Walmart to Open First D.C. Stores Dec. 4

In just two weeks, Walmart will open its first stores in the District of Columbia. 

Walmart's H Street and Georgia Avenue locations will open Dec. 4 at 8 a.m. Both the 103,000-square-foot Georgia Avenue store and the 74,000-square-foot H Street location will feature fresh produce, a deli, organic food items and a full-service pharmacy.

The stores will hire a combined 600 associates after combing through the more 23,000 applications its received from potential employees.

The arrival of Walmart has not been a smooth one. Both stores were on the verge of never opening after the retail giant threatened to pull its plans if Mayor Vincent Gray signed a living wage bill.

The Large Retailer Accountability Act, known colloquially as the "Walmart Bill," would have required  the company -- and other big-box retailers -- to pay its employees a minimum of $12.50 an hour.

Gray vetoed the bill in September.

Minimum wage in the District currently stands at $8.25 an hour.

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The company hopes to bring about 1,500 new retail jobs to the city once all five planned stores are completed. A sixth store was put on hold due to a developer issue.
 
But the fight for a living wage is not over. The D.C. Council could vote as early as December on a bill that would raise the city's minimum wage to $11.50 an hour by July 2016, one of the nation's highest.

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