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Fork Dork: Your Local Market and Walmart Tell a Tale of Two Markets

Walmart's move to Bellevue could change how locals shop.

News that coincided earlier this week with the . A second Walmart is slated to open in the Market Place at Factoria, also in Bellevue, before the end of the year.

The contrast of a local grocery store closing temporarily while a multinational publicly traded mega-giant expands its empire of about 9,000 stores worldwide with domestic sales of over a quarter of a trillion dollars is stark.

Walmart has been accused of predatory pricing, selling products at deep discounts to drive competitors out of business. Critics contend that as Walmarts move into the city, the local family owned small businesses collapse under the pressure of predatory pricing. In this case, you can’t blame Walmart for the woes of .

Walmart has also been criticized for poor employee satisfaction stemming from low wages, mediocre health benefits, a poor working environment and anti-union policies. About 70 percent of employees leave within the first year of employment, according to the PBS documentary “Store Wars.”

Two stores in Bellevue may be only the beginning for Walmart. The highly capitalized Walmart will likely thrive and even continue to grow while local stores such as Your Local Market struggle or, perhaps, close.

Walmart’s ambitions in Bellevue versus Your Local Market’s struggles is a reminder of consumer activism. Well-intended advocates, maybe you or your neighbor, encourage consumers to shop at stores that share your values, often at a premium.

In the end, most consumers shop for convenience and Walmart continues to thrive. Enough consumers will shop at cheaper stores, one-stop shops, stores with ample parking, conveniently located stores or other factors that appeal to our lazy side.

In response to towards the grocery store in Bellevue that opened last fall. Readers, however, unanimously agreed that the concept of a locally-owned market featuring organic goods was a great concept. If it is such a great concept why is the business struggling?

Apparently, there aren’t enough consumer activists or consumer activism is not enough.  

The Arbour will transform into Hedge & Vine

In the meantime, in Old Bellevue is closing on Saturday, June 30 and moving to Seattle by the end of the summer. The Arbour is discounting its inventory until they close. The Arbour makes way for Hedge & Vine, a home décor store that will be serving wine to shoppers.

The Arbour will reopen as Two Kellys in an undetermined location in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood where they will focus on interior design consulting and less on gift sales, according to Jen Kelly, one of the partners at The Arbour. Kelly and her mother and business partner Patti Kelly expect to open their new location by September 1. Check Bellevue Patch and Two Kellys blog for updates on their new store.

“We’ve outgrown this space,” Jen Kelly said. “The biggest part of our business has not been gifts for a long time. It’s very time consuming.

“We want to keep a storefront because we like hunting for special items. There’s a huge market for specialty items.”

Stores and restaurants notoriously often open later than expected. The owners of the new Hedge & Vine, Bellevue’s Stephanie and Andrew Hogenson, will commence the redesign of the new store immediately. The new store will be outfitted with a dishwasher to service wine tastings and special events, according to Ryan Olson, Wallace Properties vice president.  

“There will be some updating and it doesn’t require a build-out,” Olson said.

According to Washington State Liquor Control Board records, the Hogensons have applied for a license to sell beer and wine at Hedge & Vine.

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