Walmart Super Center in Central Fresno opens

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The opening of a new Walmart Super Center in Central Fresno will help fill a void in what had been a blighted area.

The new store at Blackstone and Ashlan was welcomed by folks in the area because it has brought jobs and more shopping options. Back in 2008 a Mervyn's store there shut down when the company went bankrupt.

Shoppers packed into the Walmart Super Center during its grand opening. The store has breathed new life into the vacant building. The loss of Mervyn's left a major shopping void in the area. But now shoppers like Loretta Mitchell won't have to drive to Clovis to shop anymore.

Mitchell explained, "This is so much better for me and it's going to be better for everybody that lives at Manchester. We needed this ten years ago."

The sight of the packed parking lot did not surprise store manager Kirk Ansel on day one.

Ansel said, "I think this location specifically. We're at the corner of two bus lines and it's centrally located in Fresno and we have a lot of communities and neighborhoods that we are pulling from. So yeah it's definitely a destination location."

The new store has hired 300 people. We were there at the job fair in October when dozens of people showed up to try to land a job. Many of those employed live in this area so it's convenient for them as well.

Bakery assistant Angii Lara said, "I think it's a good idea to put it in this area because everyone goes to Shaw and way out there to Kings Canyon. This is in the middle of everything."

Ansel added, "A lot of the local neighborhood associates came from the community."

The super store offers both a pharmacy as well as fresh produce for shoppers.

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