Bellevue, a city without Walmart, is set to get its first of two within a year, with the grand opening celebration of the first store set for Friday, June 29.
The first store is located at the location of the old K-Mart at , at 148th Avenue and Main Street. The K-Mart location had been dormant for a decade, but after , the site has a new LA Fitness at the old K-Mart location, as well as other new tenants.
The Kelsey Creek Walmart is being called a "Neighborhood Market," with a floor plan of about 65,000 square feet, which is a smaller footprint than Walmart’s typical full-service store format, according to the company. Instead of the store's typical stock of merchandise, the store will focus on groceries.
It's just the first of two Walmart stores set to open in Bellevue. The second, at the where the Mervyn's closed five years ago, is slated open later this year. That one will be a more typical Walmart store, with 76,000 square feet and the typical array of merchandise, including groceries, clothing, electronics and other household goods.
Not everyone is happy about the coming of the new stores. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union last month protested a Bellevue Chamber of Commerce appearance by Jennifer Spall, the company's director of public affairs for Oregon and Washington.
Labor and community advocacy group Puget Sound Sage issued a study by researcher Christopher Fowler that claimed that each Walmart store in the Puget Sound area would result in a loss of millions in economic output and wages earned, according to Supermarket News, though Walmart responded by saying that Fowler's figures were inaccurate and his analysis outdated.
But what about you? Are you planning to shop at either the Kelsey Creek or Factoria Walmart stores, or will you avoid them?