Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chicago Wal-Mart Update: Mom-and-Pops Invited

NY TIMES -- Stung by criticism that their megastores shutter mom-and-pop shops, Wal-Mart officials are offering to rent space in the lobby of a new Chicago store to neighborhood businesses. Wal-Mart’s tenants already include a dog groomer at a store in north suburban Zion and an Uncle Remus fried chicken outlet in its only Chicago store, on the West Side.

The company is promising to expand that practice at a proposed South Side location, inviting aldermen and other leaders to recommend barbers, manicurists, banks, fast-food chains and other businesses that would give the store some local flavor.

The West Side Wal-Mart stocks several local products, including Mexifeast tamales and La Criolla spices, said Rolando Rodriguez, the regional general manager. “We want the same resurgence of the community as we created on the West Side,” he said.

Wal-Mart is hoping the local offerings will help revive its unsuccessful six-year push for the city’s approval of proposed Chicago stores. Mayor Richard M. Daley this week reiterated his support for Wal-Mart’s plans. But the company refuses demands that it promise higher wages, and not everybody was impressed with the chain’s latest effort.

“It’s like sharecropping,” said Marissa Johnson, who owns a paralegal service near the site of the proposed store, in the Chatham neighborhood. She said she feared that Wal-Mart would put a lot of her local clients out of business, creating more vacant storefronts.


MP: The last sentence should be clarified as follows - "She feared that local consumers, when given a choice between Wal-Mart's low prices, huge selection, and convenient hours, and the less competitive options at local merchants, would abandon the local merchants in favor of Wal-Mart." Wal-Mart can't force people to shop at its stores; all it can do is offer a low-priced alternative to the high-priced local "mom and pop" merchants. If local merchants fail, they should blame it on "consumer greed," not Wal-Mart.


Thanks to Erik Babocsi for sending the NY Times link.

19 Comments:

At 12/20/2009 10:53 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

I guess they just discovered the Chicago Way, bribery. Now they're using it to bring in the South Side as they did with the North and West.

If they've been going at it for six years, I'd wager that they have an entire department devoted to Chicago.

Hopefully an entire generation goes by and Bentonville is denied.

 
At 12/20/2009 11:48 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Wal-Mart can't force people to shop at its stores; all it can do is offer a low-priced alternative to the high-priced local "mom and pop" merchants.

They can by becoming the only possible and probable solution. That is, much like how the Third World has been used to force a decline in quality.

 
At 12/20/2009 1:00 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

Sethstorm, thank God you are on the side of the downtrodden... Wait, you're on the side of the unions, who, far from being downtrodden, are dictating what types of businesses can be established in city limits.

Still, you want to see people make more money, which is good... Except that people who can't find work have to pay more for goods as a result. Unions aren't cost free, as we all know!

Also, you're a little confused about the way you say Chicago works. Now if they had bribed the aldermen, wouldn't they ve been in place already, for the last 6 years? I know this is crazy and implausible, but could it be that those doing the bribing are unions and small businesses? Or are the aldermen dragging their feet until they've been paid off? No, that can't be it...

A little perspective here: this is one store, out of thousands for Wal-Mart. I don't think they care that much about one store in an intransigent city. The people who really want it there are the citizens themselves. It is your precious special interests that are blocking a project that would generate jobs, sales tax, and additional commerce.

 
At 12/20/2009 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here in Mexico, the consumers applaud Walmart because they don't play the "price-fixing" game. When a Walmart opens here, other stores suddenly start having sales and certain items that were ALWAYS priced the same everywhere appear with DIFFERENT prices.

 
At 12/20/2009 2:43 PM, Anonymous Benny "Tell It LIke It Is Man" Cole said...

I wonder if Wal-Mart could do the job of military base PX's more cheaply than the PX's.

Seems like we should ask Wal-Mart onto bases.

 
At 12/20/2009 3:48 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

Well lets put it this way Wal-Mart handled Katrina better than FEMA, perhaps the solution is to outsource disaster logistics to Wal-Mart. Actually a better idea is Wal-Mart and one of (Fed-Ex, UPS).

Or see the stories of how Wal-Mart came close to cornering the market on US flags after 9/11. They thought there would be a demand and bought a bunch of them, and when the demand surfaced there were not that many available.

 
At 12/20/2009 3:56 PM, Anonymous Le Milieu d'être au jus said...

"
PX's.

Seems like we should ask Wal-Mart
"
~~Benny~


Does Commissary offer about 40% discount, but PX about 15% discount? What is discount of Wal★Mart? Although Wal★Mart has advantage of larger store, PX has advantage of people wearing uniform. Should shrinkage be less when store personnel know who customers are? At Sam Club discount is larger than Wal★Mart. Could that be simply membership card identifying the shop-lifter? But packages there are also larger. Could Mom & Pop Stores offer membership cards and run member only stores? With deflation of business machine prices will Pop & Membership Stores be our next trend?

U B Judge
!

 
At 12/20/2009 4:18 PM, Blogger Richard Rider, Chair, San Diego Tax Fighters said...

Benny "Tell It LIke It Is Man" Cole said...

--I wonder if Wal-Mart could do the job of military base PX's more cheaply than the PX's. Seems like we should ask Wal-Mart onto bases.--

Benny raises an interesting point. As a retired Navy Supply Officer, let me tell you that the overpriced military PX's and Exchanges are a scandal seldom discussed.

In spite of the fact that these stores get free land, pay no property tax or other taxes, and their customers pay no sales tax, they are still significantly more expensive than a Wal-Mart, or even a Target.

The stores are run by and for the store employees, who are overcompensated and underworked.

PX/Exchanges were originally intended for remote military bases where shopping options were limited. But it's morphed into a "right" of military families and retirees, but a right that benefits mostly store personnel.

I used to rail to my local Exchange officer and the base commander about the incredibly overpriced and outdated computer hardware and software sold by the Exchange. Sometimes prices would dip as a result -- but only for a few months at best.

 
At 12/20/2009 7:18 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

Benny is wrong about an untrained military -- read about how Jefferson's militia ran from the British into western Virginia during the Revolutionary War. BUT I have to agree about the BX/PX/Commissary system in the U.S.
Time to dismantle it this antiquated system.

 
At 12/20/2009 7:22 PM, Blogger juandos said...

bobble with a sense of pride steps in it again: "They can by becoming the only possible and probable solution"...

What nonsense! People can still shop at the previous places and freeze out Walmart if they WANT to...

From Investors Business Daily: Chasing Corporations Out Of The U.S.

Unemployment is foremost on everyone's mind today. Yet jobs can continue to leave the U.S. because of the threat of new taxes, the convergence of technology, the ease of digital collaboration and ready access to abundant foreign engineering talent.

Multinational corporate executives may have to move R&D, product development, management and manufacturing overseas when there is no longer a comparative advantage to staying in the United States. A shocking thought for sure, but it's the new reality.

After Japan, the U.S. has the world's highest corporate tax rate, and there is seemingly no willingness by Washington to bring rates down.

In fact, the Obama administration recently proposed taxing the foreign profits of U.S.-based multinationals even when those profits were not repatriated, but backed away when executives threatened to move offshore. Obama aides acknowledge that the administration has set aside the idea for now, but plans to revisit it in a broader tax overhaul sometime next year.

This ambiguity and the threat of new taxes from Washington, such as cap-and-trade, have already prompted 11 major U.S. companies to move offshore in the past year.

(there's a bit more)

 
At 12/20/2009 9:43 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

Then how does one explain the construction of a whole new auto industry in the band from Texas thru Georgia. Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Mercedes, Vw and others have built plants there and a large percent of the import cars in the us are actually built here or in Mexico. (Hint look at the VIN if it starts with 1 or 4 it was built in the US 2 Canada, 3 Mexico, J Japan, K Korea, S England, W germany, Z Italy). As the dollar falls to its new value it will quell the outsourcing moves because US labor will be cheaper than elsewhere.

 
At 12/21/2009 12:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By necessity, I went to a new Walmart supercenter. All I can say is this supercenter is not the walmart I grew up with! It reminded me of a cross between costco, walmart and whole foods. If I lived near a supercenter like that I would probably do 90% of my shopping there. The prices were insane and it was a nice place.

 
At 12/21/2009 2:58 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 12/21/2009 3:01 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Then how does one explain the construction of a whole new auto industry in the band from Texas thru Georgia.

The South largely has been friendly to foreign influence for over a century.


From Investors Business Daily: Chasing Corporations Out Of The U.S.

Clip their wings, Icarus style. Secondly, it's not as if our military can't cover any part of the globe should they decide to spite our great nation. Finally, SWIFT monitoring has certain advantages. If they wish to work against this nation, they are no better than Benedict Arnold or the Loyalists.

Remind them that their mistake of leaving the nation has consequences that are not in their favor.

 
At 12/21/2009 5:23 AM, Blogger Max said...

@Gettingrational:

I don't think you can compare the military (in scope and hierachy) of the Revolutionary War to the behemoth of now. What can be easily done with a few hundred men has not the same efficiency when scaled to the US military of nowadays.

Also, the militia in the Revolutionary War was more chaotic and more spontaneous than today. It had many more incentives to act like Walmart instead of like Washington D.C. =)

 
At 12/21/2009 7:33 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Clip their wings, Icarus style. Secondly, it's not as if our military can't cover any part of the globe should they decide to spite our great nation"...

Thanks again sethstorm for showing me your communist invective...

 
At 12/21/2009 10:45 AM, Blogger bobble said...

juandos;"bobble with a sense of pride steps in it again"

jaundos, put down the scotch. you have the wrong libtard commie. i didn't post to this thread.

 
At 12/21/2009 12:18 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

Max, I agree with you and my rejoinder to Benny was that we need a trained military at a state of readiness. Benny knocks the military often and without thanks for the benefits he enjoys because of a ready force.

I a grateful to Jefferson because I live in a democracy that he helped establish on a solid platform. I think if he had a trained, standing militia Viginians could have stood their ground.

Acting like Wal-Mart would not be supporting a tax base for a ready military in the U.S -- based upon their high level of foreign purchases.

 
At 12/21/2009 10:19 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"jaundos, put down the scotch. you have the wrong libtard commie. i didn't post to this thread"...

Considering the sameness of the silliness I think you have three or four aliases:

pseudo benny?

bobble?

sethstorm?

machiavelli999?

Or is it that you all sing from the same socialist hymnal?

 

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