Officials had a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7:30 a.m. and then opened the Hacienda Boulevard store, which includes a fresh produce section and pharmacy services, according to a news release.
“Attracting new businesses and creating more local jobs is a priority for our Council,” La Puente Mayor Charlie Klinakis said in a statement. “I encourage more retailers to follow Walmart’s example and come to our great city.”
The Neighborhood Market, located at 1425 N. Hacienda Boulevard, is 32,000 square feet and is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
“Local small businesses face a number of challenges in the current economy,” Steven Ly, executive director, San Gabriel Valley, Regional Chamber of Commerce. “The new Walmart Neighborhood Market will not only give the community more shopping options, but having a major brand such as Walmart the store will also help increase customers for surrounding small businesses, helping them succeed as well.”
The new market is one of nine now operating across Los Angeles County, according to officials.
“These days, many La Puente families find it tough to make ends meet,” said La Puente Councilman David Argudo in a statement. “This new Neighborhood Market will give residents good jobs and a convenient and affordable option for groceries and healthy food choices for their families.”
The La Puente store will employ 65 full-time and part-time associates. Store Manager Nicole Kelleher, who has been working at Walmart since 2002, said feels the market will benefit families.“I'm proud to bring this new store format to the La Puente community,” she said in a statement. “This store can impact many families by providing a way for our hard-working customers to save money so they can live better."
As part of the opening day ceremony, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation awarded $13,000 in grants to local organizations. Grant recipients included the following:
· Del Haven Community Center – funds will support the Voyager Afterschool Program assisting children with emotional or developmental issues.
· East Valley Boys & Girls Club – proceeds will support educational, learning skills and physical fitness programs for local children and teens.
· Nine other local organizations, including City of Industry Sheriff’s Station Youth Activities League, Los Angeles County Fire Explorers, California Elementary (West Covina USD), California Elementary (Hacienda La Puente USD), Sparks Elementary, Sparks Middle School, Sunset Elementary & Orthopedic Handicapped School, Workman High School Marching Band, La Puente Youth Science Center, and La Puente Women’s Club.
· Meals on Wheels of La Puente Valley will receive a $5,000 grant toward their nutrition and meal program that serves over 100 elderly and home bound local residents five days a week.