Friday, September 14, 2012

Walmart Exits Brooklyn: WPU Takes a Bow

Crain's is reporting that Wal-Mart has pulled out of the rumored site it had been looking for at the Gateway Mall in Brooklyn owned by the Related Company-and union-friendly Shoprite took its place:

"Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s vision of building its first New York City store at a site in East New York, Brooklyn, came to an end Friday. Related Cos. struck a deal with Shop-Rite Supermarkets, not the controversial big-box chain, to anchor its Gateway II mall."

In our view one of the major reasons for this about face is the fact that WPU was directly threatening to hold Related hostage at Willets Point if it didn't get rid of the noxious retail giant. As we said last month:"What Brooklyn should do is hold Related and Sterling hostage until the Gateway Wal-Mart exclusion is negotiated."

Local 1500 is rightfully taking a victory lap on this:

"Pat Purcell, a spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500praised the deal as one that would provide East New York residents access to "good food, good jobs and good health."

"Today's news is proof that labor, management, elected officials and community can work together productively and provide results that make it a win-win-win for all for New Yorkers, workers and consumers alike," Mr. Purcell added

In addition, a shout out to Wal-Mart Free's Stephanie Yasgi who has done an incredible job bringing all of the disparate elements together in her coalition. Well done.

For its part Wal-Mart tried to put the best face on the fact that it was bitch-slapped by labor and the anti-Walmart coalition. As the NY Post reported:

"Walmart today announced that we were unable to agree upon economic terms for a project in East New York,” spokesman Steven Restivo said. “We remain committed to bringing new economic development and shopping options to New York City, especially in the neighborhoods that need them most.”

This leaves the hideous Willets Point development where it has always been-built on a foundation of lies and deceit heading south on a road that is not big enough to accommodate all of the huge traffic increases that it will generate.