Wal-Mart Supercenter Opens Doors

Attention Oceanside shoppers: 30,000 square feet of discounted groceries are now available in the North County.

An opening ceremony was underway and doors opened to the public at 8 a.m.  .

The Wal-Mart (at the intersection of Highway 76 and College Boulevard) isn't new but will be a whole new experience. It’s been there for 14 years but the company is expanding the store into an 158,000-square-foot "SuperCenter."

Wal-Mart has turned about three-quarters of its 3,700 U.S. stores into SuperCenters over the course of the last decade.

One planned SuperCenter in Vista has been bogged down by a lawsuit. City leaders rejected another planned for Poway. San Diego’s city council voted two years ago to ban the construction of super-sized stores citing a land-use issue. The councilmembers said San Diego just doesn’t have the room for over-sized retail stores. The mayor vetoed the decision arguing that city leaders can’t tell people where to shop.

One of the most common criticisms against Wal-Mart is that its new and expanded stores undercut local wages and pressure competitors to scale back their employees' health care and other benefits.

Also, the new super center will likely mean a challenge for competing grocery stores.  Especially small markets who may find it hard to keep up with the bargain prices.  Store chains like Albertsons are promoting price cuts.

The Oceanside expansion has faced relatively little opposition, according to the North County Times. Other SuperCenters are planned in Temecula, Murrieta and Lakeside, the paper reported. Another one building in the Eastlake section of Chula Vista is slowly taking shape as well.

In the fight over a proposed ban on retail stores larger than 90,000 square feet, Wal Mart ran newspaper ads claiming its prices are 17 to 20 percent lower than those at unionized chains with a household savings averaging $2300 a year.

Wal-Mart said it has hired 160 people for the Oceanside store's expansion.

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