Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has signed a lease to open its first grocery in Los Angeles County and its first store of any kind downtown.
The Bentonville, Ark., retailer is taking about 33,000-square-feet of the ground floor of a senior housing complex at 701 W. Cesar Chavez Ave., just north of the Santa Ana (101) Freeway on the outskirts of Chinatown.
The lease reflects the strategy by the world’s largest retailer to increase its penetration into urban markets by putting in smaller groceries called Neighborhood Markets that are similar to traditional supermarkets.
It also reflects Wal-Mart’s new tactic in California – as reported by the Business Journal in September – to move quickly into already entitled retail spaces, allowing it to avoid the legal battles and community opposition that have so often stymied Wal-Mart in the state.
The full story will appear in the Feb. 27 weekly edition of the Business Journal.