Walmart kicks off New York City campaign

CHICAGO Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:42pm EST

The Wal-Mart logo is seen on a sign in Phoenix, Arizona, February 18, 2010. Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's biggest retailer, releases its fourth quarter earnings report on on Thursday. REUTERS/Joshua Lott

The Wal-Mart logo is seen on a sign in Phoenix, Arizona, February 18, 2010. Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's biggest retailer, releases its fourth quarter earnings report on on Thursday.

Credit: Reuters/Joshua Lott

Related Topics

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is preparing for a potential showdown as it tries to enter the city that never sleeps.

Many New Yorkers have long opposed giant chains they say encroach on independent retailers and boutiques. But in recent years other large retailers have been able to win over shoppers with low prices and large assortments.

Now, just two days ahead of a New York city council hearing about the company, Wal-Mart said most New Yorkers polled in a recent survey are actually in favor of a Wal-Mart store opening in their hometown.

Three New York City Council committees are holding a joint hearing on January 12 about the effect Wal-Mart has on small business and community when it enters a new area.

Arkansas-based Wal-Mart declined to participate in the event. In a letter to the chairmen responsible for Wednesday's meeting, Wal-Mart said it wants the committees to first examine the impact of existing large retailers on small businesses in New York City "before embarking on a hypothetical exercise."

One person who does plan to testify at the hearing is Patrick Purcell, a spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, the largest grocery workers' union in New York state.

He called Wednesday's meeting "an intervention" to discuss details about the company's business practices. Groups opposed to Wal-Mart say it puts pressure on small businesses and communities.

Wal-Mart has not announced any plans for a New York City store. The company has long been keen on expanding into the city and has been able to move into other cities where it faced opposition, including its 2006 entry into Chicago.

Wal-Mart is looking at the possibility of opening small, medium or large stores across all five boroughs, a spokesman said.

It hopes to win over New Yorkers with a new website, which shows that, in a poll of 1,000 New Yorkers, 71 percent support a Walmart store opening in the city.

(Wal-Mart's new website is www.walmartnyc.com/)

EASING INTO NEW YORK

Target Corp, BJ's Wholesale Club Inc and Costco Wholesale Corp are among the big chains that have opened stores in New York City.

The UFCW's Purcell said those companies seemed to be more willing to ease their entry into the city by meeting community leaders than Walmart has been so far.

BJ's, for example, agreed to pay for some memberships to its warehouse stores and accept food stamps at its location.

"At least they came to the table and negotiated some things," he said.

New York City residents spent more than $165 million at Wal-Mart's U.S. discount stores in 2010, according to the company.

Wal-Mart already has 111 stores in New York state. It employs more than 38,500 people in the state, with an average wage for full-time hourly workers of $12.21 per hour.

(Editing by Andre Grenon)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
madmilker wrote:
The nice people of the world are preparing for….

抵制沃爾瑪將開始2011年2月3日。

It does not cost one red cent to join.

With Wal*Mart putting less than 5% foreign in their stores in China even the nice people of China realize that in doing so it deprives them from buying more and more foreign products.

In what takes place at the beginning of February has to do with the world waking up to all countries doing the right thing when it comes to free trade, jobs and the freedom of all the people to speak out by not supporting companies that think the consumers of the world have no rights.

If Retail makes NOTHING….and Government makes only MORE DEBT….the only thing that can have a positive affect on communities is Small Business and companies that make stuff.

The picture of George Washington can float around a town six to eight times before leaving the community but if that dollar is spent inside of a big box store it will leave the same day that it entered.

Big Box stores like Wal*Mart can take in 200,000 George Washington’s a day and that be a lot of “Liberty” “Pride” “Freedom” leaving town each day.

And when one figures into the equation America has a six to one trade deficit with China which means five out of every six George Washington’s that go there will never come back unless the US Government sells bonds(debt).

This is what those turnips on Jenkins Hill in Washington D. C. and the nincompoops on Wall Street don’t understand when it comes to local banks not having any George Washington’s to loan out in their communities.

Why is it that people ain’t writing articles about those fifteen cargo ships that pollute as much as 760 million automobiles, T Boone Pickens owning a Texas Water District, Nestle draining the Great Lakes, the disconnect between Coca-Cola and the people of India, Wal*Mart putting less than 5% foreign in their stores in China and Warren Buffett buying a Choo Choo train a few years after Wal*Mart makes a deal on a port in Mexico.

In 1960 U.S. goods manufacturing produced a $5 billion trade surplus – - 2006 merchandise trade had a $836 billion deficit. Today, for some reason, the world thinks the American consumer needs to support what they make….well, it doesn’t work like that even a fifth grader can figure that out.

So-call cheaper items only breed cheaper wages and this will go on until the rich of the world carry out the manufacturing of ignorance through out the 182 or so counties that will have a chance to make something.

I’m just an O’f^rt with very little book learning but from what I’ve seen over the past sixty five years in this great union of fifty states as shown me that common sense left in the year 63′ and “my sh!! don’t stink” sense as been here every since.

Sad, those few fat farmers with penmanship of poets holding feather quill pens and writing the American dream has today become nothing more than a page within a history book that a bunch of asinine dipsticks are to lazy and ignorant to teach.

Over the past 100 years the Federal Debt has gone from $2.6 billion in 1910 to over $14 trillion today….In that time there has only been one 10 year period that the debt has gone down 1920-1930.

All done by a bunch of elephants and jack@sses acting like turnips. People today still think Clinton balance the budget but anyone knows if they think with an open mind that if the budgets of the Clinton years had been balance the debt would had not gone up.

America is over $57 trillion in debt and it didn’t get there by people using common sense. If the American people don’t wake-up to that fact within another twenty years they will witness Lady Liberty kneeling to her knees in the Hudson and someone in Tiananmen Square holding that tablet from under her left arm celebrating what is written upon it.

God Bless!

Jan 10, 2011 6:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.