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The Latest: Here Comes Walmart

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The Latest
Friday, August 13, 2010

Walmart is making plans for seven new stores that could bring an estimated 2,000 jobs to Oregon.

The projects begin with the 152,000 square foot Cornelius Supercenter set to open next Wednesday morning, the first new Walmart to open in Oregon since 2007.  The other locations are sprinkled throughout the state in The Dalles, Medford, Albany and Warrenton, as well as a new store and an expansion to an existing store in Portland.  The projects are in various stages of the development process, and have been received by a wide range of positive and negative reactions and in some cases, are still bogged down in the court system.

Oregon, and Portland especially, are known for outspoken anti-Walmart sentiment from critics such as Portland Mayor Sam Adams, who led a campaign against Walmart back when he was a city commissioner.

“In the past I don’t think we told our story well enough in Oregon, because the more people understand about what we represent and what we bring as a company in terms of affordability, jobs and product the more open the conversation has been,” said Walmart’s director of community affairs, Steve Restivo. “Now we’ve learned how to listen and we try and make sure our stores fit the community that we are going to bring them into. That means they are going to vary in size and they will also vary in the local products that we are going to carry.”

For example, the proposed Hayden Island location in Portland will be 85,700 square feet whereas the expansion at the 82nd ave location will make the store nearly twice as big at 158,500 square feet to include a full-service grocery, produce, meat, deli and bakery.

The largest retailer in the nation is also trying to win over Oregonians by publicizing its green credentials. Wal-Mart is making a push to reduce its huge carbon footprint through several clean-energy alternatives including an ambitious solar power investment. The Cornelius store has numerous skylights and a lighting system that changes depending on the weather.  Much of the hot water will come from the heat reclaimed through the refrigeration equipment.  Outside shoppers can use the jogging path around the store and the landscaping includes native plants and an irrigation system that also varies according to the weather.

Restivo said these features along with the promise of jobs and growth have helped warm some politicians and critics up to the idea of allowing new Walmarts into their communities.  Currently there are 10,600 Wal-Mart employees in Oregon earning an average hourly rate of $12.26 per hour.

For many Oregonians that’s not enough, when combined with the sprawling parking lots and crippling impact on small community businesses. A citizens group called Medford Citizens for Responsible Development has fought Walmart for six years, and although the store is approved by the City of Medford an appeal is still pending from the Oregon Supreme Court.

Frustration in The Dalles was thwarted when LUBA recently denied an appeal coming from another citizen group to block construction. Construction is expected to begin within a year.

The store in Albany is in the final stages of approval. 

Residents of the small coastal town of Warrenton, roughly 4,500 people, found out a Wal-Mart would be coming to town when it was initially reported in the fall of 2009.  Just about a year later the process hasn’t moved at all, and Oregon Business still gets comments both positive and negative, curious as to the progress of the store. People at Wal-Mart say the Warrenton store is coming; they’re just not sure when.

“It’s hard to say which store will open next because it’s just hard to know in Oregon,” said Restivo.

Jessica Hoch is an online reporter for Oregon Business.



Stan Rowe
-4 #1 RE: The Latest: Here Comes WalmartStan Rowe 2010-08-13 13:01:35
Walmart is progress only if you are a Walmart stockholder, CEO, or paid by Walmart and would not be paid any where else. Those who buy the Walmart lies are doing just that.
Often Walmart says if you don't let us come in we will come into a neighboring town and you will suffer any way. The Walmarting of our economy should be fought on every level. Sam Walton meant well.
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oregonian to the core
-5 #2 local yokaleoregonian to the core 2010-08-13 15:37:13
wal mart does not bring anything to oregon
it takes and shakes what we have and what we are..

at best it shifts around workers from fast food to their isles.

oregon supports its local growers among the best in the world with food stores like new seasons, serious sports and outdoor specialty shops and in truth more than we need but some how the lots in costco stay full while the walmart lots look empty.
when do we get over the mega retailing stuff and return to the peace and happiness that carved the walls of oregon boundaries as a state.

our own made in oregon producers and the retailers who support them need to hear from all of us to be sure even if they wal mart build we will not come.

the only green we should give wal mart is moss and mold and leave them vacant and then maybe they will go away.
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You Uninformed Naysayers Are the Problem Not The Solution
+11 #3 Just an Oregon CoastieYou Uninformed Naysayers Are the Problem Not The Solution 2010-08-15 16:28:11
WE NEED WALMART ON THE OREGON COAST AND WE NEED IT NOW--- Don't you be fooled, if they build it we will come. I am sick of all this false bravado and half truths and out and out lies about how we dont want Walmart or need Walmart on the Oregon coast. There is no competition on the coast- no reasonable priced goods or services on the coast. Safeway and Fred Myer Charge More For Everything out here than they do anywhere else they exist. I recently purchased some food items from Walmart that I buy regularly paying HALF PRICE of what I pay out here--that is ridiculous. These stores deserve to have some competition and we need to be able to have affordable groceries and goods. Why shouldn't we have better prices and more choices? Why shouldn't we be able to provide a nice Christmas for our kids and families--peopl e on the coast also need the work which isnt based on some yuppie store that caters to the tourist here and treats the locals like crap then lays us off when the season is over. Lets make the local retailers treat we locals with a little respect by speaking loudly with our local dollars and spending our money where it does US the most good.I will be there the day WALMART opens along with several hundreds of my local friends- you can bank on that.
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William Donnelly
-3 #4 Doesn't matterWilliam Donnelly 2010-08-16 06:12:11
I say this, because the company is dying. Senior staff are leaving in droves, and they need the expansion to offset the dying process. Let them come. It doesn't matter, as they won't be around another decade anyway. I'm sure in the next few years Oregon will get a new retailer that will put them to shame from an ex wal-mart associate.
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Another Coastie
+10 #5 Hurry up and come to the coast!Another Coastie 2010-08-17 10:25:27
I agree with the other commenter that there are a lot of people out on the coast who cannot wait for Wal-Mart to get here! We need cheaper alternatives to Safeway/Fred Meyer/Costco and their bloated tourist prices.
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local yokle
-2 #6 local yoklelocal yokle 2010-08-19 13:19:17
hey folks, thanks for the heads up on wal mart folks leaving,
is that just part of wal mart cutting out to get bigger as they cut out little retailers to do the same?
history shows walmart only picks places with lots of potential sales and the oregon coast is clearly lacking the residents needed to bring one in.
the trickle down to a walmart and your thirst for better prices seems to ignore the reality of lost jobs over all and that will have a bigger impact on your economy and quality of life
i'm not new to the coast. my shopping for food etc in pacific city is not acceptable either but if a walmart came to the area everything from lincoln city to tillamook would get cut and the economy would suffer more than the gains you mention.
possibly something in between walmart and what we have now is a better choice
something that creates small business that supports local oregon products for example.
if you have never tried shopping at wal mart do it before you cast your vote for a few months and the savings simply are not there.lr
tough times usually bring out bette solutions not mega retailers to wreck the local folks.
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A Seaside business owner, Town supporter, and wal-mart supporter
+8 #7 A coastie and a small business owner!A Seaside business owner, Town supporter, and wal-mart supporter 2010-08-24 22:40:36
Hooray! Wal-Mart get here as soon as you can!It's about time the real costal population can be heard. We dont just want you here we need you here. We are getting slaughtered by our small town retail that's truly only interested in the tourist dollar. Wal-mart will not effect them at all. It will only bring relief for us full time residents of not only Oregon but Washington who have been abused by the Fred Meyer and Safeway monopoly. Please dont wait! Get here ASAP! You're welcome by the majority even us small business owners. Word to the wise if you're not price gouging and stand by your product you sceptics have nothing to be worried about!
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yet another frustrated coastie!
+8 #8 Agreeing with the NEED for competion on the Coast!yet another frustrated coastie! 2010-08-25 13:21:46
I drive to Longview many times a year and even after paying for fuel, I save money!
Safeway is not good to their employees, they cut their hours so they do not recieve benefits. I refuse to shop there. Freddies and Costco are the only other choices. Pricing is inflated at both. WE NEED WALMART!
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Even another frustrated coastie
+7 #9 Welcome Wal-Mart!!! Move up the timetableEven another frustrated coastie 2010-09-21 13:52:25
Wal-Mart is sorely needed on the coast. They have more variety than Costco and reasonable prices. I'm glad we finally have a Home Depot to provide some price competition in building materials. Now let's get groceries and simple clothing prices reasonable.
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+7 #10 Bout time Wal Mart to the CoastCarrie 2010-09-29 19:34:17
We really need wal mart here on the coast. If you think its going to hurt us by having one, your crazy! It will bring people from Tillamook Seaside, Astoria, Longbeach, Ocean Park, Naselle. Were not talking about just people from Warrenton going there, we have a huge community of people that need that store. To many people are going hungry cause they cant afford to shop at Fred meyers or Safeway or even paying $50 just to shop at costco with paying high prices anyways. Wal Mart you are much needed in this community please hurry ASAP!!!!
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Local Coast Resident
+6 #12 CAN'T WAIT FOR WALMART TO COME TO WARRENTONLocal Coast Resident 2010-11-15 16:19:23
I was raised here and everyone always goes to Portland or other areas to shop. Prices are way to high here at the coast and Walmart will bring lower prices to the cost that is year overdue. The tourist traps won't be affected by Walmart as they don't sell what they do. We need better prices and more choices. Fred Meyer and Safeway are way to high. HURRY UP WALMART!
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Sharon Hotchkiss
+3 #13 Yes to WalMartSharon Hotchkiss 2010-11-28 16:24:07
I am anxious to have WM up and running in The Dalles. I believe the opposition concerned about some of the other business not being able to thrive with another big box store in town, but, this is progress, folks. We need to move ahead. I know from living in Spokane and shopping WM SS that having them here will save me money!
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+4 #14 come to tillamook toowillie 2011-01-13 18:05:22
the prices at safeway and freddies are just that to high we need to see a walmart soon to bring jobs here and help the community out of the hole hurry!!!!!!
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+2 #15 A Walmart on the CoastSJB 2011-01-25 17:31:58
I live in Tillamook and have to say that we need a Walmart here. We need the jobs and the two large stores we have here need the competition. They charge so much for food and other merchandise and never value their customers. I moved from the Portland area 10 years ago and havent been able to understand why there is literally nowhere to shop. We really hope that Walmart will consider our community for a store.
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barbara henderson
+1 #16 yes we need a walmart on the coastbarbara henderson 2011-03-15 06:23:24
costco is a joke you have to pay to get in their store and buy their stuff and you have to buy in bulk walmart is so much better price and you dont have to pay to go shopping and you can buy in bulk if you want they just need more sewing stuff like they used to you just cant find sewing and craft supplies any more unless you want to pay a arm and a leg for it
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The Boss
-4 #17 Coasties - forget that raise I was going to give you.The Boss 2011-03-15 11:54:56
Since you'll be saving money by shopping at Walmart, I won't need to give you a raise - for quite a while.
Thanks Walmart!
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North Coastie
-1 #18 The BossNorth Coastie 2011-05-28 12:00:22
Since your employee's will be leaveing you to go work for Wal*Mart you won't have to worry about that!
Thank's Wal*Mart!!
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Wil & Peggy Keyser
+3 #19 The Dalles Supporter For WalMartWil & Peggy Keyser 2011-07-07 22:34:14
Can't imagine why any city would turn down an opportunity for 300 new jobs that will occur from the WalMart SuperCenter store....in this economy. We welcome the opportunity for a new WalMart Supercenter to be constructed in The Dalles. Jobs, improved purchase economy for shoppers, needed competition to the local Fred Meyer Super Store and to Safeway Store. We actively supported WalMart in the application process in The Dalles. Now it is going to happen within the Year. Go WalMart!
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-1 #20 if its not here by summer 2012 or 2013sarah 2011-08-08 11:33:30
If walmart is not here by summer 2012 or 2013.. then there not going to make a walmart here in warrenton, or... so what is the point of getting every one excited about having a walmart....city of warrenton always has time to fix roads that dont need to be fixed they should get there ass's moving on the walmart building but nope their takeing to long to do ANYTHING....... .what a bunch of liers.
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Terry Rigdon
+1 #21 Just Concerned about the Peninsula.Terry Rigdon 2012-04-27 18:19:38
I am very concerned about the Mom and Pop stores over on the Peninsula. Yes there prices are a little high. But look at the economy. I like shopping at Walmart. I don't mind driving to Longview or Portland. Its a nice day trip. A couple of us car pool together. Still undecided.
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0 #22 The Coast Needs WMGuest 2012-10-08 23:58:15
Walmart needs to pay attention to what the locals are saying. They also need to understand the cultur here. Astoria, Warrenton and Tillamook were at one time industrial towns. Fishing and lumber was our top trade here. Now we are reduced to surviving spring/summer to spring/summer on the toursit dollars. I appriciate the visitors. But when they go home we are still here. We need more things to help keep the locals ahead during the off seasons. I believe because we already have a safeway,fred meyers and costco, that that compition will help keep things in balance for us. I actually think the smaller businesses will do better because locals will have spending power during the off season. My husband and I love to eat out, and go bowling or go to the movies when we have the money. I would love to do more like go watch a play or buy from one of the shops in astoria or seaside as a local but I just don't have that money in my hands. I was really sad to learn the local comic book store moved. I went when I could. But I just didn't have the money to go as often as I liked. If I had job like walmart I would have been able to set up an account with them. I wanted to so bad but my income is so unpredictable. So not only did my favorite business go away but more locals lost their jobs. In this area at this time we need walmart. I don't agree its best for every town and community. But here on the coast I believe we do. I believe it will fit here. I moved here in 1987 and astoria was much more alive then. Over the years I have seen it dwindle to almost near ghost town. On saturdays after 5pm the streets are empty. I know cause me and my husband like to take walks through there. Its really sad. I like many who live here share a lot local pride. I want towns like astoria to be revived to what they once were. There is a lot of great history here. Also I would like to see more locals eating out at resteruants besides me and my husband. I would love to be able to have money in my hands to enjoy the farmers markets and the sunday markets. I would love to have a little bit of spending power in my hands.
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+1 #23 The Coast Needs JobsGuest 2012-11-08 00:20:38
Walmart will bring jobs to local areas. Regardless of how you feel about "corporate giants" or "box stores", I think if you ask local people that are out of work and desperately need jobs, those people would agree that Walmart should come to town! When you have a job and aren't worried about bills, it is easy to look down your nose and talk about shopping local and green, but when there is no money coming in, the rent is due and your kids need to eat it is a different story. In times when unemployment is high, how can anyone criticize a company that will bring new jobs to the area. And with the price of gas, I know I can't afford to drive to Portland or Long View to shop!
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+1 #24 we need walmartGuest 2013-05-24 19:37:22
thesmall stores were hurt by safeway and fredmyers they are too expensive help us who cant afford these stores jobs are scarce here too
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0 #25 walmartGuest 2014-05-24 04:01:16
i like walmart half prices,and a lot of jobs for this county. that is not going to stop people from shopping at their favorit store. come on people think
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0 #26 fanGuest 2014-07-02 03:59:45
i love walmart and cannot wait til it gets hear
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+3 #27 Walmart is definirely needed on the coast!!Guest 2014-10-23 22:35:17
we definitely need Walmart in Warrenton - we need the jobs and the lower prices - Warrenton already has A DOLLAR TREE and the residents love it and shop there all the time we're tired of being raped by Fred Meyer and Safeway stores and don't like driving all the way to Longview or Woodland to get to a Walmart. We could also use a Winco store.
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+1 #28 TiredGuest 2015-08-06 22:47:00
What is keeping Wal-Mart from opening--politi cs again?
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