Streams

Walmart Backs Out of Opening Store in Brooklyn

Friday, September 14, 2012

Walmart is abandoning efforts to open a store in East New York, Brooklyn — a move that would have established the retailer's first store in New York City.

Although Walmart never confirmed it was in negotiations with Related Companies over a site near Jamaica Bay known as Gateway II, Steven Restivo, a spokesman for the company said in a written statement, "Walmart today announced that we were unable to agree upon economic terms for a project in East New York."

A spokeswoman for Related had no comment.

Union-backed groups and some elected officials had opposed Walmart opening a store at the location.

"Walmart’s withdrawal from Gateway II shows that when New Yorkers join arms, even the world’s richest retailer is no match for them,” said Stephanie Yazgi, a spokeswoman for Walmart Free NYC in a statement.

A source familiar with the negotiations between Walmart and Related said the two parties did not come to an agreement on economic terms — not because of vocal opposition.

Related received approval to develop the site from the New York state this summer.  It already had approvals from New York City to build a 600,000-square foot shopping facility to house several retailers. 

Though currently vacant, Gateway II when finished will be adjacent to the existing Gateway I, already home to several big box retailers like Home Depot and Target.

At the same time that Walmart announced ending negotiations at Gateway II, ShopRite reportedly signed an agreement to open a supermarket there.  The grocery store uses union labor, unlike Walmart.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a vocal critic of Walmart, praised ShopRite.

"I welcome this company’s newest location with its history of responsible business practices, supporting its workers and the communities they serve," Quinn said in a statement.

Pat Purcell with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 said, "This is less about Walmart not going in and ShopRite going in.  The community desperately needed a supermarket."

He later added, "A supermarket was a better fit with what is already there."

Purcell said the ShopRite will create 1,300 UFCW union jobs.

ShopRite did not confirm a deal, but spokesperson Karen Meleta said in a statement, "We have been pursuing this location for some time and believe that we will be able to confirm the status of this potential site shortly."

Wal-Mart said it is examining other opportunities across the five boroughs.

"We remain committed to bringing new economic development and shopping options to New York City, especially in the neighborhoods that need them most," Restivo said.

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Comments [8]

Lynn from Brooklyn

I know this comment thread is old but I would be remised not to comment. I beg you all be strong, do not let Walmart into our city. Educate yourself on what it means when Walmart comes to town.

You think it is hard now, you think its impossible to pay the bills, the day care, the food bills, Walmart is not your solution. please watch: Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jazb24Q2s94)

Apr. 09 2013 01:10 PM
Gordon wilson from east new york

im disappointed in politicians. As a person that grew up in east new york and anyone that live here. I must say walmart was going to be the best thing that happened to this community. More jobs were goin to be created and people could afford to live. All these other stores are afraid of walmart putting them out of business they dont care about the economic conditions of this neighborhood and how people will benefit. Its sad but the people didnt have a say in this. This was a decision made in political interest.

Mar. 23 2013 11:30 AM
PeggyB from Brooklyn

The same political and pro-union hypocrites who turned away Wal-Mart in Brooklyn come to Long Island on weekends to shop at Wal-Mart in their Volvos, BMW and Escalades. That's what your Union Dues and taxes have paid for? Employment at Wal-Mart is voluntary, provides health benefits and is good for the low income neighborhoods they serve. No one complained when Target opened non-union Mega-stores in Brooklyn and Queens. They must have greased the correct palms in City Hall.

Sep. 16 2012 10:28 PM
Sandeep from Brooklyn

I support unions, but not when they drive opportunities away for lower income people. It's sickening. Yeah, young people have so many opportunities in East New York. I guess dodging bullets and steering clear of gang warfare will keep them busy, though. Way to go Yazgi! You must be so proud!

I'm no fan of Wal-Mart, but can't Quinn or other city leaders sit down with them and negotiate fair labor deals? Isn't that their job?! To get US jobs?! I suppose ALL other so-called "big box" stores use fair labor practices in the production, distribution and selling of their goods, right? Most of those goods are probably produced by exploited workers overseas. What about the big brand name chain restaurants and retail stores that employ undocumented workers? Who is speaking for these people? Yet Times Square is littered with Mall of America garbage. They seem to be welcomed with open arms by Bloomberg and his cronies. They get tax breaks and Wal-Mart gets some kind of weirdly snobbish send off. Ridiculous.

Sep. 15 2012 08:32 PM
Bob from NJ

Keeping Walmart out means higher prices and less jobs for the community! The people who are supposed to help poor people are shilling for unions and other vested interests. Walmart brings more products to people for lower prices and over all improves the life all people. Let the market determine the winners not bought and paid for politicians.

Sep. 15 2012 05:32 PM
zkny

And STAY out!

Sep. 15 2012 05:13 PM

Congrats, NY! This is good news.

Sep. 15 2012 01:48 PM
DH from Brooklyn

This is great news; it would almost certainly kill off any existing or new businesses to come.

Sep. 15 2012 01:44 PM

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