Controversial Wal-Mart set to open Whitehall tomorrow

The world's largest retailer this week will open its first superstore in northern Muskegon County.

WHITEHALL, MICH. - The newest area grocery store, Wal-Mart, will host its grand opening Wednesday, May 17. 

But this is hardly the first time most residents are hearing about the supercenter. A group of neighbors banned together to form an anti-Wal-Mart group, "Back Off Walmart, Not Our Town," starting in 2013. 

BOW NOT fought a legal fight, but eventually lost. Their feelings on the topic remain the same, however, said group member Dave Frederick. 

Frederick said he since moved onto bigger corporate fights, but he still agrees that the Wal-Mart will result in a net loss of jobs in their community. He said this will occur, despite the 160 local hires the location added to the economy, because of the suffering it will cause for local grocery stores. 

Local grocery stores we spoke with say they believe their customers will remain loyal and keep them afloat.

This Wal-Mart location is meant to cater to the needs of Michiganders in the area, store manager Matt Jones said. The store has an extended fresh produce section, along with large sporting goods and sewing supply sections.

The grand opening will begin at 8 a.m. at the store, located at 2755 W. Holton-Whitehall Road.

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