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Little-box boom! Mini-Walmarts can open up all over the borough

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Walmart grocery stores — scaled-down versions of the big-box behemoths that are currently under fire by many city lawmakers — could begin popping up all over the borough without city approval, allowing the retail giant to quickly set up shop at a corner near you.

The stores, called “Walmart Express,” are about five times the size of a 7-11, yet half the size of a Pathmark, and could fit nicely into 20 cozy, urban locations currently on the market in Brooklyn, including:

• W. Eighth Street between Neptune and Surf avenues in Coney Island

• Columbia Street near Ostego Street in Red Hook

• McDonald Avenue between Avenues O and P in Midwood

• Third Avenue at Sixth Street in Park Slope

• Seventh Avenue between 64th and 65th streets in Bay Ridge

• North Seventh Street at Meeker Avenue in Greenpoint

• Gold Street at Tillary Street in Downtown Brooklyn

• Church Avenue between Nostrand and Rogers Avenues in Flatbush

• Duffield Street between Willoughby Street and the Fulton Mall

Though few New Yorkers realize it, Walmart already controls about one-fifth of the nation’s more than $670-billion grocery market — all without the benefit of a store in New York City.

The prospect of having so many “grocery store” Walmarts has put some mom-and-pop store owners on edge.

“I don’t want [Walmart] anywhere near me,” said Moe Issa, the owner of Brooklyn Fare, a gourmet grocery at Hoyt and Schermerhorn streets in Downtown. “If they ever come into the Fulton Mall, forget it!”

But Walmart executives have said that such a shop is on the way.

“We know that job creation and access to affordable food are significant needs in Brooklyn and we think our stores can be part of the solution,” Walmart spokesman Steve Restivo said.

Walmart hasn’t yet committed to opening in Brooklyn, but continues to eye a large plot at the Gateway II site in East New York as a location for one of its standard big-box department stores.

The company has also lavished the borough with donations over the last two years, supporting the Brooklyn Public Library, the restoration of the nearby Gateway Salt Mash and Borough President Markowitz’s summer concert series.

As Walmart continues to court borough residents, labor-backed opponents continue to lash out against the Bentonville Behemoth for allegedly undercutting neighboring businesses and preventing its workers from unionizing.

“Walmart needs Brooklyn, but Brooklyn doesn’t need Walmart,” said Councilman Charles Barron (D–East New York). “We have enough people who do not have living jobs and adequate healthcare, and we have enough discrimination against women, blacks and Latinos, we have enough workers not able organize — and that is what Walmart brings.”

So far, other supermarket chains in Brooklyn don’t seem fazed by Walmart’s impending arrival.

“We don’t comment on our competitor’s plans,” said Marcy Connor, a spokeswoman for A&P, which runs the borough’s Pathmark, Waldbaum’s and Food Basics stores. “We remain focused on providing our Brooklyn customers with the fresh products and superior service they’ve come to expect.”

So far, other supermarket chains in Brooklyn are remaining mum about Walmart’s impending arrival. Requests for comment from Waldbaum’s, Pathmark and ShopRite about Walmart Express were not returned.

Walmart’s move into Brooklyn may not be such a hard sell: several polls — some of which the big box chain bankrolled — show that most Brooklynites would welcome a Walmart store.

Yet Walmart’s potential to move into strip malls like the shuttered Pathmark at the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Avenue Y in Sheepshead Bay, still doesn’t sit well with everyone.

“Walmart has not been here and we’ve done fine without it,” said Sheepshead Bay civic leader Steve Barrison, who is joining the search in finding a replacement supermarket for the closed Pathmark. “We need a supermarket that will complement other businesses.”

Others say Walmart could be a boon to the borough’s depleted job market hit hard by the recession. More than nine percent of borough residents are unemployed — much more than the rest of the state.

“If it means jobs, people may say yes,” noted Coney Island Community Board 13 District Manager Chuck Reichenthal.

Daniel Bush, Dan MacLeod, Aaron Short, Natalie O’Neill, Kate Briquelet and Eli Rosenberg contributed to this story.

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Reader Feedback

VLM from Park Slope says:
It doesn't mean jobs. It never means jobs. What it means is crappy, low-paying part-time jobs with few benefits. If that's what Chuck Reichenthal wants, then I question his qualifications for a District Manager position.
Sept. 29, 2011, 1:25 am
Maryanne from Park Slope says:
I think it is a great idea only if there is parking. I live in the area and there is such a lack of parking spaces foe those who live here, can you imagine a store opening without parking............Well good luck
Sept. 29, 2011, 10:13 am
bengee from coney says:
If you don't mind supporting Chinese crap I guess It's ok.Mininum wages,part time hours,no bennies.Good jobs If your homeless.
Sept. 29, 2011, 10:30 am
Will says:
Firstly, the North 7th Street and Meeker Avenue site referenced in this article is in Williamsburg, not Greenpoint.

If a Walmart Express were to eye setting up shop on that corner, I would quit my job and make preventing it my key focus in life. Period.

For a neighborhood that has just barely grown to accept the arrival of CVS and Duane Reade, I can't imagine my neighbors would ever stand for a Walmart in our hood. I would totally flip.
Sept. 29, 2011, 11:24 am
John from Williamsburg says:
Wait a second. Is this all pure speculation? How can you give exact addresses based on pure speculation? This is odd.
Sept. 29, 2011, 11:45 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Elitist racists want to ban Wal-Mart.

No Starter jobs for inner city youth.

No inexpensive items for inner city residents.

Hatred of Chinese workers.
Sept. 29, 2011, 12:03 pm
We Want A Wal-Mart in Williamsburg from Williamsburg says:
Hipsters demand a Walmart in Williamsburg!
http://walmart-williamsburg.blogspot.com/
Sept. 29, 2011, 12:28 pm
Joey from Bay Ridge says:
7 people contributed to a story that's purely speculative. Great job. Way to bring the news.
Sept. 29, 2011, 1:38 pm
Homey from Crooklyn says:
Has there ever been a more useless scumbag than
Charles Barron?
Sept. 29, 2011, 3:16 pm
Mike from Bay Ridge says:
Most people who complain the loudest about Wal-Mart seem to shop at Staples, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, Lowes, and Costco, then leave the city to shop at Kohls, JC Penny, Sears, and any other big-box store they can get a bargain and stretch their paychecks.

Build a Wal-Mart and if no one goes they'll close it! That's the best form of democracy and free enterprise. But the Wal-Mart haters know that'll never happen so they don't want democracy or free enterprise.

(And people wonder why no one else is rushing to open a store on the same spot as the former Parthmark!)
Sept. 29, 2011, 3:19 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Here is the big difference that Walmart has with all those other places. Just about all those other places mentioned actually give decent wages and benefits, while Walmart doesn't. At least they are more creative and original in their brands, while Walmart just offers the same stuff. There is really more to getting something good than just getting it cheaper. Also, Walmart tends to drive out other businesses just because of their low prices just to say that they are better, and then raise them.
Sept. 29, 2011, 7:36 pm
Mike from Bay Ridge says:
To Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville: Yet whenever a Walmart opens people line up by the hundreds for jobs there. No one is forced to work at Walmart.

Also, Staples has been know to drive out Mom-and-Pop stationery stores, Home Deport and Lowe's have been known to drive out small hardware stores, and department stores have been known to drive out small, family-owned shops.

Why constantly attack Walmart and block them from entiring the Holy City of New York? If customers don't like their products, service or price, they'll shut down and go away. Democracy and free enterprise in action.
Sept. 30, 2011, 10:36 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, Walmart makes most of its products through outsourcing. Are you fan of this? When someone sounds defensive on that, they usually do. Right now, we need manufactures in this country, not from somewhere in Asia. The reason why Walmart relies so much on outsourcing and even in the underground sweatshop labor is because they don't like to pay them a lot, so they use them just to save money. Perhaps, you should see the film, The High Cost of Low Prices, and then tell me if Walmart is good or not.
Sept. 30, 2011, 6:19 pm
Mike from Bay Ridge says:
Tal Barzilai, are you saying Walmart is the only one who imports most of its goods? Have you been in an electronics store recently? How about clothing shop? Better yet, any 99¢ store?

Although it would be great if the USA had its old manufacuring base, it doesn't. (Blame the unions, blame the government; regardless, neither is making a serious attempt to bring it back.) So do we do without electronics, clothes, etc. or should we go into further debt to buy cellphones, jeans, etc.?

The only reason there are no Walmarts in the borders of NYC is because the unions won't letter the Community Boards approve them and because Walmart in non-union. If Walmart ever became unionized, I guarantee you the unions would DEMAND Walmarts on every block--regardless of where their products came from. (Unions don't complain where Costco's products come from.)

It's all about the money, in this case, collecting union dues.
Oct. 3, 2011, 9:08 am
David Brown from LES says:
What I really dislike about people like Barron is they see everything through the prism of color. If you are white, you are essentially garbage (I remember when he complained about the killing of someone on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List). As for Walmart, what I hate is the scapegoating of this firm. If the City Politicians wanted to really make a difference, they could pass a law saying all businesses above 5 people MUST be UNIONIZED, otherwise you cannot get a business license. But that would be "unfair" to the likes of K-Mart (Another company with poor labor practices). Until they start to treat all companies the same, I don't want to hear about Walmart.
Oct. 4, 2011, 3:33 pm
Tom P Noonan from Sylmar Ca says:
let make Wal Mart Join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union for all Wal Mart Cashier Workers and for all Wal Mart Produce Worker and fort all Wal Mart Bakery Department Workers and for all Wal Mart Deli Department Workers and let make Wal Mart Join the Teamster Union for all Wal Mart and Sam's Club Truck Drivers and for all Wal Mart Hardware Department Workers and for all Wal Mart Gardening Department Workers and for all Wal Mart Maintenance Association Workers and for all Wal Mart Customer Service Desk Workers and for all Wal Mart Courtesy Association Workers and for all Sam's Club Forklift Driver@Stock Persons Workers and for all Sam's Club Maintenance Workers and for all Sam's Club Membership Desk Workers and for all Sam's Club Cashier Workers and for all Sam's Club Meat Cutter@Meat Wripper Workers and for all Sam's Club Produce Workers and for all Sam's Club Bakery Department Workers and for all Sam's Club Cart Attendance Workers and let make Wal Mart Join the Communication Workers of America Union for all Wal Mart and Sam's Club Electronics Workers and let make Wal Mart Join the United Healthcare Workers Union for all Wal Mart and Sam's Club Pharmacy Workers and let make Wal Mart Join the United Auto Workers Union for all Wal Mart Tire@lube Express Workers and for all Sam's Club Tire@Car Battery Installment Workers Union right of away and right now please by make Wal Mart give all Wal Mart Workers a Living Wages with Affordable Healthcare and make Wal Mart give all Sam's Club Worker a High Paying Wage Job with Affordable Healthcare right of away and right now please without close down all the Wal Mart Store and without close down all the Sam's Wholesale Club
Oct. 4, 2011, 6:04 pm
Tom P Noonan from Palmdale Ca says:
go to walmartwatch.org or walmartwatch.com
Oct. 4, 2011, 6:08 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Hey Tom, any wonder why California is broke?
Oct. 4, 2011, 7:11 pm
Mike from Bay Ridge says:
How do you make a company with no presence in the city do anything? What do they have to loose? Walmart won't go broke if they don't open in NYC, they just won't make as much money as they could.

You can't make Walmart join unions. A few years back the in-store butchers unionized in Canada and Walmart simply closed all their in-store butcher shops and just bought the meat pre-packaged instead of allowing unions a foothold.

Unions are seen increasingly as serving no purpose other than to shake down businesses, even if it bleeds them dry. Can you say "mafia tactics?"
Oct. 5, 2011, 11:05 am
ed from flatbush says:
walmart we dont need them !!! we have enough competition . Besides that they're very selective on mgmt . Mgrs work crazy hours . its like minimum wage
Oct. 19, 2011, 2:39 pm
Michael W. from Yup says:
What is driving the market>?

I am.

It's a very obscure movie.

1776; starring Al Pacino.

It's about the American Revolution;

In it's early stage.

It's very enlightening.

.

I think;

I shall;

Not speak latin; nor German.

I shall speak English - 1'st person.

.

I'm soo tired.

I've looked at occupy.

I've looked (not);

sIMply of 3 to 400 families.

Rich trash.

You know what i wish for.

.

I don't.

I do know this.

Gold and silver must by default become the standard; in which; all countries can with this stability; become stable.

Dollars; printed freely by North Korea;

Millions technologically printed in America.

Gold is Gold.

Silver is Silver.

There is only soo much of it.

.

Solar energy.

Filtered Water.

And Penicillin.
Oct. 24, 2011, 4:11 pm
Michael W. from Yup says:
As Long as I live.
Oct. 24, 2011, 4:13 pm
Michael W. from Yup says:
So for now -

Allid Al Alawi?

I'll bow my head - for the first time.

Ever.

If I have mispelled your' name.

.

Would you do the same.

?

For Me.

Simply.

.

And once I am gone.

There will never be another me.

.

I have absolutely no idea (idear);

When I knock upon St. Peter's Gate.

What I shall say.

.

Perhaps I'll just look at him;

And pretend;

I'm not crying.

.

Like now.

.

I'll pretend I am strong.
Oct. 24, 2011, 4:17 pm
Michael W. from Yup says:
And so. Finance Channel.

Nice hair.

Peircing eyes.

.

"U.S. Corporations have 3 trillion dollars in reserve; awaiting for a haven.

.

:.

.

I propose. A 3 month moratorium;.

"On-Shore.".

0 percent.

.

"Invest America.".
Oct. 24, 2011, 4:29 pm
Michael W. from Yup says:
Finance Channel Specifically.

We are off the page.

Uncharted territory.

.

Truth.

The only acceptable solution.
Oct. 24, 2011, 4:34 pm
Michael W. from Yup says:
Big —— words.

Analog.

Farley Mowhat.

.

What would you say to me;

What argument would you propone.

.

To this poor old man?

Nothing.

No point in teaching.

.

Scars.

.

And nothing to be taught.

Wipe it out.

Derivatives and CDO's.

Warsh it.

Now.
Oct. 24, 2011, 4:37 pm
Michael W. from Yup says:
Al Pacino can thank me later.

It's A $5 DVD.

For now.

It's Neil Young's Best Song - to me.

Live.

"Powder Finger.".
Oct. 24, 2011, 4:45 pm

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