Walmart quietly opened a grocery store on Elk Grove Boulevard Friday morning, expanding its operations in the parking lot of an existing store and a couple miles from another currently under construction.
The Walmart Neighborhood Market grocery store is located at 8455 Elk Grove Blvd., a stone's throw away from its current store at 8465 Elk Grove Blvd. The store is two-and-a-half miles from a planned store at Whitelock Parkway and Bruceville Road.
"It's almost like a Supercenter in one parking lot–we're just not attached," store manager Sunny Edmisten said Friday, about six hours after the Neighborhood Market opened its doors.
Edmisten touted the store's produce, deli and bakery departments, and said the store will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week–with the exception of Christmas Day. She praised the store's approximately 75 employees, 90 percent of whom are new to the company.
"It's the best group of people I've ever worked with," she said.
Customers were handed maps of the store as they entered Friday, and wandered the aisles tentatively as employees replenished the mostly full shelves.
"I'm going to shop [here] on a regular basis," Elk Grove resident Jackie Doble said. "There's no other grocery store around."
Doble said she used to frequent the Bel Air on Elk Grove Boulevard, which closed earlier this year, and has been shopping at WinCo in the meantime.
She said she didn't notice the store had opened, and was alerted by a neighbor.
Other shoppers also had positive feedback about the new store.
"It's nice," Elk Grove resident Olivia Rayala said. "The location is very accessible."
Pam Snyder, a Sacramento resident who shops in Elk Grove, said she does most of her shopping at Walmart, so it will add convenience to be able to buy groceries at the same time.
"I thought it was nice," she said.
Elk Grove Mayor Jim Cooper and City Council Member Sophia Scherman participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning at the store. Walmart did not notify Elk Grove Patch of the store's grand opening until after the ceremony.
Walmart has not yet set an opening date for its store at Whitelock Parkway and Bruceville Road, spokeswoman Delia Garcia said.