Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is opening its first store in downtown Los Angeles – a 33,000-square-foot small-format grocery store in Chinatown, the LAist reported.
The store, located on the ground floor of a senior housing complex, will be about one-fifth the size of a traditional Wal-Mart, Reuters reported.
Wal-Mart’s Senior Director of Community Affairs Steven V. Restivo told the LAist that the new store is “an opportunity to revive the vacant property” in Chinatown, “is in line with [Wal-Mart's] sustainability goals and will help deliver an added economic boost to the area.”
But some Los Angelenos are concerned that Wal-Mart will destroy Chinatown’s small, family-owned businesses and offer jobs that pay less than a living wage, Reuters reported. “There’s no way that they can compete with a giant like Wal-Mart,” Roxana Tynan, executive director of LAANE, which advocates for better wages and benefits for workers, said, according to Reuters. “The Chinatown store will continue Wal-Mart’s track record of perpetuating poverty jobs in low-income communities in Los Angeles.”