Walmart makes appeal for NYC through citizens

Janet Babin Jan 13, 2011
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Walmart makes appeal for NYC through citizens

Janet Babin Jan 13, 2011
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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Walmart has tried for nearly 10 years to open stores in the nation’s largest market, New York City. But fierce opposition, from lawmakers and unions has kept the world’s biggest retailer out. So now, Walmart’s taken its message directly to New York City residents with a new online campaign.

Reporter Janet Babin has more.


Janet Babin: Walmart’s new website says most New Yorkers it surveyed want to shop at a local Walmart. New York City Council has scheduled a hearing about the chain. Walmart was invited, but in a letter, it said it won’t be coming.

Council speaker Christine Quinn says the retailer turned the council down because it hasn’t announced any plans to open in New York City. She calls the move disingenuous.

Christine Quinn: They say, ‘Why is the council having a hearing? We’re not looking at any stores.’ But just this week they launched a website to try to convince New Yorkers that Walmart would be good for them.

Walmart declined comment beyond its letter, which says its stores in other big cities are magnets for growth and business development.

Faith Hope Consolo with real estate firm Prudential Douglass Elliman says landlords and real estate agents can’t wait for Walmart’s arrival.

Faith Hope Consolo: They bring a strong signature, they bring a lot of advertising dollars, so they can fill a lot of holes.

With Target, Home Depot and other big chains already open in the city, Consolo says it’s getting harder to keep Walmart out.

In New York, I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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