retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart was unable to reach a deal with a Brooklyn real estate developer that would have led to the first of its stores being opened in New York City. Instead, the Journal writes, "a ShopRite grocery store struck a deal Friday morning with developer Related Cos. to anchor the 630,000-square-foot Gateway II shopping center planned for the East New York area of Brooklyn.

"Unions and labor-backed candidates cheered the decision and vowed to continue to block nonunion Wal-Mart stores from opening in New York City. ShopRite is a New Jersey-based cooperative with union employees."

"ShopRite will bring quality food to this area of Brooklyn as well as good jobs with an economic impact that will be felt throughout the five boroughs. I welcome this company's newest location with its history of responsible business practices, supporting its workers and the communities they serve," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has been critical of Wal-Mart in the past, and who is expected to run for mayor next year.

Walmart's failure to get a deal reportedly was over financial terms.

"We were unable to agree upon economic terms for a project in East New York," said Steven Restivo, Wal-Mart senior director of community affairs. "We remain committed to bringing new economic development and shopping options to New York City, especially in the neighborhoods that need them most."
KC's View:
I think it is disingenuous to suggest that Walmart lost out only because of financial concerns. Politics almost had to play a part; I'm sure the developer didn't want picketers on this project from the moment that it broke ground.

But it also means that maybe Walmart is able or willing to cut the deals it has to or needs to in order to open in NYC.