Walmart Announces Intention To Open Dozens Of Stores In Chicago

Chicago, despite having Targets galore, only has a single Walmart store on the west side. The big box giant has faced serious resistance from labor unions who claim that the company doesn’t pay enough and doesn’t provide adequate benefits. Now Walmart says they have a plan called the “Chicago Community Investment Partnership.”

According to Walmart’s press release, the company intends to:

* Open several dozen stores across the City of varying size and format. This will not only address Chicago’s double-digit commercial vacancy rate but, more importantly, provide customers with more convenient access to affordable groceries, especially those 600,000 residents living within Chicago’s three, self-identified food deserts;
* Create approximately 10,000 associate positions and 2,000 unionized construction jobs, helping to offset the City’s 11.4-percent unemployment rate;
* Generate more than $500 million in sales and property taxes, providing a much-needed revenue boost to a wide range of City and county services;
* Pay competitive wages at all levels, for Walmart associates across Chicagoland;
* Develop charitable partnerships in Chicago worth $20 million that work to eradicate hunger, curb youth violence and help all Chicago residents live better.

The Chicago Tribune says unions are disappointed in the details of the offer, which include a starting wage of at least $8.75 an hour.

The giant retailer’s offer — 50 cents above minimum wage but 50 cents below what unions sought as a compromise — comes ahead of a key vote Thursday on a South Side store that would be the second Wal-Mart allowed within city limits.

Wal-Mart offers $8.75/hr for more stores [Chicago Tribune]
Walmart Announces Goal to Work With the City to Increase Store Growth Over Five Years [PR Newswire]

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  1. mbz32190 says:

    As much as I dislike Walmart, any business that wants to open and hire workers in this economy should get the go-ahead.

    • fredbiscotti says:

      Like a nuclear waste storage facility in the middle of a major urban area? Because that’s what Wal-Mart is – the economic equivalent of nuclear waste.

      • frank64 says:

        Why are they different than Target. How much does Target pay?

        Also, How many blame Walmart for an areas economic troubles shop online. Online shopping has to be doing quite a bit too. When there have been stories about Amazon there is not the hate I see for Walmart.

        • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

          I buy very specific things online, such as hard drives, video cards, etc., because there is much more to choose from. In a city of 210,000 there tend to be few options for this outside of Best Buy, and I can’t get customer opinions on that, and I have very few product options. I buy my tea from Teavana, online, but they have now opened two locations here, so I will buy their tea from the B&M location. I buy presents which I would have to ship anyway online. I don’t buy groceries online. I don’t buy tools online. I don’t buy clothes online either. I buy them from local businesses. I think many people who do shop online think the same way. I know no one who does most of their purchasing online.

          • shepd says:

            Then I think you’re the odd duck out. All the cities I’ve been to have the “local” shops in dingy areas that you are likely to be mugged in. Most of those areas also charge for parking, or have timed parking. They also tend to be far away from where most people are living.

            In contrast, all the big box shops locate themselves where people live, are convenient, can afford security that keeps shoppers feeling safe, and don’t hassle about parking.

            In a very, very large city I can see the local shops doing better, but in most cities where parking is expected to be free and easily available, the local shops always end up in that stupid part of town nobody wants to go to.

            • pantheonoutcast says:

              It’s only once inside the big box stores that the shoplifting, violence, disorder, chaos, and other such instances of incivility occur.

            • tidalfae says:

              Or the parts of the city with local shops turn into the part nobody wants to go to because everybody is at the Walmart.

        • backinpgh says:

          I agree here. No comparable retailer — Target, Kmart, etc. etc. — has better pay or benefits than Walmart does, but Walmart gets all the bad rap for it. Now Walmart certainly isn’t an awesome company to work for, but the point is that NO big box retailer is.

          My mom worked for Walmart for over 10 years. Lots of her friends would leave for Target or other places claiming their benefits were so great, the pay was better. But guess what? Those people would leave their full time job at Walmart to get 15 or 20 hours at their new job, which of course means they’d be getting none of those excellent benefits.

          In the end, each one is just as bad as the next.

          • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

            I’m beginning to agree with this. However, methinks the only reason that Walmart has begun doing employee-friendly things like more livable wages and health insurance is the constant background threat of unionization of its store. Keep the pressure up, I say.

          • bigTrue says:

            Two problems with this line of thinking:

            A) Walmart made most of it’s money by plunking a huge big box store in rural areas that had to drive long distances to get to a comparable place. They paid low wages, but hey, at least it was a job, right, and then drove out all the ‘small town’ businesses that made up the infrastructure, turning a lot of small towns into ghost towns with just the Walmart around.

            B) It’s been proven that a lot of the ‘same’ things you buy at Walmart ant other places (say, Target) are not the same at all. Walmsrt has enough buying power to get, say, Black and Decker to create a similar looking drill. The one at Target is 30 bucks, the one at Walmart is 22. They look identical, until you look at the model numbers and find that they aren’t the same. Walmart contracts a ton of the similar ones, but undercuts the price with half assed parts. Walmart is furthering the idea that everything should be cheap and only last a couple years. Instead of paying, say 50 or 80 bucks on a chrome covered blender with a heavy glass pitcher, we now think nothing of buying a 20 dollar one with a plastic pitcher that breaks within a year and only has a 30 day warranty. Up until I got a screaming deal on a fabulous multi use chopper/blender thing on Woot recently, I was using a hand me down blender that went from a mother to my first roomie and then to me. It still works and I gave it to my new ex roomie when my g/f and I moved in together.

            Target isn’t much better, but at least they sell quality stuff that will still last longer. Walmart made it’s profits by being evil on every level it could, only hoping to make a buck for the shareholders.

            • shepd says:

              Walmart puts the Big Box stores in rural areas because there exist a vocal minority in every city that try to force them out. ALL of the cities, except mine, spend millions of taxpayer dollars on the idea that the citizens of their cities didn’t want a Walmart.

              What are they to do when, after fighting the city, Walmart wins, puts in their stores, and finds the not-so-vocal majority of the people actually love the place and enjoy shopping there? Sometimes they figure it’s worth the fight, other times they go the easy route. Either way, you can’t blame them.

              As for the lower quality goods, you’re right, Walmart does this. Did you know that Sears does as well? Most of the larger stores request this. It sucks and that’s why you have to be a smart consumer and buy those more expensive purchases online and leave Walmart for the commodity goods. Although, sometimes the cheaping out is actually a good thing, the WalMart only GE deep fryer I bought is exactly the kind of cheap-out I expect in a product. Full safety features and an exceedingly simple design that actually leads to a longer product life. Although I admit, that is the exception.

    • eviljamison says:

      But what about all the people working at/running the small businesses that Walmart is going to put out of business…??

      • shepd says:

        If your business sucks so much Walmart is putting you out of business, you deserve to lose.

        Think about it. Walmart only sells boring commodity goods. If that’s all your local shop does, you were doomed to failure from day one unless you compete, because there’s always harsh competition in the commodity goods sector. If you have an everyday boring hardware store, Lowes, Home Depot, Home Hardware, etc are all out there to eat you alive. Grocery store? Same thing (Where I am it’s Loblaws that will kill you). Electronics store? Best Buy. I could go on…

        Either sell specialty, or expect someone to eat your lunch, it has always been like this. This applies to things Walmart doesn’t “put out of business”, too. I don’t hear anyone cry because Esso managed to put another local craphole gas station out of business that couldn’t compete.

        • ARP says:

          Really, so if I’m an accountant, lawyer, or repairperson for a local business, and Wal-Mart drives all the local businesses out, I deserve to fail because I suck?

          People don’t realize that you’re just not driving out a few stores and some low paid clerks. You’re also impacting all the professionals and non-professionals that support those businesses.

          • shepd says:

            Yes, you fail because you aren’t adapting to the new market. I’m none of those, nor do I know people in those professions, but those professions most certainly still exist even with Walmart, and I expect Walmart is a huge employer of those professions. Adapt or die. I have no interest in shopping at craphole local stores and probably never will again. I like my low prices, high availability of goods, and consistent service very much.

            Actually, I do know for a fact that Walmart employs local repair people, as I’ve seen them at local Walmarts. It doesn’t make sense to pay someone professional rates to drive for hours on end to a Walmart.

            • kcvaliant says:

              Shepd you are an ignorant if you believe that crap.. There are tons of articles on the Walmart effect..It is not that they just have better prices but the way they go about it to force out competition from sheer buying power and cornering markets..

              • john says:

                There are articles showing that it isn’t as bad as the naysayers want you to believe also.

                What Wal-mart haters are saying is that all retail stores all carry the exact same products and Wal-mart, being so large, sells it all cheaper. If all stores carry the exact same products in their magical fairy world, then many of those other stores aren’t even necessary. Those who can’t compete and adapt to the market will die. There are enough stories of the large companies dying off because they couldn’t compete. It isn’t just the “little guys”. Look at Blockbuster.

                • wackydan says:

                  There are also plenty of reports showing that in your average big box plazas, when well designed, sprout many boutique stores that complement the average everyday products that a Walmart sells. Businesses can adapt and there is room for specialization, even next door to a Walmart or Target.

                  I’d also like to point out that every large retailer I’ve known since a child has imploded in on itself eventually.

                  Some for the record…

                  Bradlees
                  JM Fields
                  Montgomery Ward
                  Ames
                  Woolworths

                  I’ve seen Kmart almost die, and Sears was almost at that point. I can promise you that Sears, Kmart, JCPenney and others are kicking themselves for not embracing the big box store formula.

                  In time, due to mis-management, or fundamental changes in society and business environments, we will see Target and Walmart either adapt or die like any other business.

                  • tidalfae says:

                    And in the meantime we should just sit by and watch them take down all the quality stores first?

                    • The Marionette says:

                      Yep.

                      Also I forgot to mention before that There’s a few walmarts around my area (i’d say within 10 or 15 miles of each other) and all of the surrounds smaller stores are doing absolutely fine. So I’m not sure how some people get their theory that it shuts down smaller businesses unless by some odd coincidence all of the stores near the 3 walmarts here just so happen to do good for years. with a walmart being right next to them.

                    • kmw2 says:

                      Because the world is bigger than the 3 wal-marts within 20 miles of you, that’s how.

                • tidalfae says:

                  Walmart has the power to force its vendors to play by its rules – it’s Walmart’s way or the highway. Smaller stores can’t compete with this. Think of it like healthcare – when Walmart goes to the ER, they pay the “insurance” rate, while smaller stores pay the total sticker cost.

            • The Marionette says:

              You are absolutely right. And I’m not sure why people are boo hooing about local businesses being put out, it’s called competition and most (if not all) businesses compete. If the local businesses play their cards right they won’t really have to worry about trying to compete with walmart. Also if the customers of the local businesses have a problem with walmart they simply will just have to not go there.

        • kmw2 says:

          Wal-mart sells brand-name groceries, at prices that regional grocery chains cannot afford to compete with. They sell brand-name home goods, at prices local department stores cannot afford to compete with. They sell mainstream media at prices local bookshops and music stores cannot afford to compete with. See where I’m going with this? Wal-mart does not just sell no-name commodity goods, they sell branded items at prices that smaller businesses _literally_ cannot afford. They do this by using their economies of scale and their buying power to leverage their suppliers into reducing costs. I dare you to go into your local Ace and ask how well they can do this. Local businesses being driven out by Wal-mart has nothing to do with the weakness of local businesses or the paucity of their offerings, and everything to do with Wal-mart’s rather ruthless use of its size in order to gain competitive advantage.

    • TailsToo says:

      Replacing lost jobs with lower paying jobs really doesn’t help the economy. It just ensures that the higher paying jobs won’t be back.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      You’re right, let’s just let any corporation come in and do what they want while we are weak and vulnerable. That will go over really well. In fact, let’s just disband the unions to make it easier for corporations to start up businesses to speed the recover. I’m sure we can just ask for raises later, right? Right?

      Think before you speak.

      • wackydan says:

        Sure… But let Target with it’s catchy and trendy advertising and logo come in instead. Walmart bashers are brain dead.

    • ghostfire says:

      And when Wal-Mart workers who can’t afford health care get sick, the government gets to pick up the tab… or they die, I guess.

  2. swarrior216 says:

    Walmart needs to go away.

    • shepd says:

      No, just people that hate Walmart. Considering all the protesting I’ve seen around my area (three cities have fought it now) and the end results (everyone in the city happily shops there and life goes on without the slightest change), people that hate Walmart seem to think with their hearts instead of their heads.

  3. dreamfish says:

    Lucky Chicago

  4. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Hmmm…this is a tough one.

    Firstly, screw Wal-Mart.

    Secondly, screw the unions.

    Can we make them both lose, somehow?

    • Polish Engineer says:

      Agreed…. somehow we need to force Wally World into a GM type situation where the consistent caving to union demands bankrupts both the company and the pension plans of the union members. Minus the whole govt bailout thing….

      • partofme says:

        Wal-Mart is waaaayyyy too big to fail, methinks.

        • gman863 says:

          Not immediately; however time will tell.

          - “A&P is too big to fail.”

          - “GM is too big to fail.”

          - “Circuit City is too big to fail.”

          etc.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        “Agreed…. somehow we need to force Wally World into a GM type situation where the consistent caving to union demands bankrupts both the company and the pension plans of the union members”

        Yes, like GM, Walmsrt should pay unskilled workers $30 an hour plus benefits–way more than the average college educated-teacher or registered nurse makes.

        BIG difference between living wage and extortion.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      Yeah, screw those unions for attempting to guarantee a living wage and decent benefits for thousands of workers!

      • madmallard says:

        if you believe the average walmart retail job is worth $10, then…. i dunno what to tell you.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        “Yeah, screw those unions for attempting to guarantee a ridiculous wage for their leadership and unreasonable benefits for thousands of workers!”

        There, I fixed it for you.

        • bigTrue says:

          So agree with this, and being from Detroit I’ve seen it in action. The UAW needs to be broken, last decade.

        • MMD says:

          “I hate the principles this country was founded on!”
          There, fixed it for you!

          • YouDidWhatNow? says:

            …that’s funny, I don’t remember our founding fathers specifying that people should make support-a-family-of-four income for essentially unskilled labor…

  5. pyehac says:

    Man, I still remember bits of the ‘union’ video during orientation day at wally world.

    • backinpgh says:

      haha! I worked at Sam’s recently and I remember that too. They said the word “union” with such disgust.

  6. pantheonoutcast says:

    I wonder what is going to happen when Walmart eventually collapses. Because it will – history has taught us that all empires do.

    • danmac says:

      The resurrection of Sears as a hegemony…*hiss*

    • Beeker26 says:

      The only time you ever see a major corporation go belly up is if they make an incredibly stupid managerial blunder or there is a major paradigm shift in their market; neither of which are likely to happen anytime soon.

    • shepd says:

      Another retailer that is better managed will see the opportunity, buy them, and move in.

      Examples where I live:

      Simpsons became Eaton’s. Bargain Harold’s became BiWay. K-Mart became Zellers. Woolco became WalMart. Aikenhead’s became Home Depot.

      Individual stores fail because they can be mismanaged, or usually they are located poorly (Whether that’s because customers moved or they chose somewhere bad to begin with, the result is the same). Many times (although not always) when a huge chain falls it is poor management and the customers are usually happy to find another store of the same type there, so it’s a great deal to buy up the old places.

  7. Jesse says:

    I wonder if Wal-Mart plans to build on the old Dixie Square Mall featured in Blues Brothers that has been in a state of dilapidation for decades. In the Wiki article, it mentions that there are plans to put some big box retailers in the space the mall currently occupies.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixie_Square_Mall

    • Angus99 says:

      Disco Pants!

    • Emperor Norton I says:

      That’s in the totally dysfunctional suburb of Harvey.
      Harvey is so screwed up, it makes Gary Indiana look good!

      • Brunette Bookworm says:

        Um, yeah, no. Gary is still much worse than Harvey. I worked at Allied Tube over in Harvey for a while and I live in northwest Indiana. Nearly every day it seems there is a report of a new shooting or murder in Gary. Just yesterday a guy was found shot in his running car in Gary. Harvey didn’t seem to have as many abadoned buildings and homes as Gary. The police and government in Gary have problems with corruption. Harvey isn’t free of problems or poverty but it’s not as dangerous as Gary.

    • gman863 says:

      “We have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.

      Let’s go shopping at Wal-Mart.”

  8. redskull says:

    Wow, $8.75 an hour in Chicago. That’ll go far.

    • Beeker26 says:

      The sad thing is that they’ll have 100x more applicants than positions.

    • dreamfish says:

      Chico: Can he live in New York on $3?
      Groucho: Like a prince. Of course he won’t be able to eat, but he can live like a prince.

      A Night at the Opera (1935)

    • maddypilar says:

      $9.25 is so much better?

      • ARP says:

        Yes.

        Let’s do the math of $8.75 an hour.

        After taxes is about $7.00 per hour (I’m doing some heavy rounding)
        $7.00 x 32 hours (remember, WMT has a policy of minimizing those who are full time so they don’t receive benefits)= $224 per week or $896 per month.

        A studio apartment in Chicago costs about $650 with utilities (And that’s in a bad neighborhood), that leaves $246
        Public Transportation is about $75 per month, that leaves $171
        Food is about $125 per month (and that’s a lot of PB and J’s), that leaves $46
        A phone is $25 per month (cheap landline, not mobile), that leaves $21
        So, if you can figure out how to fit savings, renters insurance, health insurance, a rainy day fund, etc. into $21, I’d be interested.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      No one is forcing people to work there. People can get out and better themselves. There’s college and then there are trade schools, which take an even shorter amount of time. People can do better for themselves if they choose to. I came from a horrible, poor background–being a high school dropout included. I had no one to pay for anything and was out on my own. Yet here I sit 6 hours short of a master’s degree. Bettering one’d life can be done.

      • Brunette Bookworm says:

        Do you live in Chicago? Chicago’s cost of living is high. Taxes are supremely high. How do you propose someone live while going to school? Just because you were able to do it doesn’t mean everyone can.

  9. dolemite says:

    I’d think 8.75 would be a decent starting wage for an area that is akin to a 3rd world country these days. Beggers can’t be choosers…(although I still laugh at the US auto bailout). “If you guys would just take a few cuts and give up a few benefits…your company could survive.” “No! We refuse!” and instead of letting the idiots lose their jobs rather than compromise…here comes Uncle Sam to bail them out.

  10. mspk1111 says:

    If you look at the wording of the press release I see something shady going on. If we assume a couple dozen is 3 dozen, that means with 10,000 workers there will be 277 per store. If they are open 24 hours a day and each person works a 10 hour week that gives you 2770 working hours per 168 hour week. Meaning roughly 17 employees in the store at any given time on average. This means that the employees will coincidentally make right under the illinois TANF (welfare) maximum income requirement of $5832 per year. Now they can qualify for monetary aid, medicaid, food stamps, and low income housing. It sounds like that $500 million a year in taxes is going to go to providing public aid for their employees or roughly $50,000 a year in food stamp, medicaid, low income house and monetary benefits for each of the 10,000 employees.

    Walmart breaks even but chicago doesn’t, that $500 million in taxes is money that would have been spent anyways by people that live in the city for everyday goods. Now instead of going to local mom and pop stores and franchise or local chains, the money is going to a national company who will in return invest $20 million back in the city for the $5 billion they will take in revenue assuming chicago’s 10% sales tax. WOW, that is so generous. I say back to the drawing board.

    • jayphat says:

      More like some stores may push the 300 mark, and a few will barely make it to 200, if 185. Some of the smaller stores(the 110K sq ft) only need 200 people to run it.

      You’re making alot of assumptions that just won’t add up. Like the overnight positions tend to be 40HR pay positions, as do the department head jobs, which number about 25 in any given store.

      • frank64 says:

        Plus where are these people now? What are they making and what are they costing? No one is going to take LESS per hour or give up health care. The future employees will be better off. Those high paying jobs at the mom and pops don’t exist.

  11. kcvaliant says:

    * Create approximately 10,000 associate positions and 2,000 unionized construction jobs, helping to offset the City’s 11.4-percent unemployment rate;
    ——Really 10k jobs in the stores out of a couple dozen stores?? Calling bullshit on that one.. 6-7k jobs tops.. More like 4-5k
    * Generate more than $500 million in sales and property taxes, providing a much-needed revenue boost to a wide range of City and county services;
    ——When you are stealing sales from somewhere else you are not generating new sales, and I doubt they will be building on their own dime.. The only thing the city is getting is luckily property taxes..
    * Pay competitive wages at all levels, for Walmart associates across Chicagoland;
    .50 cents more then minimum wage is competitive??? Chicagoans stay away..

    These are the things I have a problem with, same type of logic was used here in KCMO and KCKS.. None of these soo called new business backed up what they promised..

    • edison234 says:

      I agree with you on the use of the word ‘generate’. When it comes to jobs & economy I think that many businesses (especially retailers) are fast and loose with that word. It makes no sense.

      Some much of their stuff is made poorly. It just seems like a waste of all of the resources needed to get that inflatable pool another $1 cheaper. Cuts to product quality are made just to save a small amount of money. So the product is crap, it will become unusable, then it is thrown away in a couple of months, adding to the local landfill. If the product can be repaired, it is probably more expensive than to purchase a new one.

      I guess Walmart ‘generate’ landfill attendant and sanitation engineer positions. Plus they ‘generate’ jobs to get the crap shipped in from China. They ‘generate’ jobs for oil companies (fuel to run the container ships), dockworkers (to unload the container ships), truck drivers (to distribute the crap all around the country), and radio talk show hosts (to keep the truck drivers awake during the long haul).

      Ugghhh. How about Walmart start being honest about the job generation and start purchasing more items made domestically? Research has shown that the low prices that they are synonymous with isn’t always true.

  12. Hoss says:

    I guess I don’t understand Chicago. Why the hell does a business need permission from a union, or the mayor for that matter, to invest in a store??

    This is Chicago USA, not some third world land correct?

    • scgirl_212 says:

      because they are leasing the land from the city

      • PipeRifle says:

        And we have lots and lots of dumb people in positions of middling-level government power (ALDERMAAANNS!) that love to stymie things and keep their thumb over everything.

    • tidalfae says:

      Because governments exist to serve the people and keep businesses from doing whatever the hell they want to citizens?

  13. Emperor Norton I says:

    There is a law in Chicago where a store requires a special zoning variance if it’s larger than 100,000 sq. ft.
    Super Walmarts are usually 150,000+.
    I never understood why they just didn’t build a regular Walmart at 99,000 sq. ft & a foot away build a food store at 50,000 sq. ft.
    That would have gotten them around the need for a zoning variance.
    And I hate Walmart, but I hate the Chicago City Council more. 50 assholes in search of bribes!

  14. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Yes, because 50 cents above minimum wage makes it so much more livable…

  15. gman863 says:

    In addition to Target, Chicagoland is also home to a sh*tload of newer Meijer stores (the chain that pioneered the all-in-one food/drug/discount superstore in Michigain during the 1960s).

    If I had to add to the list of company names that will dissappear over the next few years, I’d pick Dominick’s and Jewel.

  16. dg says:

    For the uneducated, “food desert” = crappy, dangerous, insane to do business in because you always get your ass robbed and broken into neighborhood.

    Oh, and add in the fact that everyone coming in who doesn’t want to rob you brings food stamps that are a PITA to handle, or WIC (which requires restricting purchases to certain items), and you start to see what’s going on.

    Then move on to the employee base: Drop-outs, drunks, drug addicts, and plain morons who can’t get their asses out of bed, off the couch, or off the floor to get into work on time. Or who steal the cash from the registers, or the products from the stores…

    It’s NOT WORTH IT to do business in those areas – that’s why no one does. The only reason WallyWorld is coming in is so they can get a foothold. Then they’ll close those stores and move to other locales – they’ll claim high shrink rates or some such nonsense…

  17. El-Brucio says:

    I’m not entirely sure how this really benefits the residents. Where are the current residents suddenly going to get all this money they’re going to spend at the stores that they aren’t already using to stimulate the current local economy?

    And sure it’s going to create jobs – but the construction jobs will be over when the stores are built, and the Walmart employees aren’t going to be making that great a wage.

    I guess Walmart is taking the long view that the economy will recover in a couple of years, and they’ll already have a strong foothold in the city.

    So it’s good for Walmart, temporarily good for city tax coffers, but kind of crappy for workers. Everybody wins!

    • PipeRifle says:

      Creating a new job for any wage on what was once a vacant lot bringing in nothing but rats is never not a good thing. The city rents the land, the construction jobs go for a while, and afterwards jobs and low-priced goods exist where once there was a pile of dirt. Even if the job is crap or the products are crap, how could it NOT be better than vacant real estate?

      • El-Brucio says:

        Because opening a new retail store doesn’t usually create a permanent increase in jobs in a given community unless there is some kind of equivalent influx of money into the community due to other jobs that actually produce something for export outside that community.

        If a given community has X dollars to spend, creating new retail stores isn’t going to increase that amount, so some other retail store is going to have to suffer and either lay off workers or close and leave an abandoned lot. Soon the unemployment rate is back to where it was before the new stores were built.

        In the short term it certainly helps the construction industry and taxes, but in the mid-term it doesn’t really change much other than having Walmart replace most of the other stores and shifting a bunch of retail jobs to Walmart jobs.

        Long term is more difficult to predict. I suppose it depends on when and to what degree the economy recovers.

  18. Mecharine says:

    I dont know where you get the idea that city’s spend money to keep Walmart out. City’s spend money to try to bring Walmart in, because they would generate even more tax revenue than small businesses would. Its the people of the neighboring towns that vehemently oppose Walmart because they believe it will destroy the private businesses in the area that cant afford bulk pricing .

    You got some serious anti-government vibe going on. I hope you’re not one of those survivalists.

  19. Southern says:

    Penn & Teller actually did a show specifically about Wal-Mart IN CHICAGO.

    It opened my eyes about a few things regarding Wal-Mart.

    I still don’t like (or buy) their chinese goods, but I no longer thing they’re the “Evil Corporation” I thought they once were.