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2002-09-04
Savannah, GA. Wal-Mart Wants In, Where Target Was Defeated.

The citizens group "Save Our Sandfly" (SOS), named after a neighborhood in Savannah, Georgia, probably figured that after they beat Target in December of last year, that they could let down their guard for awhile. But five months later, in May of 2002, Wal-Mart indicated they were "highly interested" in the same parcel of land near Montgomery Crossroad and Truman Parkway. It took SOS about a year to turn up enough heat on Target to get them to abandon the project. SOS would like to see the land coveted by Wal-Mart split up into a smaller retail center and some office space.The Sandfly area is mostly residential. "We feel a Super Wal-Mart will be an intrusion," SOS co-chair Mike Dillon told the Savannah Morning News. The SOS group met with Wal-Mart recently, but the company did not tell the residents that they had filed site plans for a 200,000 s.f. store. "I think it shows somewhat how businesses disregard community's feelings," said James Miller, another SOS spokesman. A Wal-Mart official told the Morning News: "We certainly can work on reasonable issues...Telling us to pack up and go away is more difficult to work on." The city's Planning Commission will hold a hearing on the supercenter on September 17th. "We're going to fight it," Miller said. "We're not going to let them walk in on us and I think it was disrepectful (how they didn't talk to us.)"

What you can do: One has to wonder: what part of "pack up and go" doesn't Wal-Mart understand? Is this the new model of corporate responsibility? What happened to Sam Walton's promise to small towns? "If some community, for whatever reason, doesn't want us in there, we aren't interested in going in and creating a fuss." Walton said. "I encourage us to walk away from this kind of trouble, because there are just too many other good towns out there who do want us...Wal-Mart wants to go where it is wanted." It appears that many people in Sandfly also want Wal-Mart to go where it is wanted. Trouble is, those good places are getting fewer and fewer, as more and more sprawl-busters ask sprawl-marts to pack their bags and go. It's a message corporate Wal-Mart still refuses to hear.










 
 
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