Wal-Mart Denies Attempting to Invade Brooklyn on the DL, But Says New Yorkers Want Them Here

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Wal-Mart thinks they're wanted by New Yorkers. Wal-Mart's also denying a rumor that they're coming to New Yorkers, for now. The idea of Wal-Mart coming to New York is pissing off New Yorkers to the point of preemptive protest.

Daniel Massey at Crain's got Wal-Mart's denial that they're moving in on Brooklyn after hearing of the supposed plans from "sources familiar with the situation." The situation being that Wal-Mart was going to attempt to open up shop in Jamaica Bay at the Gateway II shopping center, which for Walmart, is:

...an as-of-right location in an outer borough, with a low-income population nearby and pent-up demand for jobs and supermarkets. Walmart is believed to be examining other unspecified sites in the outer boroughs as well.

This certainly isn't the first time the retail monolith has tried to move in on New York before. Wal-Mart's people told Massey that there's "nothing to announce," but gave him a vaguely-worded statement that still precludes the possibility of The Big Blue Box invading the Borough of Kings, or possibly others:

"We know that New Yorkers want to shop and work at Walmart, and as a result, we continue to evaluate potential opportunities here," says Steven Restivo, the company's director of community affairs. "New Yorkers want quality jobs and affordable groceries, and it remains our goal to be part of the solution."

Just to show them how much New Yorkers don't want a Wal-Mart in their backyards, though, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500 is planning a protest, which figures, given the company's notoriously anti-union movements.

And which New Yorkers do they know feel like having a Wal-Mart in their community? They didn't say. We reached out to Wal-Mart spokesperson Steven V. Restivo to get an answer for this, and at the time, still have yet to hear back on that one. Maybe it's just us, but we're a little iffy on believing that one. Then again, if you do want a Wal-Mart in New York City, please: We'd love to hear from you, by all means.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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