There Are No Other Major Retailers Willing to Come to the South Side of Chicago, Except One
CHICAGO — "Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has won the support of dozens of church ministers in its long-running battle to expand in Chicago, a sign of how the recession has softened skepticism of the retailer in a community desperate for jobs. The ministers, most of them African-Americans together representing thousands of congregants, are pressuring the city council to grant approval for a Wal-Mart "supercenter"—a store with a full grocery that also sells general merchandise—on the city's South Side. The ministers who support Wal-Mart say that if the city council doesn't act favorably on an ordinance that would allow the Chatham Wal-Mart, they will campaign against elected officials.
"The reality of the day is that there's no other retailer willing to come to the community," said Alderman Howard Brookins, a Democrat whose ward includes the development. "As the economy has faltered, there has been a renewed appreciation among customers for the Wal-Mart brand," said Julie Murphy, a Wal-Mart regional general manager involved in the company's recent effort to build support in the city."