PORTLAND Walmart announced Tuesday it plans to build a new store in North Portland and also expand its existing 82nd Avenue store.

The new store will be built in the Hayden Meadows shopping center and will employ approximately 300 people, mostly in full-time position, officials said.

At a time when Oregon is experiencing double-digit unemployment rates, we are very pleased to be able to propose building projects that will bring both jobs to the state and lower prices to help offset the impact of an extremely challenging economy, said Karianne Fallow, Walmart s senior manager of public affairs.

Fallow said both Portland stores will have a full range of general merchandise and food, including fresh produce.

The Hayden Meadows store will be the state s smallest full service Walmart and will house a pharmacy, an optical center, a deli, and fresh meat and produce departments.

The 82nd Ave. store, built in 1997, will be expanded from its current size of approximately 136,000 sq.ft. to just over 158,500 sq.ft. to accommodate a bigger grocery department, including fresh produce and meat, a deli and a bakery. Fallow said the store currently employs 271 people and the expansion will bring about 100 more jobs.

We are looking forward to enhancing our investment in Portland and throughout Oregon, she added.

The new projects bring the number of new or expanded outlets planned by the company in Oregon to seven. The other projects were planned in Albany, Cornelius, The Dalles, Medford and Warrenton.

Walmart opened its first store in Oregon in 1992. Currently there are 30 Walmarts in the state employing approximately 10,600 people.

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