Encinitas officials were on hand Wednesday morning as a new Walmart store opened its doors to a steady flow of customers.
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A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the store located at 1550 Leucadia Boulevard near El Camino Real.
"I know it's going to cause a little competition, but you know, in a tough economy they have really good prices, and that's the bottom line; you have to go where the prices are lower," shopper Danielle Aguilar said.
Shopper Marta Mary added, "I think it's absolutely fantastic for the economy because not only did it give a huge amount of jobs to the people who had to start it and the people who have to run it, but it does give a lot of people a much cheaper, more reasonable option to buy all the stuff they need."
The store is roughly 100,000 square feet -- about half the size of a Walmart Superstore. The new store, which provided 250 people with jobs, is in an area already with a Target store and Home Depot.
"The layout of the store is easy to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for everyday necessities," said store manager Lisa Rivera. "By grouping the products that our customers most often purchase, including health and beauty and pet supplies, we are making one-stop shopping even easier."
"The new store has created 250 new jobs for our community during a time when jobs are badly needed. The Walmart in Encinitas will not only fill a building that sat vacant for too long, it will also bring our city valuable tax revenue," Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks said. "We are excited to welcome Walmart to Encinitas. We know it will be a productive part of our city for years to come."
Some residents told 10News the new store is still too big for the area.
I did not even know Walmart was coming in. It was a complete shock to me. I saw this huge, assaulting sign saying 'Walmart,'" said resident Katy Freeman.
Freeman said she is worried about the increase in traffic and the competition to smaller businesses. She said she refuses to shop at Walmart.
Freeman also told 10News she wished there could have been more community input.
"I just feel that Encinitas is one of these kind of, well, 'preserved' towns that has a lot of charm and it's very quaint, and I think we really like to support local business and to see a bully like Walmart was shocking and disappointing to me," Freeman added.
The new Walmart store is in a building that had been vacant for three years. It was previously occupied by Home Expo.
"It is a different zip code. I would say that I would find a Walmart, they're usually in Oceanside, Vista, so I can understand that, they do take away from the mom and pop stores," said shopper Danielle Walker.
Stocks said Walmart met all zoning requirements, and noted the store would bring in tax revenue for the city.
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