DMI Blog

Amy Traub

Wal-Mart NYC? Not So Fast

It never fails: just as New York begins to take a serious look at what the city can do to foster solid, living wage jobs, Wal-Mart expresses renewed interest in opening a store here. Both local neighborhood retailers and unionized drug and grocery stores that offer retail workers family-supporting jobs fear their business could diminish in the face of the notoriously low-road competitor. Indeed, researchers at Loyola University and the University of Illinois at Chicago found that Wal-Mart’s first Chicago location destroyed as many local jobs as it created, effectively resulting in no net increase in employment. Undaunted, Wal-Mart anticipates more than a dozen additional stores in Chicago city limits. And New York is next on the list.

According to Crain's New York, Wal-Mart is seeking “an as-of-right location in an outer borough, with a low-income population nearby and pent-up demand for jobs and supermarkets,” and is reportedly eying the Gateway II shopping center off Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn. New York has invested a great deal in that site: the Gateway II center was constructed on land purchased from New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, while the housing and infrastructure of the low-income community Wal-Mart has taken in interest in was built with city subsidies. Nevertheless, as Crain's notes, the developer has already gained land-use approval for the retail site, limiting opportunities for New Yorkers to weigh in. Still, the company shouldn’t expect New York to succumb to its low-wage, high-profit model without a fight.

Amy Traub: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 3:19 PM, Apr 26, 2010 in Wal-Mart
Permalink | Email to Friend