CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A Walmart Neighborhood Market is opening next year on Independence Boulevard, the first store of its kind in Charlotte, the world’s largest retailer confirmed Monday.
The store will be in a former Best Buy location at 7421 E. Independence Blvd., in the Independence Square shopping center. That shopping center also has a Super G Mart international food store.
A Walmart spokeswoman said in a press release that the store will be hiring about 85 people to work full and part time. They’ll start in January as the store prepares for its opening.
There are some 200 Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets nationwide. They’re about the same size as traditional supermarkets, and carry similar lines of goods. This is the North Carolina’s second Neighborhood Market. The first opened in Cary in October.
“We are excited to add this Walmart Neighborhood Market to Charlotte and bring good jobs with career opportunities to the area,” said store manager David Thomas, in a statement. He’s been with the company for three years, and started his career in Shelby.
The new Neighborhood Market will be a challenge to other supermarkets and also to other smaller, discount food retailers, such as Family Dollar. It represents the fourth new grocery option in the region announced or opened this year, along with Whole Foods, 201central and Publix.
Walmart started the Neighborhood Markets in 1998, as a smaller alternative to the company’s Supercenters. A Neighborhood Market averages about 38,000 square feet; a Supercenter is typically 182,000 square feet. The stores feature the same departments as a supermarket, including groceries, produce, meat, dairy, a pharmacy and general merchandise.
Walmart has been making inroads in the Charlotte grocery market for years. Data from Chain Store Guide, which tracks retail sales at stores, shows Walmart overtook Harris Teeter last year to become the region’s No. 1 grocer. Harris Teeter was No. 2, followed by Food Lion.