Wal-Mart Tries Again to Land In Cities

Two Years ago Wal-Mart enter the city of Chicago with limited fanfare in the Austin and Galewood neighborhoods. Today, it’s one of the most profitable store in the Company. Chicagoans came from miles around hardscrabble working class neighborhood getting necessities at lower prices.

Back then Wal-Mart want to open two or three stores in the city. City leaders opposed Wal-Mart’s entry because the salaries are below unionized workers standard and the stores strong anti-union sentiment. Wal-Mart had plans to open a store in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood on the Far South Side. They backed out due to heavy criticism by United Food and Commercial Worker Union and its supporters on the Chicago City Council.

Today, not only want expand in major cities it a major priority according to Mike Duke, Wal-Mart CEO. Wal-Mart is developing  political relationships in Philadelphia, while eying the big prize entering the highly coveted New York City market.

Wal-Mart US  Divisions Chief Eduardo Wright says urban market could bring billions of dollars of untapped revenue in under served communities.

“We already have in our real estate programme a robust plan to go after those,” he told analysts in October. Wal-Mart stores are not in New York City or Boston.

Wal-Mart push comes as the retailer has changed perceptions, including strong performance sales.

Leslie Dach, director of corporations said Wal-Mart abilities in serving working class neighborhood during the economic crisis “new respect from politicians, from economists and from the media”.

Wal-Mart is engaged in environment concerns which bring the retailer in recent years has led, Covalence’s rankings of global retail ethical standard from the bottom to second  behind the UK retailer Mark and Spencer.

Wal-mart has created a more regionalized management structure system to respond to local needs. They hired local political consultants to work their real estate department. Became more political savvy in it charitable giving through the Wal-Mart Foundation to African-American and Latino organizations in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Also encourage minority supplierd to work with Wal-Mart at recent event in September in Philadelphia addressed by Mayor John Street .

Financial Times

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