Oceanside — A Walmart Neighborhood Market is set to open in Oceanside early next year, the fourth store in the city owned by the retail giant and the only large supermarket in the downtown area.
The market is planned for the Mission Square shopping center, on Mission Avenue just west of Interstate 5. Walmart officials said it will primarily sell fresh produce, meats and household goods.
The store will take up roughly 31,000 square feet of retail space that was previously home to an Office Depot. Building renovations are expected to begin within weeks, officials said.
Mayor Jim Wood said the new store would be a welcome addition for the city.
“For years, we’ve wanted to get a full grocery market in the downtown area,” Wood said.
The only other large grocery store in the area, El Super, is about a half mile away, across the Mission Avenue bridge east of Interstate 5.
The store would be the fourth Walmart Neighborhood Market in the county. The company operates markets in La Mesa and in San Diego’s Sherman Heights neighborhood and an Escondido location is expected to open later this year.
Walmart also has three of its huge Supercenter stores in Oceanside — one on Vista Way west of Jefferson Avenue, one on College Boulevard near state Route 76 and one on Marron Road south of state Route 78. The stores sell everything from home electronics to groceries to clothing.
Rachel Wall, a spokeswoman for Walmart, said Neighborhood Markets are typically about a third of the size of supercenters and offer greater convenience for customers who only want to buy groceries.
Walmart employs 900 people in its Oceanside stores, officials said. The new grocery store is expected to create 65 additional jobs.