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2008-01-16
Raleigh, NC. Wal-Mart Kills Off Another Superstore

2008 will turn out to be the Year Of Major Letdowns for big box retailers like Wal-Mart. Consumers are jittery, and Wal-Mart continues to cancel superstore plans left and right. WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina announced the latest "big disappointment" this week that southeast Raleigh won't be getting another Wal-Mart after all. The city is the victim of Wal-Mart's overly optimistic growth plans, which have been on the skids for more than six months now, since the retailer suddenly told shareholders last June that it was cutting down on its superstore projects. WRAL-TV suggested that "people hungry for an economic boost in the area" were disappointed, as if Wal-Mart was some sort of economic lift. Sprawl-Busters views Wal-Mart as economic dislocation, since the company makes nothing, and sells things other people in the marketplace already offer. Hopes had risen when the public learned that Wal-Mart had purchased 25 acres of land along Sunnybrook Road. The company told local officials that the store would employ 400 people -- but they failed to explain that most of those jobs would be transferred from existing businesses. But the company's growth convulsions have now claimed another store. "We bought the land and were intending to build," a Wal-Mart spokesperson said. They wasted two years planning for the store only to scuttle the project themselves. Wal-Mart said they plan to keep the 25 acres and could build there later, but sitting on the land will only guarantee that some other retailer does not use the parcel. Not selling the land is a defensive move to keep the competition from using this spot. "I guess it killed the spirit to some degree, but we will come back," Raleigh City Council Member James West told the TV station. The station said Wal-Mart "plans to help disappointed residents in the area by offering programs like job-fairs for employment at its other locations."

What you can do: While officials are hanging their heads with disappointment, and trying to portray southeast Raleigh as still a good place to live, other residents who feel overwhelmed by the saturation of big box stores are delighted the retailer has crossed this store off their list. Raleigh already has a Wal-Mart on Garner Station Boulevard, a Wal-Mart supercenter in east Raleigh on New Bern Avenue, another supercenter in northeast Raleigh on New Hope Church Road, and a Wal-Mart on Glenwood Avenue. There are no less than a dozen Wal-Marts within 15 miles of Raleigh. It might be more productive for Raleigh City Councilors to be looking for people who make something, not more people who sell things already sold by local merchants. Readers are urged to send an email to James West, City Council member from the district affected by Wal-Mart's pull out, at james.west@ci.raleigh.nc.us. Tell Councilor West, "Wal-Mart has demonstrated how much your district means to them by pulling out suddenly. You should take this opportunity to look for other business development besides national retail chains, which don't really 'create' new jobs, and burden your city with higher crime rates and higher traffic counts. This is not economic development, and southeast Raleigh is better off with this project gone. Instead, go after some real jobs, and companies that produce something. After all, you've still got 4 Wal-Marts left in Raleigh to keep you supplied with cheap Chinese products, which will soon clutter your landfill."










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

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