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ShopRite wants to beat Walmart to Gateway II space

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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.

Both companies have long been in talks with the Related Companies, the developer of the property.

Walmart and ShopRite officials have declined to comment further on the talks, but news of the showdown has Brooklynites picking sides.

“ShopRite’s wages are higher than Walmart’s and unlike Walmart, it gives its employees benefits paid in full,” said Pat Purcell, spokesman for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500, which supports the ShopRite, which has one other location in Brooklyn and hires union workers.

But some residents say they prefer the Walmart.

“We need jobs and Walmart would give people in the community the opportunity to earn a decent wage,” said East New York activist Tony Herbert, who has collected 30,000 signatures in favor of a Brooklyn Walmart as part of his Walmart 2 NYC campaign. “We’ll worry about unions later, let’s get the jobs here first.”

Walmart’s quest to open in Brooklyn has infuriated some local lawmakers, who say that Walmart’s non-union policy leads to low wages.

“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.

The average full-time hourly wage at ShopRite is $16, while Walmart averages $13 per hour, according to the union.

Both store’s starting salaries for part-time workers can be as low as $8, according to various reports. Walmart reps argue that its salaries are fair, and that the majority of retail — including the Gateway II stores Target and Home Depot — are also non-union.

A company spokesman confirmed that Walmart’s average wage is less than that of ShopRite, but also released a report that its New York employees earn about $3,000 more per year than most Brooklyn grocery store workers.

“Walmart creates quality jobs that are as good, if not better, than the majority of businesses we compete with,” said the spokesman, Steven Restivo.

He added that Walmart does offer benefits including a health care plan that costs workers as low as $11 per pay period.

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.

“ShopRite would be about a third — at most — and leave room for other retailers to share the space,” Purcell said.

Purcell added that his organization plans to counter Walmart’s recent PR blitz on Brooklyn with its own campaign in hopes to sway residents favor toward a new ShopRite instead of Walmart.

“We’ll take out ads, canvass in the neighborhood, sit down with elected officials and meet with community boards,” Purcell said.

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Reader Feedback

Rob from NYC says:
It's not even close! A Shoprite would be 100 times better than a Wal-Mart on so many levels. Anyone who wants a Wal-Mart clearly knows nothing about them as a company and just hears about lower costs.
Feb. 8, 2011, 10:54 am
Resident from PPW says:
I can't wait for Walmart to move in. And yes, I want lower costs!
Feb. 8, 2011, 11:27 am
JudahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:
ShopRite yes! WalWrong no!
Feb. 8, 2011, 11:53 am
JudahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:
I worry about Corporation that does PR blitz. They are usually up to no good. 3 football length size store. That's the mother ship or mother load. They don't plan on leaving anything for any other Merchant. What is that about?
Feb. 8, 2011, 11:55 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Isn't the Brooklyn paper embarrassed to be writing an article about a Brooklyn neighborhood that it usually completely ignores?
Feb. 8, 2011, 2:37 pm
Rob from Queens says:
Go Wal-Mart! Unions are ruining this city.
Feb. 8, 2011, 3:17 pm
James from Queens says:
Other than unionization, there isn't a big difference between the two companies. All unions care about these days are dues and nepotism.
Feb. 8, 2011, 7:12 pm
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
I think walmart is just a lower cost verion of target. i wouldnt mind a walmart, Brooklyn already has a k-mart
Feb. 9, 2011, 12:54 am
Joseph from Flatbush says:
WalMart sells bullets.

WalMart sold the bullets to the shooter in the Pheonix mass killings.

WalMart sold the bullets for only 22 cents each.

WalMart's low low prices enabled the shooter to murder a little girl with one 22 cent bullet.

WalMart's low low prices enabled the shooter to murder a retired federal judge, husband, and father with one 22 cent bullet.

WalMart's low low prices enabled the shooter to murder a NJ retiree, mother, and grandmother with one 22 cent bullet.

WalMart's low low prices enabled the shooter to murder more men and women with one 22 cent bullet.

Maiming -- yes, WalMart's low low prices enabled the shooter to maim many more people that morning with their 22 cents bullets.

The shooters in the Colombine High School mass murders bought their bullets at KMart. For the societal good, KMart stopped selling bullets.

WalMart continues to sell bullets despite the Phoenix mass murders and maimings. Every 22 cents counts for WalMart.

Behind WalMart's frest fruits and vegetables are WalMart's 22 cent bullets.

A vote for WalMart supports mass murder and 22 cents bullets.

A vote for WalMart supports cheap and often unsafe MADE IN CHINA products.

A vote for WalMart supports the wholesale extermination of the unions and the middle class.

Even if WalMart doesn't sell bullets here, every dollar WalMart makes on our backs enables WalMart to sell 22 cents bullets everywhere else.

Just like illegal guns make it to NY from Virginia and the Carolinas, WalMart's cheap bullets come along for the ride to NY.

Like my neighbor says "Nobody should shop at WalMart.". She doesn't want her grandchildren murdered with a 22 cent WalMart bullet.

Feb. 9, 2011, 1:15 pm
Paul A. from Bay Ridge/Ft. Hamilton says:
Just a number of simple questions: Would you rather work for a company that pays a higher wage, has paid benefits and is unionized to protect job security or a company that has none of the above?? Would you prefer to work for a company that pays part time $8.00 and after a time lays you off only to start the cycle again? Walmart claims that they have quality jobs for $8.00 per hour and they have a income that is $3000.00 greater than most clerks. When do they eat & sleep? As far as ShopRite using only 1/3 of the land parcel that means other businesses would build & trade in the area forming a steady income for the areas people seeking jobs.Remember the little wooden spoons that you got with Dixie Cups as a kid? What did you do with the spoon afterward? Walmart would treat the people like those spoons. They'd throw them away.
Feb. 9, 2011, 3:37 pm
madmilker from upper west side says:
"It is the aim of good government to stimulate production, of bad government to encourage consumption." - Jean Baptiste Say

If Retail makes NOTHING....and Government makes only MORE DEBT....the only thing that can have a positive effect on communities is Small Business and companies that make stuff.

The picture of George Washington can float around a town six to eight times before leaving the community but if that dollar is spent inside of a big box store it will leave the same day that it entered.

Big Box stores like Wal*Mart can take in 200,000 George Washington's a day and that be a lot of "Liberty" "Pride" "Freedom" leaving town each day.

And when one figures into the equation America has a six to one trade deficit with China which means five out of every six George Washington's that go there will never come back unless the US Government sells bonds(debt) this is what those on Jenkins Hill and Wall Street don't understand when it comes to local banks not having any George Washington's to loan out in their communities.

Why is it that people ain't writing articles about those fifteen cargo ships that pollute as much as 760 million automobiles, T Boone Pickens owning a Texas Water District, Nestle draining the Great Lakes, the disconnect between Coca-Cola and the people of India, Wal*Mart putting less than 5% foreign in their stores in China and Warren Buffett buying a Choo Choo train a few years after Wal*Mart makes a deal on a port in Mexico.

In 1960 U.S. goods manufacturing produced a $5 billion trade surplus - - 2006 merchandise trade had a $836 billion deficit. Today, for some reason, the world thinks the American consumer needs to support what they make....well, it doesn't work like that even a fifth grader can figure that out.

So-call cheaper items only breed cheaper wages and this will go on until the rich of the world carry out the manufacturing of ignorance through out the 182 or so counties that will have a chance to make something.

I'm just an O'fart with very little book learning but from what I've seen over the past sixty five years in this great union of fifty states has shown me that common sense left in the year 63' and "my sh!! don't stink" sense as been here every since.

Sad, those few fat farmers with penmanship of poets holding feather quill pens and writing the American dream has today become nothing more than a page within a history book that a bunch of asinine dipsticks are to lazy and ignorant to teach.

Over the past 100 years the Federal Debt has gone from $2.6 billion in 1910 to over $14 trillion today....In that time there has only been one 10 year period that the debt has gone down 1920-1930.

All done by a bunch of elephants and jack@sses acting like turnips. People today still think Clinton balance the budget but anyone knows if they think with an open mind that if the budgets of the Clinton years had been balance the debt would had not gone up.

America is over $57 trillion in debt and it didn't get there by people using common sense. If the American people don't wake-up to that fact within another twenty years they will witness Lady Liberty kneeling to her knees in the Hudson and someone in Tiananmen Square holding that tablet from under her left arm celebrating what is written upon it.
Feb. 9, 2011, 8:20 pm
barbarab says:
We need affordable goods. Why can't Walmart just build a store without all this discord?
Feb. 9, 2011, 10:14 pm
Rich from Brooklyn says:
WALMART!!! its more usefull forget about shoprite...
Feb. 16, 2011, 11:39 am
Michael from USA says:
Jeez..

All threads closed.

24 Navy Seals;

Each and every one.

Deserves.

Earned.

The Medal of Honor.

It would be difficult to give out;

Something worth more than gold.

.

Each and every one.

.

And i don't care. If Bin Laden had one more day to live.

.

As an American.

I'de be;

scratch that.

I am.

Proud.

If they took one more day of life from him.

.

They risked it all.

Phonepoles.

.

Kudos.

Immortals.
May 4, 2011, 1:22 am
Chuck from Brooklyn says:
I want a Walmart!
July 17, 2011, 12:31 pm
denise from flushing says:
Everyone I know that worked for walmart was treated like slaves, no going home til they say, even after 14 hours, no overtime, no union, no job protection. The worst compnay to work for. kills all little businesses and hurts the citys economy> but people who dont care and want to save a buck will tell their grandchidlren to be prepared to live in a cardboard box when they grow up because thats the way we are going.
Sept. 15, 2012, 8:56 pm
Sue from Howard Beach says:
Shop Rite !!!!!!!!!!
Feb. 16, 2013, 6:22 pm

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