BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores in a strongly worded statement rebuked a report from the Manhattan Borough president’s office concluding that a Wal-Mart store in New York City would put dozens of other food stores out of business.
“A new report from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer that predicts that a Wal-Mart in Harlem would hurt small businesses is nothing but a repackaging of a flawed Loyola University Chicago survey that tried unsuccessfully to make the same point,” the statement said. “In fact, one of the Chicago study’s authors was forced to conclude that his study contained no evidence of a net job loss in the Chicago neighborhood after Wal-Mart moved in and admitted the company actually created jobs in Chicago.”
Stringer’s report estimated that between 41 and 66 businesses selling food in a one-mile radius of a Wal-Mart store in New York’s Harlem neighborhood would go out of business within two years of the retailer’s opening, reducing access to fresh food and running counter to initiatives to bring more such stores to the city. With Wal-Mart reportedly looking at sites for a new stores in the city, Stringer advocated that city officials “take measures to protect small-scale, fresh-food retailers and the residents who rely on these stores to help maintain their health.”
Wal-Mart defended its record in providing additional access to food in places like Chicago, and pointed out Stringer had previously supported the arrival of big-box rivals Target and Costco to New York. It said city residents were on pace to increase their spending at Wal-Mart stores outside of the city by 26% this year.