HINGHAM, Mass. — Local opposition to development by Wal-Mart Stores is continuing to wane, according to a survey by Saint Consulting Group here.
The annual Saint Index survey of people's attitudes toward land use found that 50% of respondents said they would oppose a Wal-Mart development in their hometown, down from 54% a year ago and from 68% in 2007.
Almost as many respondents — 47% — said they would support a Wal-Mart in their town. In urban areas, Wal-Mart supporters actually outnumbered those opposed, 49% to 47%.
The survey, conducted among 1,000 randomly selected adults across the U.S., also found declining opposition to malls, shopping centers and other big-box stores like Lowe's, Home Depot and Target.
Opposition to grocery stores increased by two percentage points from 2010 to 2011, at 26%, vs. 73% who said they would support a grocery store in their hometown.
Saint Consulting works with businesses to provide what it describes as "political campaign expertise" on development decisions.