Wal-Mart has been trying to nail down a New York City location for years, and they’re so desperate for one now that they’re even willing to be flexible about the bare minimum square footage they usually require for stacking mountains of toilet-paper packs and car-size boxes of Cheerios. Why, you might ask, do we need a Wal-Mart in New York City? None of us have cars to transport bulk-size items, nor do we have enough room in our apartments to keep them. And we’d never go there for cheap clothes when there are Forever 21’s popping up everywhere we turn.
Well, Wal-Mart is undeterred by our lack of interest. Having “saturated” the suburbs, WWD reports, they must now break into urban markets if they are to continue growing in the U.S. There are dozens of Wal-Marts right outside of New York City, where city residents spend $165 million annually. In order to chase after these customers, the company is planning to launch a bunch of much smaller “Neighborhood” stores in urban areas around the country, including one in Spring Creek, Brooklyn.
City Council speaker Christine Quinn is strongly opposed to the idea, however: “Wal-Mart is still the company with the worst record on gender discrimination lawsuits. Their labor practices are in no way near the standards we have in New York City,” she explained. Wal-Mart director Steven Restivo argued that they “have a very similar business model” to Target, which has locations in Queens, Brooklyn, Harlem, and the Bronx. A hearing to discuss the proposed Wal-Mart store will be held on January 12.