SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Walmart is making a big push to advertise their new grocery store, Neighborhood Market, in Santa Maria. Views among residents are mixed.
Santa Maria resident Chris Castro says, "I don't feel its right. Big money always sets the smaller companies down. I feel they just need to stick with what they do. And that's not groceries."
But for others, it provides convenience.
Another Santa Maria resident, Wendy Castaneda, said "Well its very convenient. Its right next door to the big Walmart store. And they have everything here that would be in every other market. And really great supply. Great people. And it's a great thing. It's a great thing for the city."
A number of people at other local grocery stores expressed concerns that a big corporation like Walmart could hurt business for smaller grocery chains. Though for one Santa Maria resident, Jeff Cutler, he welcomes the competition.
"I think it will drive Albertsons and Vons to maybe lower their prices a little because competition is good for the economy. People will go where the deals are. They will seek out good deals and then you'll have repeat customers. The big stores like Vons and Albertsons will have to change their pricing structures."
Walmart's Neighborhood Market could mean less customers for local grocery stores, but for small businesses around the new store it could mean more.
Christy Bagby, owner of Dickey's Barbecue Pit, says "It will bring more traffic to the center. This is a big center. There are a lot of businesses here. We all rely on eachother."
Still, for some residents, the local grocery chains are good enough for them. Castro says "they have a good selection, quality products, and the price is reasonable enough. There is just no reason for Walmart."
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