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2006-11-08
El Centro,CA. Wal-Mart Tries To “Smuggle In” Superstore

The Wal-Mart superstore in the city of El Centro, California was in the news recently when two former Border Patrol agents were sentenced to more than six years each in prison for taking nearly $200,000 in bribes in exchange for releasing immigrant smugglers and illegal immigrants from federal custody. The Border Agents released smugglers and their customers from jail while working on a prisoner transfer program with the Mexican government. They admitted to authorities that they once released a prisoner in a Wal-Mart parking lot for a fee of $6,000, according to court documents. Now El Centro is back in the news. Wal-Mart is trying to very quietly smuggle into town the area's third superstore. This time, residents in town have learned that Wal-Mart plans to build a supercenter less than two miles from an existing supercenter. According to an email today from a group called Students for Political Awareness (SPA), "there's an initiative to be debated on next Tuesday by Wal-Mart to build another supercenter here in El Centro. Now take into consideration that there's currently one supercenter here in El Centro, one in Calexico (about 8 miles south of El Centro), another supercenter currently under construction in Brawley (10 miles north) and another that has apparently been delayed from being built in Imperial (literally right along the northern border of El Centro). And keep in mind that there's less than 70,000 people living in the entire Imperial Valley! I, for one, don't plan on sitting around while Wal-Mart sucks every possible penny it can out of the valley. We're already the poorest county in California, so something has to be done about this. The city Planning Commission is meeting next Tuesday, and there's several people that I know who wish to start the ball rolling on preventing Wal-Mart from taking over."

What you can do: There are already two supercenters within 8 miles of this location in El Centro. There is absolutely no need for a third supercenter. This kind of supersaturation brings no added value to El Centro. It will simply take sales away from existing merchants -- including Wal-Mart's other supercenters. This kind of over-building has been criticized by Wall Street stock analysts. They note that Wal-Mart's "same store sales" increases are dropping faster than Wal-Mart rollbacks, in part because Wal-Mart is eating its own stores alive. They don't need another supercenter in El Centro, and residents there hope to be saying Adios to this latest Wal-Mart project. For local contacts in El Centro and the Students for Political Awareness, contact info@sprawl-busters.com










 
 
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