First Walmart Stores In D.C. To Open Dec. 4, Will Employ 600 People | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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First Walmart Stores In D.C. To Open Dec. 4, Will Employ 600 People

A rendering of the Walmart store on Georgia Avenue NW.
Walmart
A rendering of the Walmart store on Georgia Avenue NW.

A pair of Walmart stores will open in D.C. on Dec. 4, the first of six stores planned by the Arkansas-based retailer in the city.

One of the stores will be located on Georgia Avenue near the intersection with Missouri Avenue NW in Ward 4, while the other will be at the corner of H Street and New Jersey Avenue NW in Ward 6.

The openings will come after years after the retailer first expressed interest in D.C. In the mid-2000s, Walmart explored the option of expanding into the city, but faced a skeptical reception from legislators who tried to cap the size of big-box stores.

But with a more friendly business climate, a strong local economy and less interest in traditional suburban locations, Walmart announced in late 2011 that it planned on six stores in D.C.

The Ward 6 store will be part of the retailer's new urban format, and come in under the usual size of Walmart stores located in the suburbs. While Walmart stores and Super Centers can come in at over 200,000 square feet, the Ward 6 location will come in at 74,000 square feet and include residences above it. The Ward 4 store will be bigger, at 103,000 square feet.

According to the retailer each of the stores will employ 300 people, and hiring for those positions has been competitive — 23,000 applications were submitted for jobs at the stores. Spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said most associates would be full-time, though she said a breakdown of how many were D.C. residents was not immediately available.

The remaining stores will be located in wards 5 and 7. Walmart officials threatened to yank three of the planned stores during a recent debate over a bill that would have required the retailer to pay a "living wage" of $12.50 an hour, but the bill was vetoed by Mayor Vincent Gray after being passed by the D.C. Council.

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