Wal-Mart to open 2 new stores in Irvine

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to open two stores in Irvine, adding 600 workers to its local team.

The retail giant will launch a temporary hiring center on Thursday, accepting job applications for its new locations—a 136,000 square-foot-store on Technology Drive and a 120,000 square-foot-store on Von Karman Avenue in Irvine.

Both stores will sell groceries and general merchandise, as well as have a full-service pharmacy. The Technology Drive store will open later this month.

Local officials said they were pleased with Walmart's move to Irvine.

“Walmart will provide affordable, fresh food and discounted necessities," said Irvine Chamber of Commerce President Tallia Hart in a statement. "The company offers quality jobs with good benefits for residents and adds significant sales tax revenue to the cities where they operate.”

Interested job applicants can go to Walmart's temporary hiring center at 16585 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 2E in Irvine Thursday for a chance at a job.

The chain hasn’t received as warm a welcome by some residents in Southern California cities. The retailer recently announced new stores in West Covina and downtown Los Angeles’ Chinatown, where some community members opposed the retail giant moving there. In Chinatown, some opponents worried that the move could threaten the livelihood of the area's small businesses.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Rachel Wall didn't immediately return a call for comment.

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