Would Walmart be good for Brooklyn?
  • Walmart is currently in negotiations with developers to open at the Gateway II shopping center site near Jamaica Bay. A city council meeting is set for tomorrow 1/12 as part of the approval process. The company has some severe critics on the council.


    Meanwhile, Walmart spokespeople have claimed through the Daily News that the large majority of Brooklynites (76%) think the store's a good thing for our borough (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/survey_says_walmart_good_fit_for_k3OKBoREWjLDsb53cp5U3H).


    Is this true? Do you guys want Walmart here?


  • Not I... but are we representative of the larger Brooklyn population?


  • That's really far for people who don't have cars


  • According to Mayor Bloomberg's Deputy Press Secretary, Andrew Brent:


    "People that live in this city are going outside the city to shop at Wal-Mart, so if they're going to shop at Wal-Mart they might as well live here. They might as well have the jobs here and the tax revenues here. The City does not have the right to say to one business, 'You can't come here,' and we're not going to do that."


    Given these realities, how could anyone be against Walmart? (Booklaw?)


  • maybe this is an over-obvious point, but Brooklyn is one of the last places in America where small business retail ("mom and pop shops") are still viable. So anything working against that would be a bad thing, in my opinion. The counter argument is OMG CHEAP STUFF!


  • Target has done a great job at locating their stores in areas that are near transit: Brooklyn College, Atlantic Center, etc. I think that is a key to their success b/c a lot of New Yorkers don't have a car.


    ...newspapers consistently point out that Atlantic Center's Target is among the highest grossing in the country, despite having no parking lot. (it is also a mess and often out of stock of items, but that may be due to its inability to keep up with demand).


    I jabber about Target b/c, as a result of their locations, I see them as much more of a threat to the small businesses than a Walmart at Gateway.


    Target has been in the city for something like 10 years.


    Other than that, I see very little difference between Target and Walmart. ....at least not enough difference to trek to the Gateway Mall to save a few dollars over what I would have spent at Target.


    But as Booklaw points out, I doubt I am the market Walmart will thrive on.


    Summary: Although I probably won't go there, I am confident that Walmart will come and that it will thrive. Yup, some more small stores will go under. ....but there are some many things against those little stores (the internet, friends with cars and access to the suburbs, target, etc)....


  • I'm not a fan of big box stores or the affect they can have on communities or the environment. However there are already many of these stores in nyc, Costco, Kmart, BJ's, Target, and more. It's another case of capitalistic cannibalism. It's impossible for smaller shops to compete with places like Walmart in terms of pricing on most products. Many people can't afford to support local when toilet paper is twice the price at the corner store or supermarket.


    I'm sure they'll give the go-ahead to build, but I certainly won't be shopping there.


  • Visit Costco in Sunset Park some Sunday afternoon... It will be so crowded you can't bend over or turn around. It will be full of huge Hispanic and Hasidic families buying enormous quantities of everything imaginable.


    Walmart doesn't specialize in mass quantities like Costco; its forte is cheap... Everything is less expensive there than almost anywhere else. There are many, many people in Brooklyn and Queens who desperately need cheap. They will be happy to have a Walmart to shop at.


    I don't like Walmart, or anyplace that pushes price over quality. I especially don't like a store that pays its employees the legal minimum (and, in the case of female employees, allegedly less than the legal minimum), in order to keep its prices low and its stock price high.


    But I can afford the luxury of despising Walmart... Many others cannot, and I do not begrudge them the right to save money by shopping there.


  • Have any of you guys been to Gateway? Its got a BJ's, a Staples, a Super Target, a Home Depot, a Famous Footwear, a Marshall's, a Circuit City, Old Navy and Kids R'Us. Walmart would not steal business away from local stores if it locates at Gateway, its going to cannibalize business from another big chain stores. Gateway is probably the best location to assure that small mom and pop stores don't get affected. The problem comes when Walmart uses their success at Gateway as a reason to open a second store in downtown Brooklyn.


  • alot of people drive to target just park underground :p.


    also people who shop at like walmart and people who use some of the smaller shops are two different demographics. they can live happily next to each other.


    btw if you try to talk about real brooklyn politics and local politicians would be doa. but walmart or bikes or something wouldn't be doa.


  • been to gateway since it open, beats the costco in brooklyn cause its alot less people :p at the bj's(well almost as bad, but easier to find a shopping cart slightly).


  • Funny, I just finished reading Nickle and Dimed (very good read), where the author spent time trying to see if she could live on Walmart minimum wage (answer: basically no).


    Walmart is good for poorer people because it affords them cheap goods. But Walmart's stuff is kept cheap b/c they, like most other minimum wage employers, don't pay their employees a livable wage. (Also Walmart's supposed health insurance is too expensive for many minimum wage employees.)


    As the book says, Walmart and similar stores are able to offer artificially cheap goods because they can find employees who are willing to work for unlivable wages while sacrificing their time and health so we can buy $3 tube socks.


    Walmart is bad for American society.


    Is this one store bad for Brooklyn? who the hell knows


  • the poll showing that brooklyn wants wal-mart was commissioned by wal-mart. i would take it's results with a grain of salt and a margarita underneath.


  • I dont think putting a Walmart at Gateway is taking away from the mom and pop stores. I jut dont understand. If you dont want to shop at Walmart than dammit...dont. If you still want to patronize mom and pop stores then dammit do.Why cant they both exist?Not even close in proximity to one another to be a problem. I hope they put a super walmart in brooklyn to save me a trip upstate.


  • I confess to Costco runs for dog food, cat food and paper products. I confess to Mom & Pop runs for munchies, veggies and "last minute damn I forgot" items. Would I buy anything at Wal-Mart? Not sure - pretty much have it covered under options A & B. Do not buy toiletries at Costco or local mom & pop stores (drug store by work) and would never buy clothing at any of the above.


    As for arguments on wages paid, exactly how many employees do mom & pop stores have and what average wage do those employees earn? Were the bodegas annihilated by the larger supermarkets in certain areas? Not as I can see. The debate on whether whether Wal-Mart will annihilate the local mom & pop store or bodega seems pretty much the same.


  • A report published under the auspices of Hunter College's Center for Community Planning and Development does indeed substantiate that Wal-Mart's encroachment into an area will likely result in the subsequent failure of small, locally-owned businesses. From the report, http://pubadvocate.nyc.gov/files/Walmart.pdf:


    • Wal-Mart’s entry into a new market has a strongly negative effect on existing retailers. Supermarkets and discount variety stores are the most adversely affected sectors, suffering sales declines of 10 to 40% after Wal-Mart moves in.


    • Stores near a new Wal-Mart are at increased risk of going out of business. After a single Wal-Mart opened in Chicago in September 2006, 82 of the 306 small businesses in the surrounding neighborhood had gone out of business by March 2008.


    The report concluded that the entry of even a single Wal-Mart store in New York City could have a snowball effect and result in a negative long-term cumulative impact on the city’s economy and continued decline of the middle class. A single small Wal-Mart, or a single superstore, could mean the demise of existing food retailers, end local retail, and hurt working families. I recommend it if you're interested in this discussion.


  • I think most of us agree that Walmart puts small businesses who directly compete with it out of business. ...I find it kind of sad that NYC and Hunter spent money to create a report to tell us what we already knew: Never fight someone larger than yourself.


    Assuming the effect on small business and wages aren't disputed, the job of those opposed to Walmart's entry is to show why we should prevent one specific company from entering the NYC market, how under current law such an action would be legal or enforceable.


    [I have yet to hear this argrument from Walmart's detractors]


    To the contrary, banning Walmart to protect the owners and employees of small businesses might be a valid technique if we were on an island and they were the only predator of our endangered species, but we are not on an island. Such protectionism and isolationism won't work as a result.


    There are already many things currently against the small business owner; Things far larger than even Walmart, as huge as it is.....


    Like small towns in America, small businesses are destined to gradually disappear unless they can find a way to effectively compete and adapt.


    Wait.

    Are we supposed to rescue small towns as well? I hear they have quaint ways of life, and friendly diners. I hear you can have a backyard, basement, garage and a driveway.


    Over the past 30 years, many treasurers of small towns learned that the only thing worse than having a Walmart locate in their town, was having a Walmart locate in the town beside them.


    The government of NYC faces this same choice.


    Although you may hate the trends toward lower paying jobs and corporatization that Walmart champions, the longer that NYC fails to adapt the longer the cost of living in NYC is inflated relative to places that have have one.


    Every time a tax dollar leaves NYC I cry. Target has helped the city government and its residents tremendously.


    If small business owners and their employees can't adapt and compete, they will disappear. Like it or not, there isn't much you, I or anyone else can do about it.


  • If Walmart was forced to pay its employees living wages and treat them with more respect and realistic living conditions, its financial and structural advantages over mom and pop stores would significantly lessen.


    As for arguments on wages paid, exactly how many employees do mom & pop stores have and what average wage do those employees earn?

    the power to abuse and under-pay employees is significantly less with mom and pop stores. At one point (and maybe still) Walmart was the biggest private employer in the world. How much disproportionate power do you think they wield when it comes to lobbyists, political donations, and labor practices?


    It's the same as how McDonald's pretty much dictates the practices of one of the most abusive and destructive industries in America today (beef production & processing) due to their massive market share.


    Companies like Walmart and McDonald's have little sense of social contract or loyalty to what's good for a majority of the American people, especially with regards to the poor or minimum wage workers. In other words, the most vulnerable.


    Walmart is not good for American people (and perhaps worldwide too) and is able to perpetrate destructive practices on a very wide scale with little oversight or social responsibility.


  • Although you may hate the trends toward lower paying jobs and corporatization that Walmart champions, the longer that NYC fails to adapt the longer the cost of living in NYC is inflated relative to places that have have one.

    are you defining cost of living mostly by how much things cost at delis vs walmarts?


    Walmart doesn't pay people livable wages or provide them with affordable health care.


    This creates great strain on the NYC population both in income, budgets and quality of life.


  • BG, we agree on every point except "what do we do about it?"


    ....My argument is that we (the good people of NYC) are not in charge.


    To fight Walmart to protect a former way of life is futile.


    There are too many other corporations that will simply step in to Walmart's void.


    Globalization comes to Brooklyn, like it or not.


    This isn't a question of whether it is "good for us".


    I'd love to live in a world where everyone made a living wage and got health insurance. Walmart is coming.


    For those unable to adapt, it will suck. The NYC Government is foolish to fight something that is larger than it.


    Walmart is the LESSER evil than trying remain as we are.


  • If WalMart wants to come to Brooklyn I would require Walmart to be unionized and to put a ten-foot tall picture of Jared Loughner in the front of the store with the caption "Walmart sells large amounts of bullets to people like this."


  • I don't think small shops will go under


    Jamaica Bay? Is that beyond the reach of the subway? That alone will knock it dead.


    Plus no matter what, dollar store shit is cheaper than even Walmart's tripe, and the shopping experience at dollar stores is just nicer. Walmart can be overwhelming and cold


    So I think it will do alright, but it won't be the town killing behemoth it is in small areas. This is Brooklyn, after all


  • :yawn: @ the wild anti Walmart brigade.


    I know people who work in those mom and pop shops. The majority of them are immigrants who have little to no rights and are in no way being paid a living wage. The idea that these mom and pop shops are some worker's utopia is laughable; if anything they might be WORSE for workers than Walmart. Walmart workers at least have protection through minimum wage, child labor and other laws, and the volume of workers to possibly unionize. Mom & Pop shop workers have none of that, as it's all cash.


    And Walmart didn't shoot those people, that crazy kid did. If it were up to ppl like Walkathon, we'd all be in straight jackets and rubber rooms under the caring & all knowing watch of the American government. No thanks, the whole point of America is freedom, even if it comes with some uncertainty and danger


  • I wish a reputable organization would a study on Target's impact on NYC.


    ...it would detail how much tax money and employment now remains within its borders, as well as its impact on the smaller stores.


    Target seems to focus on local shoppers, while Walmart is trying to be a destination.


    IKEA is a destination


    I once read that Walmart hopes to open smaller, local stores in the city as well. They'll probably pursue that strategy later.


  • When I go to Target, I see a lot of good things for the local economy. I see people earning a living, I see a paying tenant in a key piece of real estate, I see people gaining access to relatively affordable goods of some measurable quality. I see a lot of local tax revenue being generated (through the protocols & scrutiny of legal business practices; as opposed to the all-cash operations of the mom and pop shop), yadda yadda. Now is it perfect? Of course not. But if there were no Target, what would those employees' alternative be? Someone has to work retail, and IMO it's better for everyone involved when said retailer is a transparent tax paying law abiding corporation like Target, as opposed to a mom & pop shop, which could be great + fair or a total slum.


  • So far, no one has mentioned in this thread that Walmart wouldn't be able to pay wages and benefits as low as it does if its competition paid more.... Basically, it's villianized for buying a product (in this case labor) for the going rate.

    This is why I think placement at Gateway is a good thing. The Starett City, Pink Houses,etc. folks are already being employeed at the 10 or so other large businesses out there, some of which do provide things like health care for their employees. So, Walmart's going to pay less and have worse benefits. Sure it may have less expensive goods, but its also going to get a lower quality of employee, and I think that its going to result in that store being a hot ass mess of ridiculous proportions. Walmart's usual MO is to hire elderly and disabled employees, but really the demographics of that particular neighborhood are such that there aren't a lot of elderly folks so they are much more likely to get the underemployed teens and young adults as staff. Not your normal Walmart staff and not the normal situation. I'm just waiting for some guy from corporate to tell one of those kids that they can't go to the bathroom or have to stand in one spot for four hours without a break.


  • Good points.


    ....yes.


    At the moment, NYC has lower unemployment rates than the national average, and (as a result of the competition for employees) the service sector has to strive much harder to fill its ranks with qualified, polite employees in NYC.


    If Walmart finds that it is only able to attract the city's most unskilled, it may very well raise its wages in order to provide its customers with a satisfactory shopping experience.


    ....it's not like the managers at Walmart are somehow more "evil" than those at Lowe's or Target. If those places could pay their employees less and still run good stores, they would. ...they don't pay more, or provide better working conditions out of some "generousity" or "responsibility" to their employees.


    Given the "quality" of potential Walmart employees at minimum wage, it will be interesting to see if they can run a store that is as organized and "customer friendly" as their suburban ones. In my view, the Target at Atlantic Center has never managed to get up to the level of its less urban locations:


    http://sites.target.com/site/en/spot/state_results.jsp?state=NY


    The Atlantic Center Target is often (as homeowner puts it) and as we write frequently on this board: "a hot ass mess of ridiculous proportions".


  • If Walmart finds that it is only able to attract the city's most unskilled, it may very well raise its wages in order to provide its customers with a satisfactory shopping experience.

    I have trouble stomaching this much benefit of the doubt to Walmart or any other national retail corporation.


  • BG, they wouldn't do it to be nice to their customers. They would do it because we wouldn't haul ourselves to Gateway Center if they didn't. You don't have to give them much "benefit of the doubt" to believe that they will want this new store to succeed: They have fought to have it built, and advertised to us for YEARS in preparation.


    However, if you are right, and they don't step up to the task at hand:


    a. The families with two kids in a minivan that would go to Gateway, will instead continue to haul themselves to a Walmart location just outside of the city, in Valley Stream or Westbury.


    http://www.walmart.com/storeLocator/ca_storefinder_results.do?serviceName=&rx_title=com.wm.www.apps.storelocator.page.serviceLink.title.default&rx_dest=/index.gsp&sfrecords=50&sfsearch_city=&sfsearch_state=--&sfsearch_zip=11238&sftype_sel=-1&sfradius=50&x=16&y=9&continue=


    b. The families who travel by bus will will continue to go to various stores that will compete with Walmart, such as the NYC located Costco and Target stores.


    Perhaps as a result of having no nearby competition, the Target at Atlantic Center is one of the companies highest grossing stores despite being messy and out of stock when I brave shopping there.


    It would be interesting to see if they have raised wages to try and improve the store's performance. ...I have seen some small improvements in the store since it first opened.


    However, I'm confident that the store will genuinely improve once some competition comes in the form of the additional "big boxes" that will be created as part of the Atlantic Yards Project.


    As Homeowner points out, Walmart won't have this luxury of time ....Gateway has competition already nearby.


  • For those of you who are so worried about Wal Mart's business practices and are favoring Mom and Pops stores, please look at 2009 for this story:

    25 Brooklyn restaurants and cafes owe at least $910,000 in unpaid wages to more than 200 workers.


    http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/109206/state-labor-dept--finds-park-slope-restaurants-underpaid-workers


    Many mom and Pop stores work in cash, cheat the most they can from taxes, and cheat the most they can from their employees. Wal Mart is just as bad, but what is worse?


  • I would quadruple the number of publicly subsidized community colleges.

    YES.


    And, like you guys said, trade schools.


    Trade Schools.

    Trade Schools.

    Trade Schools.


  • Mod note: I split off our new sub-topic of American socio economic issues, as I wanted to keep this thread focused on the issue of specifically Walmart coming to BK/NYC.


  • Mod note: I split off our new sub-topic of American socio economic issues, as I wanted to keep this thread focused on the issue of specifically Walmart coming to BK/NYC.

    Those interested in such jabbering should join us here:

    http://brooklynian.com/forum/brooklyn-politics/american-society-the-poor-the-unemployed/page/2#post-721577


    mytwocats wrote:

    For those of you who are so worried about Wal Mart's business practices and are favoring Mom and Pops stores, please look at 2009 for this story:

    25 Brooklyn restaurants and cafes owe at least $910,000 in unpaid wages to more than 200 workers.

    http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/109206/state-labor-dept--finds-park-slope-restaurants-underpaid-workers


    Many mom and Pop stores work in cash, cheat the most they can from taxes, and cheat the most they can from their employees. Wal Mart is just as bad, but what is worse?


    It is a tough call.


    But, for the heck of it, let's ignore the fact that Target and all of the other big boxes exist for a moment. In such a situation can an argument be made to support the inefficiencies of the Mom and Pops on something other than wages?


    I.E. Many people argue that there is an inherent value in having such little stores nearby, because they allow New York City to remain one of the few places that "does not require one to have a car to easily get all of the crap they need and want"


    (I live with such a person)


    While I do not think big boxes can be beaten back, would one of the "good reasons" for restricting them be to protect this aspect of our urban quality of life?


    I.E. Are we willing to continue to pay more than optimal prices in an attempt to maintain our present conveniences? ...Because I have a luxury of paying "a little more", I actually find this train of thought among the most compelling reasons for shopping locally.


  • Interestingly, several of the weatlhiest people in the country have names ending in "walton" as in "Wal" mart.

    Does that mean some of that money isn't going back into our community?

    Having big box stores means you have to have a car to shop there, or use a car service.

    Northern Brooklyn was a finished city before Henry Ford did his thing. Our boro just wasn't built for cars and the more cars we have, the bigger the mess we're getting into.

    Two strikes against big boxes.


  • Yea nobody goes to the Target at Atlantic Center, or the Kmart in Herald Square, etc


    Plus where do you think the workers at these stores will spend their money and pay local taxes to?


  • As a result of their distance and relative inconvenience, I do not think I will shop at any of the Walmarts proposed so far (Gateway Center and East NY).


    ...but I do go to Target, DSW and Old Navy on occasion because they are right on public transportation, and there prices and selection can not be met by anyone in the city, except the internet.


    Capt-

    As a result of my household's size, I rarely buy anything so large that it needs to be hauled home via car service.


    While it gives me a warm fuzzy to shop locally, I think I am completely outside of Walmart's target market. My participation on this thread is an exercise in the supposition of others behavior, and its effect.


  • Given this discussion and the one about 99 cents stores on Nostrand Avenue on the CH board, I thought you might find this interesting:

    Dollar General vs. Walmart


  • Target I believe is based in Minnesota and Kmart is based in Michigan. 10% of every dollar spent at either of these stores ends up out of state. I on the other hand know the owners of several local stores. If you want something they don't have, just ask them. 100% of the profits roll back into the local economy.

    So it gets back to being a personal choice: who would you rather support? Some giant corporate entity who wouldn't know you from Adam, or a neighbor down the street who might shovel the snow on your sidewalk if you're not feeling well?

    I spent part of my Xmas holiday in a small town in Michigan, maybe 50,000 people. This little town had one of every big box story known to man, all located on the edges of town, each one a little more depressing than the next. No civic pride, no local ownership, no control over stocking, inventory or pricing.

    The downtown was a de-populated shell, dominated by drivers, not pedestrians.

    Is that the future we cherish?


  • Target I believe is based in Minnesota and Kmart is based in Michigan. 10% of every dollar spent at either of these stores ends up out of state. I on the other hand know the owners of several local stores. If you want something they don't have, just ask them. 100% of the profits roll back into the local economy.

    Lol. How do you know the immigrants running these stores aren't sending a huge percentage of said money out of the country? Not to mention, again, much of their revenue & wages go untaxed.

    So it gets back to being a personal choice: who would you rather support? Some giant corporate entity who wouldn't know you from Adam, or a neighbor down the street who might shovel the snow on your sidewalk if you're not feeling well?

    Why does it matter? The people working at these evil big box shops are no less members of the communities they serve than people working at local shops. And thus, are no less likely to "shovel your snow if you're not feeling well" (I am unaware that this was a standard metric of a business' standing in a community)

    I spent part of my Xmas holiday in a small town in Michigan, maybe 50,000 people. This little town had one of every big box story known to man, all located on the edges of town, each one a little more depressing than the next. No civic pride, no local ownership, no control over stocking, inventory or pricing.

    Civic pride is not exclusively a function of how much business is locally owned. And one business owner having control of inventory + pricing doesn't amount to the whole community having control. Ultimately that owner is going to stock what is available + what they think will sell, and price things at what they feel is the best balance between competitiveness and profitability. *GASP* Like an evil big box store!

    The downtown was a de-populated shell, dominated by drivers, not pedestrians.

    This is more likely a consequence of a poor transit system, or the fact that you were in Michigan around Xmas :lol:

    Is that the future we cherish?

    A tear jerking closing for sure, but you're confusing correlation with causation + using one example to paint a broad picture. Again I'm not saying big box shops are a godsend, but the idea that they're pure evil and local shops are nothing but good for their respective communities is idealistic + untrue


  • Welcome to another Big Gulp of corporate crapola, guys. Hope I don't get sued by 7-11 for copyright enfringement. :)


    Lot a big words here. If the contest is judged on exemplary vocab, you win.


    But if ideas are the criteria, I feel you sound sadly like a paid shill for the big box stores. I frankly don't have time to engage in a point-by-point refutation of your arguments. Hopefully the readers can put their thinking caps on and see the gapping holes themselves.


    If they can't, there's little hope for civilization, in my opinion.


  • While I have stated my preferences throughout this thread, I can't help but contradict myself by pointing out that I attend First Night at the brooklyn museum.


    It is sponsored by Target.

    As are many of the concerts at the park bandshell.

    And I once worked for a school wherein Target donated a percent of the purchase price.


    Evil indeed


  • NYC life is based on location and convenience...I'm from the south where walmart rules, but I have a hard time imagining that people would stop frequenting their local mom and pop stores just to go to Walmart..NYC is not designed that way...


  • Walmart opens its checkbook:


    (copied from: nynp.biz)


    Goodwill Gets $426K Walmart Grant for “Beyond Jobs”


    Goodwill Industries of Greater NY and Northern NJ has received a two-year $426,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to empower single mothers with all the tools they need to find employment, succeed in the workplace and support their families. Known as Beyond Jobs, the program assists single mothers with job training and placement, but also helps plan for their continued success. Goodwill® works with each woman to create an individualized, holistic plan that outlines how she will gain and retain a job, advance in her career, and ensure long-term financial stability for her family. Beginning March 1st, Beyond Jobs is expected to assist more than 250 single mothers over the next two years. Goodwill will match the grant with $128,000 of funding.


    “Finding a steady job is a top-of-mind issue for every unemployed single mother, but the struggle doesn’t end when she finds a job,” said William J. Forrester, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater NY and Northern NJ. “Goodwill’s Beyond Jobs program helps mothers and families by providing more than a job, giving each woman the full set of tools she needs to support her family today and in the future.”


    Twenty-six percent of all children now grow up in families headed by single mothers, many of whom face significant struggles in this brutal economic climate. Single mothers are twice as likely to be unemployed as married women, and during the current economic crisis, the unemployment rate for single mothers has ballooned to 12.3 percent, the highest rate ever recorded.


    Each participant in the Beyond Jobs program receives a complete career assessment, individualized career planning, job skills training, and assistance with job placement. Recognizing that landing a job is only one step on the road to success, Beyond Jobs also provides mothers with continued financial education, family strengthening services, early education and child care assistance, and connections to healthy food and nutrition initiatives.


    “This grant to Goodwill Industries of Greater NY and Northern NJ will support single mothers in New York City by assuring they have access to gaining the necessary skills for today’s jobs,” said Margaret McKenna, President of the Walmart Foundation. “We are pleased to support this project because it gives single mothers the opportunity to continue to play a vital role in the workforce while providing for themselves and their families.”


  • Walmart opens its checkbook again (there is no way this money is free):

    Walmart Pledges $5 Million to SYEP

    The Walmart Foundation has announced a $5 million pledge to support New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). The contribution will expand the program, which has been cut almost in half over the past two years, by up to 3,400 jobs helping to offset governmental funding reductions. The Walmart donation was announced by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Jeanne Mullgrav and Senior Director for the Walmart Foundation Michelle Gilliard.

    “Walmart’s generous donation creates the most job slots the Summer Youth Employment Program has ever raised with private money,” said Mayor Bloomberg. ”This timely investment in our city’s youth comes at a moment when many young people are struggling to find employment and will give thousands the opportunity to take that critical first step toward their career goals.”

    “A summer job prepares a young person for a working life,” said Commissioner Mullgrav. “In the short term, these jobs mean extra money for tuition, books and household expenses. But in the long term, this experience in the world of work is the first open door to a lasting career. I want to thank Walmart for investing in our young people and the future of our city.”

    “For years, the Walmart Foundation has supported programs that strive to make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers,” said Senior Director for the Walmart Foundation Michelle Gilliard. “The City’s Summer Youth Employment Program is an initiative that’s obviously important to kids and families across the five boroughs, especially during these tough times. We’ve talked a lot about jobs and this donation was an opportunity to deliver during a time of real need.”

    SYEP has shrunk dramatically in recent years due to cuts in government funding. Using only public dollars, the City have been able to provide about 24,000 summer youth jobs this year. With the Walmart Foundation’s commitment, and with donations from more than 30 other companies, the City has been able to increase the number of summer youth jobs to more than 28,000 jobs.

    However, this year’s program – even with the help of private contributions – is significantly smaller than last year when 35,000 young people took part in the SYEP program and little more than half the size in 2009 when 52,000 young people were provided with summer jobs. This year, the Department of Youth and Community Development received 131,000 applications from residents in every corner of the City.

    The Mayor was joined at the Brownsville Recreation Center in Brooklyn by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, City Council Minority Leader James Oddo, Council Member Peter Koo and Council Member Eric Ulrich.

    Source: New York Nonprofit Press


  • Capt. Planet said:

    Welcome to another Big Gulp of corporate crapola, guys. Hope I don't get sued by 7-11 for copyright enfringement. :)

    Lot a big words here. If the contest is judged on exemplary vocab, you win.

    But if ideas are the criteria, I feel you sound sadly like a paid shill for the big box stores. I frankly don't have time to engage in a point-by-point refutation of your arguments. Hopefully the readers can put their thinking caps on and see the gapping holes themselves.

    If they can't, there's little hope for civilization, in my opinion.


    There's nothing to refute :rolleyes:


  • nucomme said:

    NYC life is based on location and convenience...I'm from the south where walmart rules, but I have a hard time imagining that people would stop frequenting their local mom and pop stores just to go to Walmart..NYC is not designed that way...


    Fairway seems to be successful. As is Home Depot, Lowes and McD's. My guess is WalMart will wipe out most of the bodegas and some supermarkets within a mile radius because of the perceived selection and savings.


  • Idlewild said:

    Fairway seems to be successful. As is Home Depot, Lowes and McD's. My guess is WalMart will wipe out most of the bodegas and some supermarkets within a mile radius because of the perceived selection and savings.


    I don't know if this is true either.

    NYers are very convenience biased. A Thai restaurant by me just opened a second branch about 3 blocks closer to me. I'm excited! It's gone from being a "special occasions" place to a definite go-to.

    NYers will only go to Walmart for things they can't get locally, or for things that are cheaper. I don't think bodegas are going anywhere. Walmart doesn't carry Phillies :lol:


  • Less than half of the households in NYC have a car to drive to Walmart.

    Target thrives, in part because it built its stores at transit hubs.


  • whynot_31 said:

    Less than half of the households in NYC have a car to drive to Walmart.

    Target thrives, in part because it built its stores at transit hubs.


    True. But this Walmart is being built by the Belt Parkway. If you look at the neighborhoods the Belt wraps around the ratio of car ownership is pretty high. Not too much efficient or even existing public transportation going on between Kings Plaza (and parts of Sheepshead Bay) and Laurelton. I don't believe Walmart will be king of the hill because of this. But certainly they should do as well as the Home Depot,Target and other alike conglomerates around there.

    And doesn't the Target in Ft Greene also thrive because it's in the middle of some pretty easy to reach neighborhoods, as well as a huge parking lot and relatively easy street parking?


  • It would be strange for them to build it on the Belt- there's already a Walmart in Valley Stream. Where are they looking to build this exactly?

    And Target, Home Depot, etc. have all managed to come to BK w/o killing the character + small businesses there. A Walmart only accessible to people w/cars def poses no threat to businesses serving people w/o them. Plus the shopping experience at Walmarts is generally pretty terrible.


  • CTK-

    Walmart competes on the basis of price, not service. I imagine it offers a better shopping experience than places like Family Dollar, C-Town, and Associated that serve NYCs low income neighborhoods.

    I wonder if it would be profitable to operate a private bus shuttle service from low income neighborhoods to wherever the new Walmart opens. It would have very limited stops, and room for lots of purchases.


  • If Walmart sites in Gateway, it will have NO effect on local businesses. The reason for this is Gateway is already home to:

    1)Home Depot

    2)BJ's

    3)Super Target

    4)Babies R' Us

    5)Old Navy

    6)Staples or Office Max (don't remember which)

    7)Casual Footwear

    8)Bed, Bath and Beyond

    9)Circuit City

    As I said before, its going to be competing on price with other national big, box chains who have tried to copy the WalMart logistics model. The differentiating factor at Gateway will strictly be customer service. Any local business that was going to fold with the presence of a big box went out of business a long time ago.


  • Homeowner-

    Do you think I could make money from my shuttle bus idea? Version 1.0 would pick-up outside large NYCHA complexes, and go to Gateway and back. It would run only on Saturdays, and would cost $15 roundtrip. It would run every 2 hours, and use those buses like access a ride uses.


  • I think that in order to make it work you should start small. Stop at only one or two complexes and choose ones where the distance to Gateway isn't that great (less than 20 minutes). That way you would have a bit of flexibility in terms of scheduling. Overall it sounds like a good idea, although you'll need to make sure your price point is right.


  • I wonder who the local politician would support:

    A. My bus, it's driver and it's money conscious riders

    Or

    B. Local business owners who could no longer compete and hated my little bus.

    I would greatly enjoy breaking the monopolies held by the nasty supermarkets and discount stores.


  • Of course locals who preferred those local stores would not be required to ride my bus. I would not abduct anyone as part of my business model.


  • It would be strange for them to build it on the Belt- there's already a Walmart in Valley Stream. Where are they looking to build this exactly?

    And Target, Home Depot, etc. have all managed to come to BK w/o killing the character + small businesses there. A Walmart only accessible to people w/cars def poses no threat to businesses serving people w/o them. Plus the shopping experience at Walmarts is generally pretty terrible.

    ==========================================================================================================================

    The Gateway Mall is right next to the Belt around East NY/Canarsie. Three exits will get you there. Rockaway Ave, Pennsylvania Ave, and Erskine Ave.


  • NY1 obtained a study from the Alliance for a Greater New York Tuesday that contends Walmart could end up with scores of locations in every borough should they replicate their nationwide market strategy here.

    "The findings were that, in one scenario, there’s 159 stores: 114 of them small format, 34 of them medium format, like a grocery store style, and then 11 supercenters primarily located in the outer boroughs,” said Josh Kellerman of the Alliance for a Greater New York.

    Steven Restivo, a Walmart spokesperson, challenged the study's findings.

    "The special interests today issued what amounts to a fairy tale press release that's billed as a study, I guess in hopes of scaring residents," said Steven Restivo.

    source: http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/147566/ny1-exclusive--new-study-predicts-up-to-159-walmarts-in-city-based-on-nationwide-market-strategy


  • Don't mind us, just helping ourselves open a NYC store, as we help others get a job....

    STRIVE Gets $620K from Walmart for Skills Training

    Tuesday, 31 July 2012 12:19

    STRIVE has received a $620,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation which will support the provision of occupational skills training to an additional 200 unemployed men and women in Boston, New York City, and Washington DC.

    The new Walmart Skills Training Initiative enables STRIVE to expand the job readiness services it provides to underserved communities. It aims to help at-risk individuals, particularly low-income women and the formerly incarcerated, improve their occupational skills and prospects for employment, helping them and their families get on the path to a brighter future.

    "The Walmart Foundation supports programs that provide people with ways to improve their lives through workforce readiness, job placement and support services," says Michelle Gilliard, senior director at the Walmart Foundation. "This partnership with STRIVE is part of our ongoing efforts to help workers gain the necessary skills for today's job market."

    Since its establishment in 1984, STRIVE's signature Attitudinal and Job Readiness training has helped nearly 50,000 individuals across America develop the attitudes and behaviors they need to succeed in the workplace. But in today's economy, the right attitude is not always enough to find a job. To help its graduates become more competitive candidates, STRIVE has integrated sector-based skills training into our work readiness model.

    http://www.nynp.biz/index.php/breaking-news/11375-strive-gets-620k-from-walmart-for-skills-training


  • Around the 4 min mark, "I don't care if they're drop kicking newborns in the break room." I LOL'd.



  • Update: Walmart won't be coming to the Gateway II site. It is becoming a Shop Rite.

    http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20120914/REAL_ESTATE/120919923&template=smartphone


  • The NYT seems to be purporting that we are seeing a lull in Walmart's efforts to come to NYC, because Walmart doesn't want to be an issue in the upcoming Mayoral campaign.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/07/business/a-respite-in-efforts-by-wal-mart-in-new-york.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=nyregion


  • So much for helping the neighborhood. Most of the Shop Rite pricing I've seen are upper-moderate as opposed to inexpensive. Maybe the local mom & pop stores do have a chance.


  • I think Shop Rite is a big enough store that it can attract people from substantial distances, who seek special (ie more expensive) items.

    As a result, it would be difficult to tell the store manager he can only stock products which the local clientele can afford.


  • Since the big Target shopping center in East Harlem opened I have been doing a lot of shopping there. W/the motorcycle I am able to make short + quick trips. People go on and on about "local businesses"... like I said before, they are not bussing in people to work at Walmart from China. And any goods you find at Walmart will also probably be sold at your dollar store or whatever. But the biggest perk is the value. Stuff at Target/Aldis/Costco costs damn near half what it does at the local grocers and even less than half from "upscale" bodegas. Prices are like water... they will seek their own level, which in the case of prices is the lowest. No sense in fighting the inevitable.


  • There is presently a showdown between the DC City Council and Walmart.

    Walmart is stating that it is not going to open the stores it has in the works and the planning stages, because the City Council has passed a living wage bill that would mnake it unprofitable to do business there.

    It should be interesting to watch. When smaller cities have tried to do this, Walmart has located its stores just outside the cities' limits, leading to the phrase "the only thing worse than having a Walmart in in your town, is having it in the town next door".

    ...because all of the jobs and tax revenue produced by Walmart are taken from one town and given to another.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/business/dc-council-passes-wage-bill-despite-wal-marts-threats.html?_r=0


  • The bill wants to raise the pay from $8.25 to $12.50. News reports don't say if it's immediate or over a period of time. It has already passed the city council but the DC mayor says he might veto due to the loss of jobs.

    It doesn't matter whether Walmart is "good" for Brooklyn because people will shop there regardless.


  • It doesn't matter whether Walmart is "good" for Brooklyn because people will shop there regardless.

    I agree.

    If shoppers are given a choice between pursuing their self interests and those of some vaguely define affiliation or geographic area (aka "Brooklyn"), I suspect people will choose the former.

    I state that because throughout the country, Walmart florishes, even in areas that seem to have a much stronger identity and things in common with each other than "Brooklyn".

    In DC, it should be interesting to see whether Walmart actually stops construction on its stores.


  • This pro-labor, anti-Walmart flyer is going around the net.


  • The Gateway site was recently sold. Despite talk of Shop Rite, it seems a Fed Ex distribution center will come to the site:

    http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/02/12/bawabeh-sells-428k-square-foot-brooklyn-site-for-40m/
  • I think the site that sold is separate from the Gateway expansion, or Gateway II as it's sometimes called. Construction there is visible; they've also got up "coming soon" signs. In addition to ShopRite, it's supposed to include Nordstrom Rack, JC Penney, Burlington Coat Factory, TJ Maxx, DSW, Gap, and Pier 1 when it opens this fall (http://www.related.com/our-company/PressDetail.aspx?Id=168).
  • ah, that makes sense. I guess the site that is to become a Fex Ex was going to be EVEN MORE big boxes.I must confess, I haven't been out to Gateway in a while.
  • Great news! Let's continue to keep WalMart out of NYC.
  • For all the Walmart haters...I would suspect that any other retail establishment that opens won't pay that much more than Walmart. It's just that Walmart is more visible.
  • @pragmaticguy

    The article speaks to your point very clearly:

    "The new store has 15 employees, four of them transfers from Aldi's other Brooklyn store, which is on Nostrand Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, Persohn said. The transfers are now working closer to their homes.

    There were 400 to 500 job applicants.

    Starting pay is $12.25 an hour for store associates and $25 an hour for management trainees, he said.

    The chain is not unionized."

    Yup.

    ...the price for labor is going to largely be determined by the intersection of supply and demand. Despite its efforts, the city hasn't been able to increase wages for entry level employees without increasing unemployment and decreasing tax revenue.

    Sorry.

    Welcome Aldi! ...I suspect the 15 number refers to FULL TIME employees, and there are lots more part time ones.
  • We are also getting a JC Penny and a few other "suburban" stores.

    I suspect they will appeal to those who are presently driving out of NYC to go to such stores.

    And, would rather that NYC get that sales tax :)

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/jcpenney-opening-brooklyn-store-article-1.1897342

  • Went the other day. The second phase of Gateway is even bigger than the first. Definitely suburban sized. Applebee's, Pier 1, and Raymour and Flanigan are already open, in addition to Aldi. And to add to list above, I saw signage for Sketchers, Carters, GNC, Michael's, Five Below (which I'd never even heard of), Dress Barn, Sports Authority, and Petco.

    I don't think any of the stores are a big enough draw that people were driving out of the city for them (unlike Walmart). But I do think it will attract more of those shoppers for whom the Belt Parkway is convenient, i.e. people who are already shopping at Caesar's Bay, Kings Plaza, Green Acres. And the MTA has already expanded bus service there in anticipation: http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140729/tompkinsville/mta-expands-j-train-service-brooklyn-bronx-bus-lines
  • NYC has a lot of new residents who were raised in the suburbs, so this is a case of:

    -brands following their customers

    -brands seeking new customers

    -brands making it easy for their customers

    I don't have a car, so I tend stop at malls outside of NYC when I am returning from a weekend out of the city in a rental car
  • Of the three points made above all chain stores do that whether it's Penney's (which has a store in Manhattan) or McDonald's. And let's not even bring up Starbucks which would have a store every block if it made sense. This is the only way to sustain business. The fact that there are quite a few stores in a strip mall setting means that people can get from one to the other easily. Coming from the suburbs has very little to do with it.
  • I don't have a problem with chain stores.   I don't feel they are inherently worse or better than small stores.

    One of the reasons behind my view is that we are often in a position of a chain store or NOTHING.   

    So, when a big chain comes in and brings tax revenue, it has a chance of bringing power to local politicians, and jobs to qualified people.

    In this case, the new Shop Rite in Gateway is doing an admirable job of promoting itself by hosting a 5k run and walk.


    This is an area of Brooklyn in which very few community activities happened before now.   "It" could gain a lot from participating in such things.
  • I would gladly welcome a Walmart to Brooklyn. NYC residents already shop at Walmart outside of the city. Thus, by opening up a Walmart in the city, we would add to shopper convenience, new jobs, and new tax revenues for the city. If people want to harp on Walmart's wages, then they should be protesting to demand the close of every fast food joint in the city, among other establishments. 
  • Yes, the establishments that filled Gateway pay similar wages to what Walmart would have.

    When they pay higher wages, it is because the employer tends to need people with a bigger skill set.

    Which is great if you would have been UNDER employed at Walmart, but not if it means you remain unemployed because you have limited skills.

    Did "we" decide who can operate in Gateway to benefit/employ people who live in the immediate area?

    Do we think the area around Gateway has residents with a lot of employable skills?

    Are there so many people with those skills that they don't translate into higher wages in a free market?
  • In addition, I don't think many Prospect Heights or Crown Heights residents are going to schlep to Gateway to save a few dollars. Doesn't make sense from an economic standpoint. Of course, if they were going there for another reason that would be a different story. I think Walmart is looking for the Canarsie, Starrett, East New York shopper as their core customers. Starrett alone houses 25,000 people. And they're catering to the people with less money than those who don't care about paying a little more for the same products found in the local supermarket or Best Buy for that matter.
  • Howard Beach residents meet that description as well.
  • Howard Beach residents impress me as more the Target type so they're probably going to Gateway #1.

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