborhood Market opened in Huntington Beach in 2012. There are 35 neighborhood markets in California.
Hiring for the Oceanside Walmart Neighborhood Market is currently in progress. A temporary hiring center is set up at 1617 Mission Avenue. The store is hiring for full- and part-time positions. New hires will begin work in December before the store’s grand opening.
“I’m looking for employees with a great attitude and positive work ethic,” Cisneros said.
The hiring center is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Applicants can also apply online at http://careers.walmart.com.