Wal-Mart Fails to Agree on Terms for First New York Store
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), the world’s largest retailer, said it failed to agree on economic terms for opening its first store in New York.
The retailer remains committed to expanding into New York, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said in a statement on its website yesterday. The store would have occupied a retail development located in East New York, a neighborhood in Brooklyn.
The chain has been kept out of New York amid opposition from organized labor and some politicians, who have said it would hurt local businesses. While Wal-Mart hasn’t been able to expand into the most populous U.S. city, competitors Target Corp. (TGT) and Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) each have a handful of locations in New York.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, New York state’s largest grocery workers union, said it played a role in ending Wal-Mart’s attempt to secure an outlet by supporting the efforts of ShopRite, a supermarket chain that wanted to occupy the site. ShopRite, part of Wakefern Food Corp., a Keasbey, New Jersey-based cooperative of supermarkets, has been in talks with Related Cos., the developer overseeing the retail project.
“It’s a win all around, but it’s more about the win for the community, then a loss for Wal-Mart,” said Patrick Purcell, a spokesman for the union. The union will continue to oppose Wal-Mart’s entry into New York, he said.
Wal-Mart declined 0.9 percent to $74.50 at the close in New York yesterday. The shares have gained 25 percent this year.
David Tovar, a Wal-Mart spokesman, declined to comment, as did Joanna Rose, a spokeswoman for Related. ShopRite has been pursuing the location for some time and should be able to confirm its status soon, Karen Meleta, a ShopRite spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement.
Wal-Mart thanked the office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz for their support. The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.
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