Walmart is opening two new stores in Hawthorne and Torrance, and are looking for hundreds of job-seekers to fill open positions. More than 1,000 people have applied for jobs at the two South Bay Walmart stores. Both stores are set to open this summer. Hetty Chang reports from Torrance for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on April 24, 2013.
Thousands of job-seekers in the South Bay are competing for 130 positions available at two new Walmart Neighborhood Markets scheduled to open this summer.
The company, which is hiring for all types of positions, opened two hiring centers this week near the future stores.
Many of the applicants who came in on Wednesday said they had been unemployed for several months.
Shykisha Weaver of Gardena was called in for two rounds of interviews less than a day after applying for a job, she said.
"It went really well -- I feel really good about it," Weaver said. "I'm coming out smiling, so that has to be a very good thing."
Walmart received an overwhelming response, according to company spokeswoman Rachel Wall.
"By the end of the day Tuesday, we had over 1,200 applications for both stores combined," Wall said. "Each store is hiring about 65, mix of full and part-time jobs."
The competition is not surprising considering Los Angeles County's unemployment rate of 9.4 percent, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The new Walmart stores are approximately 30,000 square feet -- smaller than traditional stores – and also include a grocery section.
The two new South Bay stores are in the 14200 block of Inglewood Avenue in Hawthorne and the 19300 block of Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance.
As part of its commitment to hiring 100,000 veterans in the next five years, Walmart says it will offer a job to any honorably discharged veteran within his or her first 12 months off active duty.
Walmart is accepting applications at its job site online.