Wal-Mart opens first store in Irvine

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Wal-Mart opened its first store in Irvine.

Employees, city officials and a line of shoppers christened the 134,376-square-foot supercenter at 71 Technology Drive with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The chain’s supercenters combine Wal-Mart’s normal retail operation with a discount supermarket. This location includes a bakery, deli, pharmacy and digital-photo processing center.

A second Irvine store nearly the same size is scheduled to open early next year about 15 minutes away at Barranca Parkway and Von Karman Avenue.


That will bring the total number of locations in Orange County up to 23. Wal-Mart has about 5,000 employees in the county, said Chad Donath, acting regional general manager in Southern California.

After thanks and speeches, shoppers immediately followed the Irvine High School Marching Band into the store that will be operate 6 a.m. to midnight seven days a week.

Irvine residents Manny and Mariana Megalon were among the first through the doors.

‘She’s a big Wal-Mart shopper,’ said Manny, adding that Mariana previously had to trek to Foothill Ranch for the brand.

Duffy Riebe, an Irvine resident since 1968, wasn’t so quick to shop but stopped by the grand opening out of curiosity, he said.

‘I don’t mind [Wal-Mart],’ he said. ‘My wife likes shopping at it all the time.’


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-- Jeremiah Dobruck, Times Community News