By Michele Simon
January 18, 2012
Having saturated the rural landscape, shuttering local stores in small town America along the way, now, in the wake of stagnant sales and increased competition, Walmart desperately needs to expand into urban markets...
While the big box retailer is eager to enter the Big Apple, challenges loom large. Given the negative reputation Walmart has earned for being hostile to workers among other problems, many New Yorkers are skeptical, to put it mildly...
Now a report released last month by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer concludes that not only would bringing Walmart to Harlem spell disaster for labor, but it could also make an already dire food access problem there even worse.
Moreover, previous economic analysis has shown that Walmart's promise of jobs doesn't pan out either. In a report from last summer called "The Walmartization of New York City," researchers at the City University of New York concluded that, "despite Walmart's promises of jobs and lower prices for the community, the longer term impact is actually the opposite..."
According to the report, 4,279 new low-wage Walmart workers would have to "rely on social services to make ends meet, costing New York taxpayers over $4 million per year" in health care benefits alone. This, in a city where the mayor has asked for $2 billion in budget cuts.
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This article also appeared in Food Safety News.