Friday, July 08, 2005

Staten Island Wal-Mart Update

As we have mentioned earlier, the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) is enamored with the idea of Wal-Mart though it claims no official position has been agreed on. We find this a bit intriguing considering that they are peddling a survey that supposedly shows that the two stores Staten Islanders want most are Wal-Mart and Target.

Karen O’Shea in the Staten Island Advance brings up this point and quotes Alliance member Matthew Lipsky:

Matthew Lipsky, a member of the anti-Wal-Mart group Neighborhood Retail Alliance, believes the SIEDC customer service survey results are suspect. Lipsky said when he first reached out to the SIEDC to discuss Wal-Mart several months ago, a staffer there gave a general, favorable impression of the store coming to Staten Island.

"They should make that public," Lipsky said during a recent interview. "They are an economic development agency, and if they think this is going to be an economic boon they should say so and present some evidence to support their claims."
Unmentioned in the story is the fact that the survey SIEDC is touting so far has only received approximately 200 responses. Once again why is this economic development agency promoting a faulty, pro-Wal-Mart survey if it has no official position? Why, at a press conference, claim Staten Islanders want Wal-Mart when your results are statistically unreliable?

O’Shea has another interesting story about last weekend’s petition drive spearheaded by local Union officials. These unions, including UFCW local 342, are attempting to get as many signatures as against Wal-Mart coming to the Island. According to our sources, they have received over 2000 signatures and that is only counting half of the stores who participated in the weekend drive.