Walmart Neighborhood Markets open

New grocery stores give shoppers more options

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Shoppers living in Northeast Florida have more options for buying groceries as three Walmart Neighborhood Markets open Wednesday morning in Duval and Clay Counties.

The stores are approximately 40,000 square feet and will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week, offering a variety of groceries, pharmacy services and household goods.

The stores are located at:

  • 8011 Merrill Road
  • 10550 Old St. Augustine Road
  • 2570 County Road 220 in Middleburg

"The arrival of the store to our area signifies a wider array of choices for our families and their needs," said Jacksonville City Councilman Matt Schellenberg. "With competitive prices and the creation of new jobs, the Walmart Neighborhood Market will have a significant, positive economic impact in our community, and I look forward to shopping there in the future."

The three stores combined will employ about 200 full and part-time associates. The three store managers have a combined 55 years in the Jacksonville area.

IMAGES: Grocery-only Walmarts open for business

Walmart says it is all about the savings. Even in its advertisements, it compares its prices with its competition. You could be seeing a lot more savings from Walmart with its Neighborhood Markets.

These are smaller versions of Walmart super centers, carrying only grocery items, including organic and natural selections. The stores also have fresh produce, a deli, self-serve bakery,  fresh-baked breads, prepared food options, a pharmacy and more.

The three stores are in grocery locations closed last when Food Lion pulled out of Florida.  Walmart is not the only grocer expanding into vacant Food Lion stores. Rob Rowe, owner of Rowe's Supermarket's, opened his third supermarket on Dunn Avenue, previously a Food Lion. He said he will be opening another in Orange park sometime this year, also a vacant Food Lion store.

Whether Food Lion, Walmart or Rowe's, most shoppers say they'll shop at any of them, saying these stores are very similar and all offer what they're looking for.

"They have good quality, good prices, nice friendly people working for them," said Stephanie Lawings.

For other shoppers it's not just about getting a good price.

"The quality of the product. You know I don't want something just because it's cheap, and then I get home and it's cheap," said Petronia Brown.

Walmart Neighborhood Markets will hold a celebration with residents on Saturday, June 15 at each store. "A Big Family Welcome" will give customers a chance to meet the store managers and enjoy family activities such as face painting, cupcake decorating and free food samples while supplies last. The celebration will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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