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The Herrera Drive Walmart Supercenter
R Harrison Dilday

Walmart Supercenter Opens in Santa Fe

Will food-quality troubles from the Far East arise in local food market?

October 17, 2011, 1:00 am
By R Harrison Dilday

Just in time for Halloween, southwest Santa Fe residents now have the option to shop at the brand new Walmart Supercenter

The opening of the Herrera drive Walmart Supercenter on Oct. 12 was delayed for years because of development issues and the proximity of another Walmart store mere miles up the road. The new shopping center features a full grocery section and the latest in green technology; numerous skylights and long-lasting LED lightbulbs, as well as a concrete floor made of recycled materials.

Despite the environmental dedication, local residents are torn in their opinions of another big-box store operating in the state capital. Santa Feans characteristically express strong desires to support regional businesses and shop locally, in spite of Walmart’s comparatively lower prices. Many intend to split their shopping between the Walmart and local vendors.

The Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is extending several olive branches to the community. In addition to providing new jobs, $14,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation will be awarded to local groups and individuals throughout the year.

But Santa Fe isn’t the only city in which Wal-Mart is having trouble with local consumers. As reported by The New York Times on Oct. 11, the Chinese municipal government of Chongquig ordered the shutdown of thirteen Walmart stores for a period of fifteen days. The government is reacting to the store’s mislabeling of pork products as “organic” when the product did not meet Chinese standards for use of the term. Since 2006, this marks the 21st time that Walmart has been reprimanded for advertising or selling food of substandard or even expired quality.

While economic nationalism is stronger in the interior cities of China than in their coastal counterparts, Wal-Mart is still determined to maintain a presence in that market and has since apologized for the incident, promising to meet the expectations of consumers in the southwest region of China in the future.

For now, patrons of the Santa Fe Walmarts may do well to check the expiration date of their products twice before placing them in their carts.

 

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