Pre-Emptive Strike In The Heart Of Suburban Big-Box Retail

With the support of supermarket chain, unions, Montgomery County Maryland introduces anti-Supercenter legislation.
June 16, 2004, 10am PDT | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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"Giant Food LLC and the union that represents local grocery store employees are pushing for an ordinance aimed at keeping Wal-Mart supercenters out of Montgomery County. Giant and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 are prime advocates of the proposal before the Montgomery County Council. The measure sponsored by County Executive Douglas M. Duncan would impose tough new zoning restrictions on stores that are larger than 120,000 square feet and devote at least 10 percent of their floor space to groceries.

That defines the typical Wal-Mart supercenter, a retail behemoth that carries everything from gas grills and flat-screenTVs to produce and deli meats. Across the country, the nonunion discount stores have been a serious competitive threat to established supermarkets with their unionized workforces. Although other Washington area jurisdictions have imposed restrictions on "big box" stores, the proposal in Montgomery County is aimed more narrowly at Wal-Mart. It would exempt stores that do not sell food, such as most Target stores and Home Depot, and it would exempt club membership stores such as Costco."

Thanks to Richard Layman

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 in The Washington Post
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