Wal-Mart wants to build a grocery store in the West Central community of Springfield, Missouri. Why they want to build in that location is suspect, as the West Central community is better represented for diverse grocery shopping options than any other community in Springfield.
The West Central area already has three Price Cutter stores. Also located in West Central is The Downtown Market, Mama Jeans, Fassnight Farms, Braums Dairy Store, a Latino Market and an Asian market. Additionally located in the West Central area is a Wal-Greens, two dollar stores and quite a few convenience stores.
Price Cutter has already said if Wal-Mart opens a store in West Central Grand Street and Campbell Avenue location, they will have to close their downtown Bistro Market. The downtown Bistro Market location last year ran at a loss, but Price Cutter has continued to keep it open as they want to support the downtown revitalization. Price Cutter's President and CEO further stated that, "if Wal-Mart opens at the proposed location, there would be an 80% chance that the store at Sunshine and Campbell will have to close and a 50% chance the store at Kansas Expressway and Grand will have to close as well."
Springfield always seems to have plenty of empty, deteriorating grocery store buildings. We do not need more. It would be an embarrassment to the city to have the grocery store across from Bass Pro and the Wildlife Museum boarded up. A Wal-Mart opening up, which would result in other stores closing, means West Central Springfield would end up with fewer shopping options and Wal-Mart would have no competition.
According to Metro Market Studies, Wal-Mart has a 49% grocery market share in the Springfield metro area. Overall elsewhere, Wal-Mart has a 25% grocery market share. Sales tax revenue will not go up and new jobs will not be created. A new store only shifts the existing money and jobs around. People do not buy more groceries because there is a new store.
Traffic congestion at the location is inevitable, and considering the proximity to Fassnight Park, a well attended family park near Parkview High School, the extra traffic and congestion is going to pose a threat to the safety of the children that play or walk by there on their way to the park or school.
Springfield City Council, you need to have the back of the local stores that have given so much back to our community over the years in the way of charitable contributions, sales tax revenue, and full time jobs. You need to protect the safety and best interests of the community of West Central Springfield. On Feb 11, 2013, at City Council meeting, we ask you to say NO to Wal-Mart.
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