In reaction to the news that New Yorkers are shopping at Walmart more than ever and want stores in the city, the special interests today issued a fairy-tale press release billed as a “study” in the hope of scaring residents.
Their “Walmartization” of New York forecast is that we’ll somehow open 159 stores here overnight; a guess based on our current market share across the country. The fact that any national market share we currently enjoy took five decades to achieve is somehow lost on them and shows the depths to which they will sink to try and manipulate reality. We assume their other predictions are based on their favorite recycled – and since debunked – talking point that the city would lose three jobs for every two Walmart creates.
The forecast also fails to consider the implications of letting New Yorkers go elsewhere for affordable goods. Hugh O’Neill, president of the economic development consulting firm Appleseed, correctly pointed out the $7.7 million in sales tax revenue the city loses out on when residents are forced to go out of town to access a Walmart store, saying, “New Yorkers may save money when they travel out of the city to shop at Walmart, but in other respects, New York City loses.”
Even New York City-based newspaper The Village Voice questions the validity of the study’s premise in a post soberly titled, “Don’t Get Too Worked Up About This ‘Walmartization of NYC’ Study.” The paper asks, “But how likely is this scenario? (Not very),” and goes on to say, “Align’s study hinges entirely on a huge ‘if.’ The only way they can come up with all those worst-case-scenario numbers is if Walmart follows the script of quickly flooding the NYC market with stores, which, honestly, seems incredibly unlikely…”
While the special interests are busy with gimmicky predictions that aren’t based on reality, we remain focused on solutions for New Yorkers who need jobs and want more affordable grocery options in their own neighborhood. It’s clear that the overwhelming majority of residents want Walmart in the city and we’re working hard to make access to our stores more convenient.