BOULDER, Colo. — Less than a decade after residents prevented the retail giant from entering their city’s marketplace, Walmart is making another effort to move into a storefront in Boulder.
According to the Boulder Daily Camera, Walmart confirmed that it plans to open a Neighborhood Market grocery store at 3303 30th Street in Diagonal Plaza.
The newspaper speculated that size — or lack thereof — might make Boulder residents more approving of the Neighborhood Market rather than one of the retailer’s Supercenters. Not only is it a quarter the size of one of Walmart’s typical facilities at 52,000 square feet, the planned Neighborhood Market will even be 25,000 square feet smaller of a Safeway store across the street.
At the very least, Sean Maher, a longtime Boulder businessman and executive director of Downtown Boulder Inc., called this smaller store “a whole different animal.” He continued to say he doesn’t expect that this store will receive the same disapproving outcry from politicians and residents that a proposed Supercenter received eight years ago.
Boulder Councilman George Karakehian went so far as to say the Walmart could mean good things for grocery shoppers in his town.
“I think that’s even more competition, and another grocery store will lower grocery prices, and that’s good,” Karakehian said.
That said, Boulder Mayor Matt Appelbaum did acknowledge the idea that many of his constituents won’t be happy with the announcement.
“It’s not an easy problem to deal with,” Appelbaum said. “But for people who are not happy with a Walmart, you don’t need to shop there.”