San Francisco Walmart: Rumors Abound Of Discount Retailer Coming Into The City

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WALMART SAN FRANCISCO
Alamy

First came the Home Depot, and we said nothing because the sink was broken and the landlord never returns our phone calls.

Next came the Target, and we said nothing because we were tired of having to drive down to Daly City all the time.

Now, as rumors of a Walmart coming into San Francisco's seven-by-seven continue to spread, will the Bentonville behemoth slip quietly under the radar?

Not likely.

In a recent piece in the San Francisco Examiner, columnist Melissa Griffin took a look at the possibility that the Arkansas-based retailer would take one of the city's three Fresh & Easy stores, which are currently owned by U.K. food giant Tesco, and convert them into one of its Walmart Neighborhood Markets.

"I have heard that Tesco is having conversations with Walmart and that Walmart has expressed interest in purchasing Fresh & Easy locations," Bayview supervisor Malia Cohen told the Examiner. "I have no desire or interest in seeing Walmart come into District 10 or any other part of San Francisco."

During a press conference in 2011, progressive Supervisor John Avalos called Walmart "a virus [that wants to] infect [San Francisco]."

Both Tesco and Walmart have tamped down on the rumor. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Well, shoppers in San Francisco's Bayview, Richmond and Portola districts and elsewhere needn't despair. A note sent from the company to members of its rewards program Thursday said: "We want to assure you: we don't have plans to close stores." In fact, there are "even more exciting things to come."

The note didn't say whether that might include another chain--like Walmart--taking over the stores, though it did say parent company Tesco is "looking at all options to find the best outcome for the neighborhood market."

For it's part, Walmart has also said it has no specific plans to open a location in San Francisco; however, the company did begin offering same-day home delivery to customers in San Francisco last year.

Presently, the closest Walmart to San Francisco is located in Oakland.

What would you think about a Walmart coming to SF? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Note: An earlier version of this story contained a quote that has since been removed, as it is out of date.

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Filed by Aaron Sankin