Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Walmart explains their decision to cancel 3 DC stores

Go HERE to read the full op-ed in the Washington Post.

But despite the consensus among D.C. stakeholders about the economic value our stores would bring, some Council members are now advancing an 11th hour effort to undermine our efforts and change the way businesses like Wal-Mart must operate in the city. New legislation - the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA) - requires that a few large employers pay a start rate more than $5 per hour higher than the minimum wage. 
From day one, we have said this legislation is arbitrary, discriminatory, and discourages investment in D.C. We have gone to great lengths to have thoughtful conversations with Council members about why LRAA will result in fewer jobs, higher prices and a smaller number of total retail options. It means most shopping dollars will stay in the suburbs, unemployment will remain in the double-digits in some neighborhoods and underserved communities will continue to have disproportionate access to affordable groceries.

As a result, Wal-Mart will not pursue stores at Skyland, Capitol Gateway, and New York Avenue, if the LRAA is passed. What’s more, passage will also jeopardize the three stores already under construction as we will thoroughly review the financial and legal implications of the bill on those projects.

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1 comment:

Kenny Lincoln said...

I’m skeptical if Walmart in DC is a good idea in the first place. I believe Walmart will bring jobs, retail/food in areas of need, and possibly set a trend for future corporations looking to move into DC but concerned for how the stores will be managed. My personal experience with Walmart is that they are disaster zones and highly unorganized. Has anyone ever been to the Walmart in Landover Hills (Capital Plaza Mall)….WOW….what a wreck.

One the other hand I don’t agree with the bill. Walmart is a business and they have the right to earn and make as much money as they can. It’s unfair to ask Walmart or any other retail store at 75,000 square feet to pay employees a higher min wage. If Washington DC wants to go in this route then ALL retailers should be required to raise the min. wage. Ask yourself how you would feel in this situation….if you owned a company that was being forced to pay employees a higher min. wage which significantly decreases the amount of money you will make. I understand that Walmart is the number 1 retailer and has lots of money to go around but that’s not the point. I believe you need to be fair to everyone regardless of how big or small the size of the company.

If the bill is passed and Walmart goes along with the new law not only will Pandora’s box be open and future retailers be hesitant to develop in DC, but Walmart may also be looked upon as a corporate leader willing to sacrifice for the overall good of a community (and have some leverage in DC). If Walmart pulls out of the three locations identified good luck finding a retailer to replace them.

DC Council get your crap together…either include all retail companies in this increase or none at all.

In a perfect world the large retailers would be willing to "take one for the team" and I hope Walmart and other large retail would be okay with making a sacrifice (in some situations) for the overall good.....but you simply just can't force larger retail to pay higher wages. Walmart has the right to run their business the way they see fit.

Instead of forcing a law why don't we just reward any retailers that are willing to pay a higher min. wage to employees.