Walmart set to open new format store in Lacey

Lacey is set to get a second Walmart store this week, one of four new retailers that have either opened in the city or are about to.

Although four new stores are welcome, it’s not expected to make much of a change for the city’s sales tax revenue picture, which is still on pace for just under 1 percent growth this year.

Sports Authority and Petco have recently opened at Lacey Marketplace on Marvin Road, which is already home to Costco and Best Buy, while Burlington, perhaps better known as Burlington Coat Factory, is set to open Nov. 14 on Martin Way.

It will fill a space left vacant by Top Food & Drug.

The new Walmart is not a supercenter, but a new format for the retailing giant called neighborhood market, which largely sells only groceries.

Walmart operates about 300 neighborhood market stores throughout the country and has plans to open an additional 270 to 300 small-format locations this year, the company announced in a news release.

It will open shortly after 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at 5110 Yelm Highway SE, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The store is expected to employ up to 95. It will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Walmart development area also is planned to have four outlying buildings, each measuring 6,000 to 7,000 square feet, for other retailers and restaurants, said Rick Walk, Lacey’s community development director.

Tenant information for those buildings wasn’t immediately available.

Lacey Finance Director Troy Woo called the four new stores a welcome development for the city, but three of the four stores are filling vacancies, he said.

“It gets us back to where we were,” he said about the city’s sales tax revenue.

Through the first six months of the year, sales tax revenue was down from 2013, but then picked up over the summer as the pace of single-family residential construction remained steady.

The city already has met its projection for the year for housing starts, at 225, and expects to end the year around 300, Woo said.

The region is home to six Walmart stores: four in Thurston County, and a store each in Lewis and Mason counties.