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2004-08-28
Bentonville, AR. Wal-Mart Says 10% of It's Stores Get Blocked

In a comment made on the Lehrer NewsHour this week, a Wal-Mart spokesman has estimated that 10% of Wal-Mart's planned stores get blocked by citizen activists. According to the NewsHour website, "In 2003, between 15 and 20 Wal-Mart projects were halted due to resident's opposition, according to Wal-Mart spokesman Keith Morris. Morris, said, though, that number is only a tiny fraction of projects the company undertakes. By the end of 2004, the company expects to open 220 stores just this year." What Wal-Mart failed to add, however, is that an equal number of stores get delayed each year. This means that current citizen opposition is stopping 20 or more stores a year, and Sprawl-Busters estimates that at least another 20 stores get challenged and hung up in permitting. That would mean Wal-Mart can expect to lose or get stalled on at least 20% of the stores they propose.

What you can do: Sprawl-Busters estimates that the actual figure is probably close to 30% to 35% of Wal-Mart stores each year blocked or mired down in delays. This is hardly a "tiny fraction" and causes companies like Wal-Mart to forego a significant amount of revenue from new store sales. One supercenter that doesn't get built for a year of delays, means $100 million of sales that did not happen at that location. The "tiny fraction" of opposition has grown to a major slice of the action, and it's growing larger with each passing day. The bigger Wal-Mart becomes, the bigger the opposition grows. Today, it can be estimated that one in three Wal-Mart stores presented to a local community will be challenged,and delayed. For the NewsHour story, go to www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/wal-mart/challenging.html










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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