Tough Times For Walmart As They Eye Gateway

Courtesy of Koonisutra via Flickr

Walmart is struggling through the muck of the American retail slowdown, and some opponents to a New York City location are saying they should keep their problems outside of the five boroughs.

According to a New York Times report, the retail giant is seeing less visits to its stores, and the average price paid at checkout is also dropping.

“The nation’s largest retailer reported Tuesday that sales in its American stores open at least a year, a crucial measure of retail health, had declined for the sixth consecutive quarter,” the Times wrote.

It’s believed that the struggle is putting pressure on Walmart to seek new high-volume locations, especially in New York City. And in the five boroughs, there’s no location as appealing as the planned 630,000 square foot Gateway II shopping center.

Even before Walmart’s financial problems became public, the rumored Brooklyn location generated opposition from labor unions, small businesses and community activitis.

“Walmart may create jobs on the front end, but they erode them later,” Stuart Appelbaum, president of the city’s retail, wholesale and department store union, told the Brooklyn Paper back in May. “Union-busting, neighborhood-crushing Walmart forces out good jobs and reliable retailers while bringing down wages and benefits.”

Now, The Neighborhood Retail Alliance, an ardent and vocal opponent to a New York City Walmart, is wondering why the city should allow a struggling “corporate predator” to open on Southern Brooklyn’s shores.

If the Walmonster is going through bad times, why should NYC invite them in on a corporate guest worker program?
…Pretty soon we will be gathering a large and diverse coalition out in East New York to rally against Big Wally. The message we will be sending is simple. If you’re having problems, don’t come here and visit them on New York. Wal-Mart is bad for NYC on a wide range of fronts-and the battle for NY is just beginning.

Do you think Walmart’s newly-revealed financial problems changes the game for a New York City location? Should Walmart stay out of Brooklyn?