Two new Chi-Town stores will be part of a larger corporate effort to invade a number of major U.S. cities — which have so far largely eschewed Walmart’s advances — by building smaller “neighborhood markets.” The problem with that, of course, is that when Walmart moves into a neighborhood, local businesses go under, and any net jobs that are created are low-paying ones, further miring residents in the cycle of poverty.
The retailer has been vying to open stores in New York City for at least six years. Community groups and unions have tenaciously fought back against proposed developments in the past.
But this time, Walmart could have better luck. Knowing that friends in high places always help, the company won over the support of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said through a spokesman, “We shouldn’t tell businesses that want to invest and create jobs in New York City that they can’t. New Yorkers are already voting with their feet when they drive outside the city to shop at stores that aren’t in the five boroughs.”
Walmart has reportedly hired dozens of real estate agents to scout potential store locations across the five boroughs, while its PR machine has started working overtime in the city.
The retailer hasn’t yet managed to convince everyone with power in the city. But with Bloomie on board, the road is paved for Walmart to move in. Tell Mayor Bloomberg to stand up for New York workers and not let Walmart drive down wages and destroy local businesses in the Big Apple.
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