Wal-Mart Winning Battles in California

Advertising, legal battles, and consumer interest continue to lead the harsh but successful path of Wal-Mart.
March 14, 2004, 5am PST | Adam Weiss
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All over California, citizens hate what can be best described as a "love-hate" relationship with Wal-Mart. "In Contra Costa County, an increasingly upscale area near San Francisco, voters rejected by 53.8% an ordinance that would have blocked the development of Wal-Mart's giant supercenters, which combine groceries and general merchandise, in unincorporated areas. Farther south, in the immigrant-rich town of San Marcos, opponents overwhelmingly won their fight to reverse the city's approval of a second Wal-Mart discount store in that community...Its new ad campaign paints the chain as a friend of local communities and a rich source of opportunity and good benefits for workers. Wal-Mart also plays up claims that critics are a vocal minority trying to protect union jobs at the expense of consumers' pocketbooks. A recent Wal-Mart-financed study by the nonprofit Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. found that Southern California consumers could save at least $3.76 billion a year, or $589 per household, if Wal-Mart grabs a 20% share of the grocery market. And the savings would create more jobs than Wal-Mart might destroy, the study contends."

Thanks to Adam Weiss

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Published on Monday, March 8, 2004 in Business Week
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