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WalMart Struggles To Open NYC Store Against Union Opposition

Big Apple residents spent $165 million last year to buy low-cost products at Walmart’s suburban stores because there aren’t any outlets in the five boroughs, according to an analysis obtained by The Post.

The massive money drain costs the city millions of dollars in tax revenues and hundreds of jobs.

But Walmart wants to give back to the Big Apple.

With strong sales from Gotham customers, the megachain is launching an aggressive marketing campaign to open stores in the city, over stiff resistance from labor unions.

Walmart has hired star consultant Bradley Tusk, Mayor Bloomberg’s former campaign director, to assist in the effort.

“We’re evaluating opportunities across the five boroughs. It’s clear that New Yorkers want to shop our brand,” said Walmart spokesman Steven Restivo.

Currently, city residents have to travel east, to Walmart stores in Valley Stream, Farmingdale, Westbury, Uniondale, Massapequa and East Meadow on Long Island; north, to White Plains in Westchester; or west, to New Jersey outlets in Secaucus, North Bergen, Garfield, Kearny and Saddle Brook.

The nonunionized retail giant’s attempt to get a foothold into the country’s biggest consumer market will not come without a fight.

Labor unions and their allies on the City Council fought back Walmart’s attempt to break into the city in 2005.

“Walmart is still not welcome,” said Stuart Appelbaum, of the national Retail and Wholesale Workers union.

“They provide a model for others to follow. Their model is a destructive force. The jobs they create keep people in poverty.”

But Walmart backers — citing the shaky economy and high unemployment rate — said New Yorkers are craving job opportunities and affordable goods that Walmart provides in other labor-friendly cities, including Philadelphia, LA, Atlanta and Chicago.

(Source: NY Post)

8 Responses

  1. Who do these unions think they are, to tell me where to shop. We need to get rid of these unions, they are making our economy worse!

  2. No one is either forcing anyone who, for whatever reason doesn’t approve of Walmart’s policies to either work or shop there. But shouldn’t those of us who want to have free choice, be able to keep the tax dollars within the boros? There was supposed to have been a Walmart in Rego Park a few years ago. The unions and politicians kept it out, and now we have a different “big box” store there, Costco, so such much for politicians worrying about ma and pop businesses. It’s all force from the unions that are setting these ridiculous practices.

    Wouldn’t it be great to have a Walmart similiar to the one in Monticello here in NYC? I hear that it’s one of their most sucessful stores, and I’m not surprised, it’s way cleaner and better run then the LI stores.

  3. “Walmart Struggles?” Interesting thought, but it only makes me think about all the mom and pop stores run out of business for a giant company where I always have to return things because they are made so cheaply and dont work correctly, right out of the box. And, when I need assistance from a blue-vested, “How May I Help You” employee, they literally dart off in another direction and disappear when they see me walking to them for help.

  4. The article fails to mention that there is also a Wal-Mart in northern Westchester County.

    If Wal-Mart ever does open a store in NYC, say good bye to most of the frum businesses in frum neighborhoods. I am not sure they will ever get a store, though, because they require huge amounts of undeveloped land and there just aren’t many such tracts. They could, of course, bribe politicians with campaign contributions to use eminient domain.

  5. If the objection to Walmart being in NYC truly had to do with the survival of mom and pop stores, then how come it was OK to open Costco where Walmart originally wanted to be; several BJ’s in the vicinity, Costco in Sunset Park (near holy holy BP) and so forth. It’s the unions, the same people, albeit different unions; who have brought the auto industry in the USA to its knees.

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