Walmart is launching its new line of grocery stores in the Fresno area.
They're known as Neighborhood Markets. Walmart announced Friday it will construct one in the spot where the former Cedar Lanes bowling alley operated for half a century.
Unlike a typical Walmart, it will function strictly as a grocery store with a pharmacy. The market is scheduled to open in early 2015. This location will be unique in that it will feature a permanent in store tribute made up of bowling mementos from Cedar Lanes.
“We want to continue that legacy. We want the community to remember and recognize the significance of the bowling alley and what it's meant to the community the last 50 plus years,” said Delia Garcia, Walmart Spokeswoman.
We caught up with Rasheena Pellum outside of a karate school. She shared her thoughts on the new store.
“It will be good. While the kids are at karate I can go grocery shopping. Can't go too far away because the class doesn't last long, so it will be great,” said Rasheen Pellum, a Fresno resident.
Jimmy Bosquez runs his sports shop in the same shopping center.
“They're going to clean up the corner, give us trees, nicer parking lot. A whole new look and I think it's going to be great for the area,” said Jimmy Bosquez, owner of Jimmy’s Sports World.
He says Cedar and Shields desperately needs a grocery store.
“You know everything has gone north and south, but nothing here in central. So I think them coming in here is going to be a positive thing. People will follow around them,” said Bosquez.
Just across the street is a Fresh and Easy Market which didn't do well, so it closed down last year. Bosquez doesn't see Walmart following this path.
“They’re too big to let that happen. I think they'll be fine,” said Bosquez.
Meanwhile at Herndon and Willow in Fresno, Walmart has already constructed a Neighborhood Market. It marks the first one in Fresno and will open Wednesday, May 22nd.
Another location is opening at Shaw and Fowler in Clovis.
Click the related link to visit the Walmart Neighborhood Market Fresno Facebook page.
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