Wal-Mart Gains Foothold In Lucrative Urban Market

Wal-Mart is succeeding in convincing Chicago politicians that it will create sustainable "employment and revenue for the city." The predominantly suburban-based supercenter chain is trying to move into denser urban areas.

Having exhausted the suburban and small town markets which were the base of such rapid success, Wal-Mart refocuses its expansion toward inner city areas, and Chicago is first in line. The South Side has long been the scene of economic deprivation. "We need jobs for our neighborhood, and Wal-Mart is willing to come, and they're willing to provide the jobs," said the Rev. Dr. D. Darrell Griffin, the pastor at Oakdale Covenant Church.

"Wal-Mart said it was planning several dozen stores in Chicago that would add 12,000 jobs over five years, and more than $500 million in sales taxes and property taxes for the city." On Thursday, the plans for the South Side store were unanimously approved by a city council committee and are expected to pass through the full City Council next week.

Analysts are divided on whether this will be a model for other urban areas. David Strasser, an analyst for Janney Montgomery Scott, said he expected the Chicago store would encourage a similar response in other cities. "On the corridor from Boston to D.C., Wal-Mart is so under-penetrated," he claimed. Dorian T. Warren, a Columbia University professor disagreed; "New York has so much more density of small businesses, the City Council is much more unified ideologically against Wal-Mart."

Full Story: Wal-Mart Gains in Its Wooing of Chicago

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Comments

And so it goes....

And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he swore unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

(Genesis 25:30-34)

Gains And Losses from Wal-Mart

"Wal-Mart said it was planning several dozen stores in Chicago that would add 12,000 jobs over five years, and more than $500 million in sales taxes and property taxes for the city."

And how much will Chicago lose as stores close down because of competition from Wal-Mart? Because Wal-Mart is less labor intensive than smaller stores, the number of jobs gained will be less than the number lost.

Charles Siegel

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