New Walmart, Kroger open on same day in Heights
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The controversial Heights-area Walmart officially opened its doors Friday, and it's already got competition. A Kroger grocery also opened its doors just a mile away.
A lot of customers are already shopping at both stores. But with two openings also comes some controversy.
The Kroger on Studemont had just been open for a few hours Friday and already the place was buzzing.
"It's great that we have options. Walmart is close by and Kroger's right here," shopper Griselda Gomez said.
It is perhaps no coincidence that this Kroger and the Walmart on Yale opened the same day, just a mile apart.
"I like them because they're close to us, close to our house," shopper Stacie Chamberlin said.
But the Walmart project has been controversial. Even before construction began, nearby residents protested and filed lawsuits.
Some of the homeowners who lost that battle are still upset.
"We want business development. We want shops and small stores and things like that, that fit into a community but I don't think Super Walmart necessarily fits into this community," nearby homeowner Andrew Uruski said.
Controversy or not now that both stores are open, shoppers hope the proximity will keep the prices down.
"I figured we could probably use the jobs in the area," Chamberlin said.
Walmart officials wouldn't let us talk to their customers on property, but we found plenty of people who went to both stores to check out the competition. Many tell us they appreciate the convenience of more shops but dislike the gentrification development brings.
"I do appreciate some of the changes, I don't appreciate all of them," shopper Cleola William said.
Part of the ongoing issue on Yale is the Yale Street bridge. Many people are worried about the increased traffic on the aging bridge. However, it's scheduled for replacement soon.
local, miya shay
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