Walmart has opened its first store in Escondido, located at 1330 E. Grand Ave. The new store employs approximately 215 full- and part-time workers, the company said.

More than 3,000 people applied to work at the store, and the majority of those hired are Escondido residents. The 92,000-square-foot store carries the retailer’s full lines of general merchandise and also has a pharmacy.

Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. also has upcoming new locations of its small-format grocery store, known as Neighborhood Market, planned in Escondido and Oceanside. The Escondido debut is expected by year’s end, with the Oceanside opening planned for the first half of 2014.

The company now operates 24 stores in San Diego County, including 12 general merchandise locations, nine supercenters, two Neighborhood Market stores and one Sam’s Club warehouse store.

— SDBJ Staff Report