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Bellevue, Are You Ready for Walmart?

The Kelsey Creek Walmart is set to open on Friday June 29, with a grand opening celebration starting at 7:30 a.m.

Bellevue, a city without Walmart, is set to get its first of two within a year, with the grand opening celebration of the store set for next Friday, June 29.

The store is located at the location of the old K-Mart at , at 148th Ave. and Main St. The K-Mart location had been dormant for a decade, but after , the site also 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to Supermarket News, though Walmart responded by saying that Fowler's figures were inaccurate and his analysis outdated.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?

Kate Phillips June 25, 2012 at 06:11 AM
As a consumer, I love cheap stuff! But as a business person, I hate to see small business people driven out of communities when they can't compete against a mega-distributor that locks employees into low-paying, low-benefit jobs. So I question whether or not Walmart adds to a healthy and sustainable economy for all.
Venice Buhain June 26, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Editor's note: in case someone was watching this poll, someone accidentally deleted it and I had to reset the poll. Sorry about that.
mollyruth June 27, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Definitely will shop at WalMart, nice to see that old K-Mart area reborn. Like the LA Fitness as well.
madmilker June 28, 2012 at 10:23 PM
This O'fart can't type it all again. Please forgive me and just read my comments posted here http://mercerisland.patch.com/articles/fork-dork-bellevues-your-local-market-and-walmart-tell-a-tale-of-two-markets And I truly hope all you wonderful folks will put "Made In America" first. It's your country. Please work harder at taking care of her.
Richmanpoorboy June 30, 2012 at 06:12 AM
If people don't like Walmart than don't shop there! Just continue to shop at bellevue square............you'll get great low prices. And the traffic you can't ask for better. But I remember when comments were made about McDonalds. How bad it would be for the neighborhood. Well if they were that bad, they would have been closed up by now. But it seem's like every time I go by one .....it's busy. Myself I don't believe Walmart has all the best products. But think about this when you buy a qt of oil for 5.00 dollars. at and auto-store. Do you think the higher cost of items benefit the employee's? No it benefits the people who don't care about cost. That's why a stores such as Walmart, Sears, Target, Old Navy and Lowe's give us a choice. In choosing the best price for the buck....... giving individuals a choise. So if it's such a bad thing to have in the area. Give it a year to see what happens to the New Kid on the block. Happy shopping

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