Southern Brooklyn

Misinformation Abounds As Walmart Debate Resurfaces

Courtesy of Koonisutra via Flickr

We’ve been following the news that Walmart may be moving to the Gateway Center ever since rumors surfaced last April. In the face of a City Council hearing about the big box retailer, Walmart has launched a massive advertising blitz, with direct mail, broadcast advertisements and a NYC-oriented website. The nation’s largest retailer is taking its case to the people.

They are decidedly not, however, taking it to the City Council. The business declined to participate in the hearing, blasting the politicians for singling them out while other retailers, including Target, get by with no scrutiny. They claim the city is cowtowing to special interests.

“What should be clear, especially in this week’s activities, is that we are not going to be idle while others try to tell our story for us, and build that story on misinformation,” said Steven Restivo, a Wal-Mart spokesman. “We know we have a good story to tell. And quite frankly, we owe it to New Yorkers to be proactive in telling it.”

Those “special interests” disagree. Mom and pop stores all over the city, as well as labor unions, say the retailer is already using its enormous financial backing to smother public debate, suffocating it underneath the publicity blitz.

“Walmart is unwilling to take its message directly to the city council members-preferring an unfiltered monologue full of misleading factoids and disinformation,” says a post at the Neighborhood Retail Alliance’s website.

“They’re not showing up [to the City Council hearing] because they don’t have the stuff they say they have,” said Council speaker Christine Quinn. “They don’t have the data to refute what myself and others are saying.”

One thing is for sure though, Walmart is using its website and advertising spots to make a lot of claims, but not offering any data to back it up. Meanwhile, the opposition has compiled a slew of resources that show Walmart’s destructive tendencies on local economies.

Here’s a roundup of resources to get a fuller picture of what a Walmart coming to our community could mean:

Comment policy


  1. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Hunter College released a report concluding that “Walmart store openings kill three jobs for every two they create.”

  2. As long as walmart has money to pay the politicians, they’ll get what they want…

    Who will make money from this?
    Real Estate..
    The land was GIVEN from King Mayor Bloomberg to RELATED group ( Bloomberg friend)..
    Now, on the land, they will sign a Multi million dollar lease and FLIP the property for a HUGE profit..

    Lets re cap.
    Step 1.. Bloomberg gives FREE city land to his friend ( Related Group)

    Step 2 Related Group gets Walmart as a tenant and Walmart pays for ALL construction cost on the free land

    Step 3 Related group signs a long term lease with walmart for a HUGE profit

    Step 4 Related group keeps the property or flips it at HUGE profits

    Step 5 City gives Walmrt 15-20 year tax abatement because of NEW CONSTRUCTION

  3. Its time for the politics to stop favoring the few and to conceder the average voter. WHY sgoiuldnt I be able to shop Wal Mart or any other store. Why not single out LOWES or Staples or Target?? If Wal Mart has the best shopping experience I sholdnt be deprived because some merchants group has political access

  4. Please read the articles linked in the story. They show the experience of other communities which have a WalMart location.

    You know, wise people don’t make mistakes; smart people learn from mistakes of others; dumb people don’t learn even from their own mistakes.
    Let’s be smart.

  5. …And I’ve seen studies that show that Walmart is an absolute boon to business (and consumers and employment) in the Chicago area.

    I can’t wait for a Walmart in the NYC area. Lefties, stop your attempts at censoring free speech and stopping free enterprise. You cannot unilaterally control the country and stifle everyone who doesn’t agree with you – yet. Let the shopping public determine whether Walmart survives here.

  6. There you go again. How come people of the liberal opinions have to
    1. State that the other opinion is “dumb” or “idiotic”
    2. Try to censor that speech.

    Maybe that’s why you lost 60 seats in Congress. The people aren’t as dumb as you think. Shoppers know they will save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. Why not let the people vote? yeah yeah, because the people are “dumb”. Keep believing that.

  7. If these people don’t like walmart, one would think it would suffice that they wouldn’t shop there. Let them boycott. But no, it’s that liberal fascism. It’s very dangerous. Maybe all those in favor of Walmart will next be deemed to be engaging in “hate speech”. That’s next on the liberal fascist agenda.

  8. And let’s say that’s true, Mr. Brooklynq. By what democratic right to you claim to bar Walmart from coming here anyway? What law would they be breaking? I don’t believe this report for a second, but even if so, in a supposed democratic, free-enterprise system, what then gives the govt the divine right to deny walmart? Someone does a study, comes up with some conclusion like this, and a business does not have the freedom to open? Geez, the move towards fascism is just creeping and creeping….

  9. Since nobody is preventing you (or WalMart) from speaking, free speech argument is moot.

    As for Walmart being boon to everyone, please link to those studies that you’ve seen, like Ned did in the article above (“Links or it didn’t happen!”, to paraphrase another Internet expression).

  10. i thought sheepsheadbaybites was an impartial news source. Guess it’s gone the way of the NY Times, Fox News, etc.

    What happened to a news media actually reporting the facts???? Sheepsheadbaybites, the news of my neighborhood is of interest to me. Your opinions are totally worthless.

  11. 1. So you admit that you are the one who doesn’t learn from your own mistakes? I was actually describing other people… LOL

    2. Since your comment is posted here, your speech is not censored.

    3. “I” didn’t lose any seats anywhere, since Senator Bernie Sanders is the only real liberal in Washington, and he is officially Independent.

  12. They’ll save hundreds of dollars a year NOW, but what about in the long term?

    In the end I’m middle of the road here. I believe in a free market, but things need to be done fairly. If they are coming to NYC, fine but they should have to pay for the land and pay dearly for it. They shouldn’t get a dime in tax abatement either. If they can’t run their business here at the normal cost of doing business, then frankly pardon my pun they’ve got no business here at all!

    As for all the other malarkey about how Walmart causes other businesses to shut down can we pull back and look at the big picture. Look at the area it’s being built in. Look at the demographics of the area. There are no other businesses within half a mile. A clothing store shuts down on Pennsylvania or Myrtle Ave? Boo hoo.

    People say there’s no way to compete with Big Box Stores and that’s just bullshit. You have to provide a product people value so they’re willing to pay a higher price. They’ll win the bulk game every-time. If you run a business with great customer service you’ll have customer loyalty and nothing to worry about.

    Unfair labor practices? How are they any more unfair then anyone else? Are they breaking the law? If they arent then tough shit. We live in a capitalist society, that’s what free enterprise is all about. If they ARE breaking the law then bring some god damned proof, press charges and sue. None of these phantom accusations.

    All these games on both sides are tiring, enough is enough. We have a system of laws that are supposed to protect us, one way or another, it’s time they worked for us.

  13. Well, bloggers who read these things and then write informative summaries for us regular people are much appreciated!

  14. Who’s barring them from coming to NYC? There’s no bill proposed to stop them as far as I know.

    There are many studies that show how Walmart is destroying America, not helping it. I don’t know of a single independent study that was not funded by Walmart, or its stock holders or investors that refutes that.

    From Yahoo… (
    For the Wal-Mart consumer to get the lowest prices, the products need to be made with the lowest possible wages. This fact has led Wal-Mart to go China to get their products. In 1992, the creator of Wal-Mart, Sam Walton, died. After his death prices of the products in Wal-mart slumped, and soon after imports surged with Asia. 80% of products were being imported, and Wal-mart was making more money on the low cost Asian imports. Since Clinton signed a permanent trade agreement with China, China has become the largest exporter to the United States. Within the United States Wal-Mart is the largest retailer. Wal-Mart is China’s largest consumer. Since the trade agreement goes both ways, the United States sends three-billion dollars worth of raw materials to China. China sends back thirty-eight billion dollars worth of the finished back to the United States. The U.S. is currently in a one hundred and twenty billion dollar trade deficit with China. Wal-mart executives have said “It’s hard to make ends meet here [United States]”. The cheap labor is really beneficial to the retailer, not necessarily the consumer.

  15. Walmart has people whose job is it to infiltrate blogs with their venom.

    The NY Times as a bad example?

    Sounds like Walmart corporate crap. The Times isn’t too impressed with Walmart’s lies.

  16. Well maybe, Mr Walmart Shill, we need a law that require a study done to determine community impact when retailers like Walmart try to come in here.

  17. Note that all of the profiles – Walmarhere, Justthefacts, Walmartnow, Ideaman2008 and Fascismyouseeithere – have no previous activity listed.

    This becomes a pattern…

  18. I do appreciate this and previous postings.
    Glad to see you are not wasting your breath. I should learn from you.

  19. Don’t you remember that a Walmart shill starting blathering the same crap last time we had an article about this?

    Lot of cutting and pasting is involved in working as a Walmart Shill.

  20. Don’t you remember that a Walmart shill starting blathering the same crap last time we had an article about this?

    Lot of cutting and pasting is involved in working as a Walmart Shill.

  21. The names are the first clue. They are pretty unclever and transparent. And they use the usual fear of liberalism that works so well in their core markets.

  22. for the record, i have never shopped in a walmart, and know nobody who works there…..

    you’ve got to be kidding me. you don’t know of a SINGLE study? I guess you read only what you want to, right? Turn on CNN but Never ever ever Foxnews? Afraid to ever watch or read anything that might disagree with you?

    How about the much quoted fact that Walmart saved consumers 263 billion dollars in a single year (2004). How is that ruining America? Sure, it might ruin a few overpaid union workers, but it benefits about 250 million other people.

    This 263 billion dollar gift to consumers compares with an estimated 4-5 billion dollars in lost wages for the reasons you state. So, I ask again, does the country as a whole benefit or not?

    I could go on with this stuff, but i’m not the type to comb the internet for studies partial to my conclusion, and present it as fact.

  23. So you’re dong a comedy bit, right? It’s either that or you work as a Walmart shill.

    For the record, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

  24. The Crow is an ominous reminder of the doom awaiting us. Don’t you people realize the low wages, horrible working conditions and abuse by management that will happen to you if you think about working for walmart?

    Walmart managers will make you work off the clock so they can make their store performance bonuses.

  25. Someone has never shopped in a Walmart, and yet has such a great passion to see one here.

    They’re all over the map trying to make it look like a groundswell of enthusiasm for a Wal-Mart.

    And like good pretend commenters they have fire under their belt.

    There’s a fire extinguisher somewhere on this site. We might need it.

  26. No. Walmart is not the best shopping experience you’ll ever had. In the inner city Walmart in Philadelphia the store is filthy and the prices are not as low as they’re promoted to be. It’s a shell game they play with the so called “Low, low, prices” Don’t believe the hype!

  27. The system of laws does not apply to walmart. In spite of the lawsuits I’ve cited above the practices illuminated in them walmart continues them. What was done with those neighborhoods to promote small businesses. Nothing. Those neighborhoods are allowed to decay to make way for high end development.
    If you’ve never worked in a Wal-Mart or lived in a town or city effected by one you can’t say anything with authority. I have and I know how they operate.

  28. We don’t argue that Walmart would survive….it’s all the small businesses that we would lose due to Walmart’s business model.

  29. I’ve seen this movie. It is a must see for anyone that remotely thinks having a Walmart in this area is a good idea.

  30. What about the crap we don’t know about?
    Like many Walmart employees have substandard health care that we subsidize.
    Like many Walmart employees, in addition to being asked to work off the clock have to be subsidized, by us again, in the way of food stamps.
    Little, if any chance for real advancement for minorities like, Blacks, Hispanics, or women. The only place to make a decent living at Walmart, if you are not management, is as a truck driver,…. where they actually pay close to Union scale for their drivers….go figure that one out???

  31. Let Walmart open…

    If you don’t like it, dont shop at Walmart…

    But, give others the choice to choose where to shop…

    Does it mean in the future,
    NO Target?
    NO Staples? Office Max?

    Its a free country…

  32. It means no A & D Superette, independent pharmacies, Florama Hardware or Paralta Grocery stores. That’s what it means.

  33. BJ’s, Target, Marshalls, HomeDepot, Lowes, TJ Maxx, Best Buy, Toys R Us, Ikea and so on and so on are Big Box Stores that are here and are doing well. It is a known fact that Brooklynites, shop at Walmart’s on LI & NJ. This is known by the store requesting your zip code. All the arguments against having a Walmart here would be valid if 1) There were not other big box stores here, 2) There was no proof Brooklynites shop at
    Wal-Mart and 3) There were no Wal-marts within a short driving distance of Brooklyn. Since there are Wal-Marts close to Brooklyn and Brooklynites do shop there. My humble opinion is to absolutely welcome them. This would reduce cars on the road, it will add jobs, develop an area and most importantly, keep NYC dollars in NYC.

  34. The very people who want Walmart in New York City would have those poorly paid employees of the chain to not have healthcare, not have food stamps or any other Government benefits. Best they suffer in silence or die to end the surplus population. Rather that working people such as them have to rely upon Government Benefits to survive Walmart needs to be forced to pay decent wages, health benefits and have a retail union in its stores if it wants to come to NYC.

  35. Walmart is now sending junk mail to New Yorkers calling those opposed top Walmart “political insiders and special interests”

    Gee, I haven’t got my cut yet from either. If Walmart really wanted to be helpful they should tell me who is buying the politicians. Maybe I can get a cut.

    Seriously, they’re vague because they want to make the opposition sound mysterious and evil. Talk about projection!


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