Here is a link to the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce where they are asking citizens if they want Walmart in NY. There is also a box where you can give comments if you want. You can click yes or no. Check it out.
I am a property owner and builder in the NY area who is involved in and interested in how the city develops. I greatly appreciate the community feel of different NY neighborhoods. I think the Walmart business model is a complete antithesis of neighborhood community development in NY.
A Walmart has proven time and again that it slowly kills off the small stores around it. Instead of a neighborhood with many little stores you have one centralized store with a big parking lot, thus eliminating any sense of community and culture.
It is not in Walmart’s interest to have a Deli on every corner, or a shoe shop, a little pharmacy, a vegetable market, a wine store, cheese store, or the many other things that make shopping in a neighborhood special. And because it is not in Walmart’s business interest it will strive to undercut the smaller stores who can’t compete on the same economy of scale as Walmart, eventually running them out of business.
With Walmart the profits are not going to small store owners and employees who live in the neighborhood. The profits go to central headquarters outside of NY.
The argument that Walmart creates jobs, pays large rents and pays taxes is a fallacy when you compare it to the jobs, rents and taxes generated by the many small stores it displaces.
Walmart has a very bad employee compensation track record. They have been sued countless times for overworking, underpaying, demoralizing and harassing their employees. Compare this to people working in small stores where the salary is considerably higher and the employee happiness is too.
Walmart is great at creating profits for its owners who never live in the same neighborhood as the store but it is famous for pinching every penny out of it’s pay roll, thus creating a work culture that is demoralizing and deadening. This is not the kind of work culture we want in NY.
But the economic argument is nothing compared to the social one. NY is NY because of its vibrant culture and diverse selection of stores. We have thousands of great stores and the shopping experience is a social and cultural activity for locals and tourists alike.
Shopping at Walmart is far from vibrant and certainly nothing that will draw tourists seeking to experience the culture of NY. Walmart adds nothing to what makes NY successful yet has proven to destroy what makes NY so special.
Any chain store is a threat to what makes NY culturally diverse and economically successful, and Walmart is the most destructive of chain stores.
If it comes what does it give us that we don’t have already? Nothing.
Yet what does it bring us that we don’t want? Too much.
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