Walmart gears up for grand opening
by Jonathan Partridge | Patterson Irrigator
Jan 17, 2013 | 7332 views | 12 12 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
01-15-13--A gazebo built over a walkway leading to the future Walmart supercenter was under construction this week. The grand opening for the Patterson's Walmart supercenter at Sperry and Ward avenues will be Wednesday, Jan. 23.--Photo by Jonathan Partridge/Patterson Irrigator
01-15-13--A gazebo built over a walkway leading to the future Walmart supercenter was under construction this week. The grand opening for the Patterson's Walmart supercenter at Sperry and Ward avenues will be Wednesday, Jan. 23.--Photo by Jonathan Partridge/Patterson Irrigator
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At a glance

Walmart grand opening

WHERE: Walmart, 1030 Sperry Ave.

WHEN: 7:30 a.m.; the store will open immediately after the ceremony, and regular hours will be 6 a.m. to midnight daily

INFO: 895-4407. The local store also has a Facebook site at www.facebook.com/Walmart5843

Stanislaus County’s largest Walmart store will celebrate its opening in Patterson bright and early Wednesday, Jan. 23, with a 7:30 a.m. ceremony, including donations to local nonprofits and a rendition of the national anthem.

When company officials open the store to the public at 1030 Sperry Ave., it will mark the culmination of nearly four years of planning and close to a year of construction.

“We look forward to serving the people of Patterson, helping them to save money so they can live better,” stated store manager Troy McMahan in a prepared statement this week.

The 157,805-square-foot store at Sperry and Ward avenues will sell groceries and products in more than 30 merchandise departments. It will have a pharmacy, a digital-photo processing center, a vision center, a SmartStyle hair salon and a Subway restaurant.

The store employs 320 people, and company officials say more than 90 percent of them live in Patterson.

City leaders this week said they looked forward to seeing the project finally open. Hundreds of local residents attended City Council and planning commission meetings regarding the supercenter in fall 2010, overflowing the council chambers, and most of them advocated for the opening of the big-box retailer in town.

“I think it really provides options for people to shop local,” said Mayor Luis Molina, who noted that sales tax from the store will also swell the city’s coffers.

He said the new store looks nicer than any other Walmart he has seen, with palm trees and gazebos in front.

Councilman Dominic Farinha, the only council member remaining on the dais from when Walmart’s plans were approved in October 2010 during Mayor Becky Campo’s term, said it was gratifying to see the store preparing to open.

“I’m glad to have seen it go from conception to planning to implementation,” he said.

Like other Walmart stores, the Patterson store will sell clothing, health and beauty products, electronics, toys, jewelry, lawn and garden supplies, automotive parts, hardware and home furnishings, among other items.

Dharmesh Patel, who owns a Subway eatery in the Patterson Marketplace shopping center across the street, will also run the Subway restaurant inside Walmart.

He said he doesn’t expect the new sandwich shop to compete with his other store, as he anticipates it will attract primarily shoppers, not people who just happen to want a sandwich.

Patel said he was pleased to see Walmart come to town.

“It’s beautiful,” he said. “It’s a very nice facility.”

Blues Café owner Rick Barron, a downtown advocate who has been vocal in his opposition to Walmart, said the superstore sells some items that are already offered locally by mom-and-pop retailers, and established local businesses may suffer in the short term.

He expects to see a reduction in pedestrian traffic downtown as residents check out the big-box retailer. But he also expects them to return to patronizing smaller businesses because of their customer service.

“In the beginning, is it going to hurt us? Yeah, it’s going to hurt us,” he said. “But I think after the new-car smell goes away, they’ll come back downtown.”

Denise Sperle, president of the Patterson-Westley Chamber of Commerce, said Walmart may actually help the local business climate by attracting people from outside Patterson, who might patronize other stores and businesses while they are in town, she said.

She said the Stanislaus Economic Development and Workforce Alliance — an organization that seeks to attract businesses to the county and to retain existing businesses — encouraged small-business owners during workshops last year to find a niche and capitalize on it.

“I hope our business community comes out to welcome our new business here in the Patterson area,” Sperle said.

The store plans to donate $8,000 in grants during Wednesday’s grand opening ceremony. Homeless advocacy group Helping Others Sleep Tonight and scholarship foundation Patterson Recognizing Individuals Determined to Excel will receive $1,000 checks. The Patterson Apricot Fiesta, Patterson Volunteer Fire Department, Patterson Youth Soccer Association and Westside Food Pantry will receive $1,500 each.

Like other grand openings, the event will also include product samplings and giveaways from various companies, and Walmart associate Christy Menchaca of Patterson will sing the national anthem.

Regular store hours after the grand opening will be 6 a.m. to midnight each day.

Contact Jonathan Partridge at 892-6187, ext. 26, or jonathan@pattersonirrigator.com.

Comments
(12)
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sir209
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January 23, 2013
Patterson food center has been open for about 6 months, but they are really cheap, and no it's not only for Mexicans. Walmart is only going to attract people to Patterson. Cheaper prices, more stuff, more jobs created brings more people more traffic. Say goodbye to the small town feel, that began to disappear since around 1999-2000 , but hello to a modern city feel, which is a good thing. Home prices will go up now. More businesses will look at Patterson to set up shop. Now all we need are businesses that carry name brands like Footlocker, Macys, JCpenney, etc... We need more entertainment and family type businesses too, Wild wings, Gamestop, bowling, movies, sporting goods...
redmt
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January 23, 2013
I've shopped Paterson for the last 30 or so years. I wouldn't go back to sams if the food was free. The place stinks, the place reeked of filth. The attitude of the merchants in general in town has been that if you don't like the prices then spend the gas to go to another store out of town. Ever price comparison from the local hardware to a big box store? Ridiculous! I'm glad to see Wally World. Maybe not so much as to shop there but to change the attitudes and service from the mom and pop's.
wildflower772
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January 22, 2013
I think the comment that downtown "has no stores worth shopping at" is pretty harsh. I have lived here nearly 25 years and from a virtual new-comer that was rude. The downtown stores have served this community from the beginning and I would hate to see them closed down. I am thrilled with Walmart. It has provided desperately needed jobs as well as more shopping options. The revenue it will bring in will help our town. It looks beautiful. I just wish they hadn't painted it mud brown. :)
aeh4543
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January 22, 2013
I would shop downtown if they carried the things I need, like plus-size clothing, sporting goods, and so on. A dollar store doesn't cut it! Wal-Mart it is, until something better comes along.
TexanInTracy
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January 21, 2013
Really? Folks are complaining about this Walmart drawing business away from "downtown"? We have lived here 3 years and have never shopped downtown. There are no stores "downtown" that are worth shopping at. I say close them all down and revitalize the blighted "downtown" stores. Bring in new retailers that will bring shoppers to the "downtown" area.
salgh11648
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January 22, 2013
I disagree with you TexaninTracy, i have lived in Patterson my whole life and have learned what stores are worth shopping at, Save Mart is not on my list, everything is overpriced and disorganized, for example: a Save Mart Lettuce is about $3 and at the Patterson Food Center the Lettuce is about $1.25, but Save Mart does have "some" things you cannot find anywhere else in town, just that. Now, Sam's Food City is number 2 on my list, they offer cheap, amazing quality items, i would say about 85% of the staff at Sam’s is friendly and are good workers. The only downside is that they are sometimes low on supplies. The number one grocery store in town is the Patterson Food Center. They sell almost everything in that store. The staff is super friendly and everything is well organized. The prices are a little bit more expensive than Sam's but are a lot cheaper than Save Mart. Overall this is my opinion on the grocery stores in this town and belief our downtown stores will expand and get better.
Bebot337
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January 22, 2013
I'm sorry but I agree with Tracy... There are no stores worth shopping at downtown. Maybe for the people who have lived here all their lives, they're doable, but I'm from the bay and they're not up to par for me. Sam's has a smell and the meat doesn't look like it's of good quality (I've ever seen 70/30 ground beef before I went into Sam's) and the Food Center is okay, I guess, being that I've never been inside. And I would go there, except I don't eat a lot of Mexican food, (I'm going off of what I see in the sales paper.) My diet is mostly Asian so i have to go all the way to Modesto or Tracy to get what I need. Maybe if the stores got a facelift and "seemed" new, people from out of town or newcomers, like me, to Patterson who have only been here for 3 years would patronize these businesses.
aeh4543
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January 23, 2013
The rotting food smell came to my mind too. I nearly gagged the entire time I was in there.
stealthcat
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January 17, 2013
I thought when this Walmart was hyped it was supposed to be open 24/7. Guess we will still have to race there or Savemart for last minute things at 10 minutes to midnight.
TakaraKitty
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January 17, 2013
Really... ? How often do you race to the store at 10 minutes to midnight? Planning ahead is a really great strategy to use day to day, by the way.... Of course there is the occasional incident where one wishes there was a store open 24 hours, but if a huge store like Walmart was to cater to the occasional shopper in a smaller community like this, who needed something at 1 AM or 3 AM, etc., prices would go up to pay for the staffing and management required to stay open for that 6 hour period. There's just not a large enough consumer demand in this market to support a 24 hour operation.
Patterson2010
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January 23, 2013
Stealth,

The Mariachi Band at Walmart must have made your day, LOL


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