Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Walmart is Trying to Follow in the Footsteps of Home Furnishings Giant Ikea by Opening a New Location in Brooklyn - WPIX

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Walmart is trying to follow in the footsteps of home furnishings giant Ikea by opening a new location in Brooklyn.

The proposed site is reportedly the Gateway II shopping center near Jamaica Bay in East New York.

The Jamaica Bay site is being presented as one of several possible sites, but community groups aren't waiting until Walmart's selection becomes official to mount their protests.

Local labor groups such as the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, are accusing Walmart of dirty dealing, saying that they have refused to incorporate local political and labor leaders in the planning process.

They also cite the potential impact that the new Walmart could have on local businesses and the community.

"The loss of small businesses, the trading off of jobs from existing retailers in Gateway One, increased traffic from cars coming into the area from all around the surrounding area, more pollution etc.," said President of UFCW Local 1500 spokesperson Patrick Purcell, "the list goes on and on."

However, Walmart says that the potential East New York location would benefit local communities by providing jobs and affordable groceries.

This isn't the first time that Walmart has attempted to open an NYC location -- plans to open outlets in Staten Island and Queens crumbled after protests from labor and community groups, with then-Walmart CEO Lee Scott reportedly calling the plans not 'worth the effort.'