Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Shoprite, Wal-wrong

The battle between Walmart and Shoprite over the site in the expanded Gateway Mall in East NY is heating up-and the Brooklyn Paper has the story: "Walmart may be eying Brooklyn, but ShopRite is eying Walmart. Representatives for the supermarket chain say they want to open a store at the proposed Gateway II shopping center on the Belt Parkway in a move that could keep Walmart — and the intense competition it would bring — out of the borough. “We are interested in the Gateway II location,” said ShopRite spokeswoman Karen Meleta, referring to the site near the border of Queens where Walmart could set up shop without city approval."

So, now we know definitively that there is a very good alternative to the Walmonster-one that wouldn't obliterate the retail playing field and generate car trips from over five miles away. Which means that the building trades need not be concerned that their folks won't get to work-and, in fact, with Shoprite having no controversy attached to it, their folks may actually get to work much more quickly.

CM Barron, for one, wants Shoprite: "ShopRite is much better than Walmart because the workers are unionized,” said Councilman Charles Barron (D–Canarsie), who has not been shy about bashing Walmart, though not other big-box stores that already operate with no controversy in his district."

Another point of emphasis is that what makes some people like the Walmonster is exactly why it poses such a threat to the existing small business infrastructure-and the giant sucking sound you'll hear is the sound of all of the business being siphoned right off of all the neighborhood shopping strips: "According to Walmart’s website, one of the main reasons 76 percent of Brooklynites would welcome the superstore is its convenience, as it’s a one-stop-shop for everything from clothes to food to DVDs — and many products that ShopRite doesn’t sell. In addition, Walmart wants to utilize the entire Gateway Plaza land parcel, which is about the size of three football fields. If ShopRite ends up winning the duel for Gateway II, it would only be as large as one football field."

Leaving nothing for anyone else.