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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Walmart: Bronxites Love Us!

Retail megastore Walmart is once again eyeing the big apple for the site of a new store, and this time they've got research under their belt to fight off opponents. The company commissioned its own poll that surveyed 1,000 New Yorkers--the majority of which, the company says, would welcome a Walmart somewhere in the city.

According to the poll, Bronx residents want a Walmart more than folks in any other borough: 80 percent of those asked say they would support the retailer coming to the city, according to a press release.

Opposition against Walmart setting up shop has been fierce in the past, as critics often question the company's labor practices and argue that the retailer would hurt the city's small business community.

But Walmart polled them, too: according to the survey, 62 percent of small business owners asked said they favor the store based on the idea that it would help create jobs.

A few years back, a coalition of Walmart opponents teamed up with a number of Bronx community groups to fight the possibility of the box store coming into the neighborhood.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn had planned to hold a hearing this week to discuss the impact a Walmart could have, though the retailer says it has no announced project in the city yet. The hearing has been postponed until next month.

So what do we think? Does the Bronx want a Walmart?


  1. helllllll to the no! a walmart in the bx would put our hard working mom and pop stores outta bizness. I dont care if they pay 100 bucks an hour (which they dont) - we need to protect the jobz we already have! tell walmart and related and all these other greedy companies to stick it where da sun dont shine!

  2. Amen, sister. Unless wallmart or any other store wants to set up and give more te the community than a place to spend money, I say no.

    They shoud have to give folks community space and pay for upgrades to our parks and schools if they want to set up shop and steal our money.

    No making money on the backs of Bronx folks but not improving the Bronx.

  3. We need to save the jobs we have by preventing other jobs? How much sense does that make? We have the highest unemployment in the city but you'd rather turn jobs away? Please ask one of the unemployed if they'd like a job or if they'd like to stay unemployed to protect someone elses job. Granted,a Wal-Mart sponsored survey may not be the most objective but 80% even with 25% inflation still indicates significant support.

    If business is your avenue of revenue, you have to accept the risks as well. One of the primary risks, if not the chief risk, is that someone will be better than you and the consumer will choose them. It's not the role of of government to limit consumer choice---they should be encouraging it.

  4. We need to build up LOCAL businesses. If we do that the need for Walmart won't be there. The country is littered with towns that have barren main streets becasue Walmart has sucked them dry. That will heapen here, too. BUILD UP BRONX BUSINESSES and we won't have any need for Walmart... or if Walmart comes it won't destroy everything else.

    If Walmart is such a boon to the unemployment rate and development, how come the economy in so many American towns that have Walmart is in the dumps?

    Surprise! there are other ways to do things than new malls!

  5. right on gax and hustla! I luv walkin fordham rd and seeing wassup and doing my thing shopping there.. i got all i need over at EZ pickins baby. hey, u guyz have girlfriendz? u sound like my kinda men! LOLLLLLL!!!! but seriouzly, lets show walmart wassup with da bronx - go screw bklyn instead!

  6. I am all for boosting Bronx businesses, but how? And I don't ask with acrimony, I really want to know how you boost local business. I don't see how people being employed and having better consumer options hurt the community. If they can shop at a better price and have more jobs how does this hurt?

  7. there are numerous ways. for one, talk to any local business and ask how they are taxed and how regulations are squeezing them dry. then talk with them and ask about their landlords. commerical rents are insiane (ask fordham road businesses how much they have to sell just to pay their rent, do the same on pelham parkway and on riverdale avenue and on 149th street) and just like in housing, the commercial landlords have to be taken to court to get them to do even the most basic repairs, like fix a leaky roof or bad floor. start there.

    then, instead of, say the gateway mall... how about building a mixed use community that has stores and shopping and restaurants and housing.... an economic and cultural engine that draws money from the OUTSIDE, not just recycles bronx money.

    there are plenty of ways to do things, but the problem is the people at the top (read: mayor bloomberg) have limited development agendas because it's as much about their friends as anything else. a mall, walmart, etc.

  8. This Bronxite would prefer a company that gives a damn about their employees and doesn't kill other businesses, thank you very much. Go away, Walmart.

  9. I understand everyone's point that Walmart has a record of not being good employers, but I think that if a Bronx neighborhood had a Walmart more people would visit the area to shop, that would increase visibility for mom and pop stores. I think if Walmart would be willing to give back to revitalize neighborhoods it would make a difference, I know that its been declared that no job is better than low paying but we should at least consider creating entry level opportunities and bring a retail giant to our Borough, why close the door to options?

  10. Why does everything have to be about shopping and malls? We need community space, schools, parks, ect.

    "entry level opportunities" = modern day slavery

    don;t kid ya self . these dead end jobs they make us take are here to shackle us. why come real Bronxites have to work for minimum wage but a dude on park ave makes millions?

  11. Walmart has a record of making people work after clocking out for the night. They have a record of denying people overtime they've earned. They have a record of employing illegal immigrants (and not to be nice to them). They've locked workers in stores. They will do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to prevent their employees from having a union (well, except treat them fairly).

    And experience across the country is that they DON'T bring business to nearby stores. Because they sell such a wide array of products, and because Walmart demands special discounts from their suppliers that other stores can't get, people who shop at walmart drive into the parking lot, buy everything they want, and drive home. Then, after a number of local businesses have closed, some of those Wal-marts are not as profitable as the home office wants, and it closes, leaving a 30,000 sq. ft. vacant building with a big vacant parking lot.

    It's nice that we have more big stores in the Bronx -- I like having Target nearby -- but I think we'd be better off without Walmart.

  12. I find it ironic that everything labor-wise you describe as Wal-Mart doing is exactly what Target does, or any big box discount retailer for that matter.

    Perhaps they have a better PR team?

    The Bronx deserves better.

  13. The bronx economy will suffer greatly. The "Mom and Pop" stores will be impacted. The local communities will not receive revenue from the proposed Walmart. Money spent in any Bronx neighborhood circulates multiple time within that neighborhood while money spent at Walmart will impact their main office. As much as I like the idea of buying goods at a lower price I think that we would be better off without it.

  14. Walmart is scum. what do they provide except for another opportunity for us to be financially raped.

    we should have a borough or city minimum wage of $10 and hour. just like the ny state has it's own minimum wage, we should demand that all employers pay their fair share to workers and residents.

    we need to cap the profit they can make. anything beyond a certain number is sinful and greedy.

  15. Mom and Pop stores do not pay a living wage. Most employ illegals and pay them off the books! Also, most of these paid off the books employees are not allowed to unionize or collect healthcare. Where do you think Walmart learned its tricks?

    And, by the way (to bring up the Armory), Morton Williams does not pay a living wage either! Talk to any one of their employees who was not paid to say otherwise.

  16. Re: the anonymous person who said Target was no better than Walmart -- you might be right! (See, if you'd attached your name or handle, you could take credit!) I'd heard that they were better, and haven't seen them sued for the same crimes as Walmart, but I just read this article (http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/walmart/2005/target_better.php) which makes it sound like Target is not really better.
    Walmart does dominate the market in a way that makes them a good focus for changing the industry.

  17. Firstly, I'd bet that the vast majority if not every poster here is employed. I would love to hear what an unemployed person's view on all of this is. additionally, many of us posting here would not be working at Wal-Mart or an Armory mall if we lost our current jobs so here again, the voice of those who would is missing. It's frustrating that our energies are directed at developers when the same vigor should be directed to out education system that has failed our people. The truth is, you generally get paid according to your skill level and the majority, not all, but the majority of those who would work at a Wal-Mart do not have the skills that merit benefits etc. This a deeper societal problem and the living wage issue is a band-aid. As previously mentioned, mom an pops DO NOT pay living wage, they hire illegals, and have been subject to abuse accusations as well. Where is the outrage? Where is the vitriol? I think this anger is misplaced and we need to focus on improving skills and education so that our people won't be the slaves to the whim of developers. But in all honesty, there are people that would work at Wal-mart tomorrow if you offered the job. The hope is that they would learn and gain experience and move up/on like I did as I worked retail while in school, but of course that's off the table because the "bronx deserves better".

  18. How much does an employee of Kmart or Target make? Wait how about McDonalds what do they pay? Do they get living wages?

  19. The difference between the Armory and the mom-n-pops, Target, Taco Bell, McDonald's, etc., of course, is that those businesses aren't benefiting by getting for free a 300,000 square foot National Historic Landmark situated on five acres, not to mention millions in sweetheart subsidies and tax breaks above and beyond those normally available to businesses.

    I've long said that the big corporations should be clamoring FOR a living wage requirement, not fighting it. It would help them drive small-operator mom-and-pops out of business.

    Related's greed and inflexible thinking killed the Armory project, plain and simple.

  20. I am a proud NYC employee and I agree that Related was extremely greedy and The Bronx deserves better. We don't need developers that are not gonna compromise and soley focus on their profits. I totally agree with the Borough President, he was right to kill that project, we need better schools, we need more community gardens, we need after school programs, we don't need walmart.

  21. LOL. Related greedy? How ironic...there is nothing at the Armory now. No jobs and no opportunities, crummy at the expensive Morton Williams, and no other developer wants to invest in the armory now. The very people who don't want a walmart, are the very ones who go to Costco in Yonkers and New Rochelle, or go as far as White Plains to go to a Walmart. Let's stop the hypocrasy here. The issue of Walmart boils down to one thing, protecting union jobs. The unions put pressure on politicians so Walmart (who does not have union jobs)can't come in. The Borough President sold us out and now many of us don't have a job.

  22. Right, anon. 67,500 Bronx residents don't have a job. The Armory project wouldn't have made a dent in that number, and all it would have created were no-benefits, no-chance-of-advancement, mostly minimum wage jobs.

    If you want to bitch and moan about unions, bitch about the trade construction unions that make any private or public infrastructure project in New York City outlandishly, criminally expensive. Much more of a burden than living wage provisions, e.g.

  23. Yup, many Bronxites don't have jobs. 67,500 of them, to be precise. The Armory project wouldn't have made a dent in that number.

    Whatever constraints the retail/service unions are placing on businesses are a patch on what the construction unions add to the cost of building infrastructure in New York. If you want to get mad at a union, get mad at those ones.

  24. If all Walmart wants to do is make money, it has no place in the Bronx. We need businesses (any business, not just Walmart) that put people ahead of profits. If Walmart agrees to be geared toward paying folks properly and spending some of their ill-gotten profits on the people of the Bronx, maybe I'd consider letting them in. MAYBE.

    When these companies come to the Bronx, they should have to open up and fund schools, parks, community centers, food pantries, etc.

  25. Last time I checked, businesses are developed to make profits. If they don't make profits, they can't employ more people. TAXES responsible for funding schools, parks, community centers and food pantries and businesses pay hefty taxes. So they do fund what you are asking for and the more profits the more taxes we can collect. Which takes me back to the issue at the Armory, no jobs equals no taxes and no taxes no funding.

  26. reading and writing english are of no help in todays job market !

    the only jobs are for items that happen regularly such as picking up garbage.

    i say save money and have the schools opne only two days per week, let then kids watch instrucional dvd`s.


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