The Big Business Behind Local Opposition to Wal-Mart

Typically thought of as a war to protect small businesses in communities from being swallowed up by a giant, the local opposition to Wal-Mart stores is often funded secretly by other major grocery chains.
June 9, 2010, 2pm PDT | Nate Berg
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This article from The Wall Street Journal sheds light on the well-heeled campaigns to keep Wal-Marts out of communities -- and to protect the businesses of other major grocery chains.

"A grocery chain with nine stores in the area had hired Saint Consulting Group to secretly run the antidevelopment campaign. Saint is a specialist at fighting proposed Wal-Marts, and it uses tactics it describes as "black arts."

As Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has grown into the largest grocery seller in the U.S., similar battles have played out in hundreds of towns like Mundelein. Local activists and union groups have been the public face of much of the resistance. But in scores of cases, large supermarket chains including Supervalu Inc., Safeway Inc. and Ahold NV have retained Saint Consulting to block Wal-Mart, according to hundreds of pages of Saint documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and interviews with former employees."

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Published on Monday, June 7, 2010 in The Wall Street Journal
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