Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wal-Mart and Friends

Crain's New York Business never tires in its promotion of Wal-Mart in NYC. In this week's magazine the editors argue, "The simple truth is that New York needs Wal-Mart more than Wal-Mart needs the city."

Crain's goes on to talk about the dreaded problem of leakage. It does so withoout a clear idea how this phenomenon actually operates in and aroun NYC. It also does so without any real analysis of the way in which the store cannibalizes existing retailers. In fact, Crain's once again takes this opportunity to besmirch the city's small retailers saying, "And, by the way, the small shops it supposedly puts out of business rarely offer any benefits, period."

Why does the city's premier business voice feel it necessary to stigmatize small retail entrepreneurs? And, Isn't there a big difference between a small store owner, someone who may also own a home in the city, and the world's largest retailer when it comes to employee

Finally, Crain's tells us that no matter how bad Wal-Mart may be, other retailers are worse. This is an argument for holding Kohl's and Targets to a higher standard as well. In any case, the fight over the Walmonster will always be a site fight and we're not certain just where the store will be able to find a hospitable neighborhood.