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2005-10-09
Miami, FL. Wal-Mart Has An Image Problem Here

Wal-Mart apparently wants South Florida -- but does South Florida want Wal-Mart? According to an article in today's Miami Herald, the feeling does not seem to be mutual. Although Florida has one of the highest number of Wal-Mart "dead stores" (euphemistically called 'dark stores' by the company), the company is still pushing to open more supercenters, while closing down its discount stores. South Florida has not been a leader for the world's largest retailer. ''We're definitely behind in South Florida,'' a Wal-Mart spokesman told the Herald. ``We don't have that many stores, compared to what the population would support. The biggest obstacle is finding the land.'' A Miami shopping center manager is quoted as admitting, ''Every time a Wal-Mart opens there are losers." The Winn-Dixie grocery chain is one of the big losers in the south as Wal-Mart has chewed through Winn-Dixie's grocery profits. A real estate investment trust spokesperson said of Wal-Mart, ''Communities don't want them. Only the ones that have no choice will take them.'' A Wal-Mart proposed for Midtown Miami was nixed by City Commissioners. Miami City Commissioner Johnny Winton, who recently voted for a Home Depot (see Coconut Grove story) said Wal-Mart just didn't fit the ''image'' the city wanted for Midtown Miami. ''Whether they like it or not, Wal-Mart has an image problem,'' Winton told the Herald. ``That image is not what we want this development to be.'' Another retail consultant told the Herald that everyday low prices are now not enough to sell a Wal-Mart proposal. "Now they have to sell their story to every community.''









What you can do: There is no such thing as a community with 'no choice' but to accept a Wal-Mart. Communities can always say no, and hold out for better development. For related stories, search this database by "Florida" and "Coconut Grove".










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

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