It's official: Wal-Mart is coming

Lake Oswego, West Linn to see the arrival of the Wal-Mart brand
by: Vern Uyetake Wal-Mart is headed to the former Bales Marketplace at 19133 Willamette Drive in West Linn in addition to a former Wild Oats store in Lake Oswego.

Wal-Mart is coming to Lake Oswego and West Linn.

Tiffany Moffatt, spokeswoman for the retail giant, confirmed Tuesday morning the company will pursue remodeling the former Wild Oats grocery store off Boones Ferry Road in Lake Oswego along with a former grocery store in the Robinwood Shopping Center on Highway 43 in West Linn.

'We're always looking for ways to make access to our brand more convenient for our local customers,' Moffatt said. 'We think Walmart stores in Lake Oswego and West Linn can be part of the solution when it comes to creating jobs and improving access to affordable groceries.'

She said the company 'looks forward to engaging with residents and stakeholders in both communities to listen, answer questions and share information about the company and our Walmart Market format.'

These new shops wouldn't necessarily be the traditional big-box stores most people picture when they think of Wal-Mart, the world's biggest corporation. Instead, they would likely be maybe a quarter of the size or smaller than the company's supercenters.

Wal-Mart's 'market' stores are typically about 42,000 square feet and offer groceries, pharmacies, paper goods, health and beauty sections and pet and household supplies - a similar range of products to what is available at most Fred Meyer stores.

They're bigger than Wal-Mart 'express' stores, the company's convenience option, but they're dwarfed by the more traditional supercenter. The nearly 3,000 Wal-Mart 'supercenters' nationwide average 185,000 square feet, according to the company's website.

Recent news reports have spread rumors that Wal-Mart - also known as Walmart since 2008, when a new logo came into play - is planning to open multiple new stores throughout the Portland area.

The company already owns property in Oregon City and Gresham and announced in February it plans to open a market-style store in Beaverton by renovating a former furniture store.

In West Linn, the new shop would be at the former Bales Marketplace at 19133 Willamette Drive. In Lake Oswego a store is planned at 17711 Jean Way, off Boones Ferry Road in Lake Grove. Both buildings have sat vacant for years.