Walmart Gives Up: No Stores For New York City

We’ve often wondered what force of nature could finally frustrate Walmart and now we have the answer: New York City. From the New York Times:

Frustrated by a bruising, and so far unsuccessful battle to open its first discount store in the nation’s largest city, Wal-Mart’s chief executive said yesterday, “I don’t care if we are ever here.”

H. Lee Scott Jr., the chief executive of the nation’s largest retailer, said that trying to conduct business in New York was so expensive— and exasperating —that “I don’t think it’s worth the effort.”

Although the major opposition to Walmart has come from blue-collar workers and union organizers who fear competition from non-union Walmart will force other stores to cut benefits and lower wages, Walmart’s CEO blames New York snobbery for the defeat:

Speaking about what he sees as snobbish elites in New York and across the country, Mr. Scott added, “You have people who are just better than us and don’t want a Wal-Mart in their community.”

People in New York City may be snobby, but they still shop at Kmart, and Target, and Home Depot, and Lowe’s…. —MEGHANN MARCO

Wal-Mart Chief Writes Off New York [New York Times]
(Photo: cmorran123)