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Earlier this month, we heard that behemoth big box chain Wal-Mart was making progress in its efforts to break ground in New York City. Now additional signs have emerged to indicate that we may have another big box store to choose from when we bargain shop for toilet paper and reasonably priced shower gel.
First off, WWD reports that Wal-Mart has come up with a modified and miniaturized "SuperCenter", ideal for space-at-a-premium New York City— no need for lawn and garden centers over here. The mega-chain has already proposed four of these revamped store concepts for Washington D.C. and one of the renderings even features fancy Whole Foods-esque interior design and—gasp—"Meatpacking District-style awnings." (Although, what specifically are MPD-style awnings? Does that mean a velvet rope and a doorman hanging out in front?)
Furthermore, in anticipation of the Wal-Mart incursion into NYC, City Council speaker and fervent Walmart opponent, Christine Quinn, had scheduled a City Council meeting to take place earlier this month. However, due to so many people wanting to attend, she was forced to reschedule the meeting to January 12, 2011. This has Steven Restivo, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s director of community relations for the Northeast, musing (we're imagining with a bit of a smirk), "We’re questioning why [the City Council] would have a hearing without us announcing a store or project in the city.”
Rumors and rumblings have pointed to Wal-Mart eying Brooklyn, more specifically, the East New York Gateway project as a possible location. Officially, the chain isn't making any announcements on new store openings, but Restivo does suggest, "The Brooklyn site doesn’t need approval [because of its size]. Our position has stayed the same for eight or nine months. We’re evaluating sites. We hope to be there [in New York City] soon.”
· Target and Ikea May Have Paved the Way for Wal-Mart in New York [Racked]
· Your Neighborhood May Be Getting a Walmart for Real This Time [Racked]
· Wal-Mart Adopts New Strategy in Quest for NYC Store [WWD]