portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting oregon & cascadia

economic justice | no new sprawlmarts

Walmart tries to rally support

Walmart tries to rally support in S. Oregon
August 31, 2003

Wal-Mart tries to rally support

The Associated Press




CENTRAL POINT - Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, sent fliers to 10,000 Southern Oregon residents this week, urging them to support a proposed new SuperCenter here.

The mass mailing come after plans for the 207,000-square-foot store have drawn a steady stream of criticism from some local residents.

``We think it's important for people to voice their opinions one way or another,'' Wal-Mart spokeswoman Amy Hill said on Friday. ``There is a vocal minority out there trying to stop Wal-Mart in Central Point. We wanted to give people a chance to show their support.''

Becca Croft, a spokeswoman for Central Point First, the group that is opposing the new store, said she thought the fliers meant that her group's actions have gotten under the skin of the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailing giant.

The one-page flier urged residents to pledge their support for Wal-Mart in a variety of ways, including writing letters to the editor or speaking out at public hearings and meetings. It also noted that the new store would bring 250 jobs to the community.

Hill said Wal-Mart often uses such fliers when trying to build a new store. She said the retailer might mail a similar flier to Medford residents in its attempt to build a Supercenter there.
Let's say this is true 31.Aug.2003 15:21

firetruck

A new Wal-Mart will bring 250 new jobs to the community.

What does this mean?

-These 250 jobs would be non-union. The workers would not be fairly protected or represented.

-Wal-Mart has a history of ordering employees to stay extra time without pay.

-A Wal-Mart will require a large parking lot:
More traffic in the area,
More noise,
More litter,
Night time cleanup creates extra noise.

-Wal-Mart did not guarantee these 250 new jobs would go to local people.

-These new jobs would be mostly non-management jobs. The managers would be imported.

The question to be answered is, how would this installation effect the long terms good of the community as it now stands?

-Of these 250 new jobs, it is unlikely

250 jobs for a while.......but not forever 31.Aug.2003 17:11

Mariposa

It's important to factor in the job losses from all the local businesses that will have to close down.......and then families get broken up because people who would stay have to leave their communities to find work in the big city. With the influx of people leaving, property values decline and ultimately you end up with a ghost town.

And then.....Walmart pulls out.....and tries to set up shop in another self-sufficient all-American town......and the cycle continues.

At this point, I think we could do some hard data analysis on all the NOW closed down Walmarts due to towns just folding up.

And that's the Walmart way -- it's designed as a temporary (10 years?) presence. Perfect for a "disposable society."

Notice that Walmart NEVER tries to put their superstores in BIG cities (eek, real competition by other big bad corps). It's always in little towns.

I can't remember the population of Central Point, but I would guess that it is no more than 150,000 people if Walmart wants to go there...........

Check your facts, Mariposa . . . . 31.Aug.2003 17:28

Dr. Evil

Walmart has put several of their "Superstores" in major metropolitan areas all over the country.
You may not like them, and actually, I don't much like them either. But if you are gonna make arguments, check your facts first. Otherwise,
your arguments look pretty lame. . . . . . . .

Urban WalMart is no better 31.Aug.2003 19:52

yttocs

Dr. Evil is correct in his statement that WalMart also targets metropolitan markets, typically after smaller towns in a region have been overrun and impacted negatively. However, they seldom build in upscale suburbs or expensive urban markets! Try Lents/Powell on SE 82nd and Holgate. In addition they typically target a depressed retail site, play greedy negotiator with the property owner and dictate what other tenants they will accept in their mall site. After that they follow the typical practices stated prior in this stream. They are one of the true corporate Pigs and main enemy of small business, unions, etc. Central Point resist the WalMart 'candy to the little child' tactic...it causes tooth and community decay. RESIST*UNITE*LAUGH

rural walmart cycle 31.Aug.2003 20:26

Duncan

What I have heard from people in Oklahoma is that Walmart sets up shop in all the small towns in a given region. Then when every hardware, dry goods and supermarket closes down, they build a super center and close all the smaller wallamrts. Pretty soon everyone in driving 40 miles to get a scredriver. I had a similar expierence while working up in the Wynoochie valley in Washing ton. My watch broke, and I had to have a watch to time my surveys, so I drove 22 miles to Montasano WA (the County Seat for Grays Harbor Cty) and went to the every store in town, and not one of them sold watches, or even a battery powered alarm clock, because they couldnt compete with the Walmart in Aberdeen 15 miles away, so I drove another 15 miles (74 mile RT) for a frigging watch.

I dont shop at walmart anymore, ever, they could give away rolexs and I would not go.

Walmart's Intrusions 31.Aug.2003 23:34

Portland Ponderer

OK, so I do not recall the date, but a few months, maybe a year ago I read a creepy story about Walmart on the AP wire. It seems that for a vendor to be allowed to sell their goods through Walmart, they must do a couple of things:

1. Keep and accurate, up to the minute inventory of all product available for sale to Walmart or other curstomers.
2. Allow WalMart access to this database real time.
3. Allow WalMart the right to purchase all or all they want of this inventory, no matter what.
4. Allow WalMart to negotiate lower prices because they buy in bulk.

Since we all are thinking individuals here, I will let you draw your own conclusions on the effect this will have on vendors and competition and spare you my opinions.

Skamania madness 01.Sep.2003 00:06

ms. lafarge

I had a similar experiene to Duncan's in Skamania County, Washington and Hood River, Oregon about 5 years ago. No merchants in Carson or Stevenson or Hood River had a pair of binoculars except Walmart. It was interesting going into shops and asking folks why they didn't carry them anymore. No one felt particularly concerned about the situation; just told us to go to Walmart.

I haven't set foot in a Walmart before or since, but there's a swath of land by the ocean here that's been reserved for Walmart for a long time, and their fleet of sleazy lawyers is just waiting to pounce on Astoria. Costco, Safeway, and Walmart are now slugging it out for monopoly control of the international "grocery" biz, and no community will be unscathed.

Question to ponder... 01.Sep.2003 01:45

Portland Ponderer

...if everyone had a set of basic rights, listed below, no strings attached, would Walmart still be evil?

1. The right to housing, free of pests and of sufficient space, amenities and condition to promote good health.
2. The right to be free of hunger, and have food that is satisfying to the palate.
3. The right to healthcare, sufficient to promote raising the life expectancy of everyone to 80.
4. The right to have clothing sufficient to keep them safe and healthy, in condition to be suitable for everyday use.
5. The right to a free education, at least to the high school diploma equivalent, with options to pursue education beyond that level free of charge.

Maybe the change we need to focus on is the disparity of income, and not destruction of corporations. Maybe if the Walton Heir's fortune were not (combined) larger than Bill Gates', Walmart would not be so evil?

Maybe we need something like the Ben n Jerry's original policy - the highest paid gets no more than a multiple of (I think it was 10) times the pay of the lowest paid worker, but implemented on an international scale.

Never hurts to ask questions and dream...

dude.. 01.Sep.2003 03:11

duh

Do you think if we had these things on your wish list that any of the poor SOBs who now work at Walmart would keep plugging away at starvation wages to enrich the Walton family?

a couple pieces of info 01.Sep.2003 14:05

jason

I wish I could provide a better citation, but I don't have the book in front of me. But, I have read the following before:

First, on average nationwide, communities lose 3 jobs for every 2 walmart creates--it takes about 6 to 18 months. And it's worth noting that the quality of the jobs is dramatically different. A local mom and pop business that is a part of the community and supports at least one family well enough to buy a home, send kids to college, etc. is lost to create a minimum wage job with no benifits, no security and no pride for the individual (you ever worked a job like this?).

Secondly, while their are now some walmart's in urban areas, they are nearly exclusively a rural corporation--as mariposa claimed. It is a well documented part of Sam Walton's vision and business strategy (bragged about in is own autobiography) to avoid urban areas and concentrate on the large chunk of the country that has few shopping alternatives. Further, while walmart has opened stores recently in 'urban' areas, this is not a significant part of it's business, and nearly all of these urban walmarts are actually in the suburbs, I have never seen a walmart in a real city.

Lest you forget... 01.Sep.2003 15:03

Justice Evans

"the poor SOBs who now work at Walmart [who] keep plugging away at starvation wages to enrich the Walton family"

These people, the "poor SOBs" do not think of their jobs as a way to "enrich the Walton family." They think of their jobs as, low and behold, Their Jobs. Do not forget this.

What is the point of not forgetting that? Perhaps it is to remind those of us who are "above Walmart" that there are those of us who are not. Why are they not above and beyond a corporate entity like this? Why can they not see the problems that these kinds of companies bring with them? These are the questions that need to be addressed...these are the people that need to be addressed. Make the lower-middle-class rural person who works at a place like Walmart refuse to work at a place like Walmart. Easier said than done, I'm sure, but most ideas grounded in ideals can be worked out, somehow, and not through bitching. That's all.

It's not about Walmart in Southern Oregon!!!! 04.Sep.2003 19:17

It's the traffic problems in Southern Oregon!!!!

The road I live on is 500 feet from the proposed Wal-mart in Central Point. Amy Hill tries to tell everyone that we are fighting walmart and we have something against it. I shop at walmart at least 2 times a week! It is not about Walmart. It is about the traffic problems it will cause (Major) and I mean major problems with traffic. There are problems with traffic concerns as it is! If Walmart finds another spot to put it away from residential neighborhoods, most people would not have any problem, but they don't care that the traffic problems will be sooooo bad that 80% of people will cut through my subdivision to get out of the way of the traffic. Now, how many children will get hit by all these people speeding through the subdivision to get away from Walmart traffic. Most people are fighting Walmart because of this situation and because the lot is zoned C4 which is for a strip mall. Walmart needs zoing C5! Amy Hill fails to tell the public that that is all of the concerns and a small majority don't like Walmart. She just makes it a poor us, these people do not like Walmart. Amy Hill, if you were a good spokesperson, you should tell the truth and not say you are working with the city Councel and other people to get the Walmart in and the people you say you are working with never spoke with you. It shows to me that you are not telling the truth and you would do anything and say anything to get Walmart in there! You and Walmart are stooping pretty low anymore in most people's standards!!! You are making people fight Walmart and not just the issues at hand!!!! Tell the truth to the public Amy Hill !!!!!!

Stop WalMart 17.Sep.2003 13:32

Tinlizzi wicked_mama@netzero.com

I have seen the site that WalMart plans to develop its superstore on. This site sits along a two lane road Cornelius Pass. This road is heavy with traffic now. WalMart does not intend to widen the road to make it safer and more usable. Traffic from the store will be unbearable for the communities that are adjacent to the site. Traffic will be using short cuts thru these neighboring communities in order to avoid the high density traffic on Cornelius Road. People in these communities now have trouble getting on the road during rush hour traffic, it will be impossible for sane and safe traffic flow to occur if WalMart is allowed to build.

I also note that there is a small stand of old growth timber that will be taken down to build on this site and the parking lot is to be located under high voltage wires. Adjacent to the site, approximately 1/2 to 1 block away are natural wetlands which should be preserved. The addition of the parking lot with the materials used to build it and the pollution from the numbers of cars that will be driving in the area will destroy the wetlands. Portland is a clean city and environmentally friendly. To allow the pollution of this area seems to me to be against the ecological policies of the city and State of Oregon.

There are several large open areas just a few miles away on the four lane section of Cornelius Pass road, near the Fred Meyer store, that could be utilized for the WalMart site. These areas will not cause the immediate negative impact to the wetlands, nor will it be necessary to take down the stand of old growth timber. The four-land road will accomodate the high traffic volumes that the superstore will create. This area offers close access via the freeway and is much better suited to large businesses.

I believe that WalMart has dug its heals in and wants to have their own way in this situation. I believe that WalMart is not considering the impact to the local area, its citizens, and the traffic problem. I believe that WalMart is appealing over and over again thinking that the citizens who are against them building in the area will give up and go away.

I would like to see more activist groups involved with the citizens who want to stop WalMart from building on this site. I believe that the involvement of such groups as the Sierra Club and others would have a large impact on the decision making process to stop the consturction of the superstore.

I shop at a WalMart store often and I think that a store in the south of Portland would be great. However, I do not think that this site is appropriate. I think that the WalMart Corporation could make a better, safer, and more ecological decision about where to put their WalMart sites. I think that greed and corporate domination are the only factors that concern the WalMart Corporation.

The more citizens that show interest and take a stand for stopping this WalMart Superstore on this site the less impact the WalMart Corporation will have in the decision making process. Please continue to work to stop WalMart from building at this site.

walmart is a good thing 19.Sep.2003 14:33

anonymous

I am one of the people that lives just down the street from the proposed walmart and I think walmart would be a good thing. for one thing the stores like albertsons and rays need some competition. there is nothing wrong with a little competition. and I dont think walmart is going to hurt a florist shop or hair salons . It is a good location because it is close to the freeway and would bring more people into Central Point who then might spend money other places .and I know serveral older people that dont like to shop at albertsons but dont like driving all the way into town. growth is good .

Where does the money go 05.Oct.2003 10:01

crflorida bleakle@tampabay.rr.com

So when people come to Central Point and spend money at Walmart, where do the profits from their spending go? Sure, a small amount goes to some temporary employees of Walmart, but the majority of the profits go out of town to the corporate folks so they can build another Walmart and make more money.

Walmart is for Walmart not you... 25.Oct.2003 20:56

CLBsr

Lawmakers in a state should create a law that would require walmart to sell at exactly
the same prices as everyone else.

HEH ANONOMOUS!!!! 28.Oct.2003 22:39

CAS

As I sit here and read the Anonomous one about how she lives down the street from the proposed walmart in Central Point, I can't keep wondering if you are the same person who has their house up for sale now and also works at walmart. Maybe you realize how bad it is going to be if Walmart is allowed to build there. You work there, but you don't want to live down the street do you!

Wal-mart fiends need rehabillitation 01.Nov.2003 20:57

Brash Bob bobkam@sbcglobal.net

The best (or at least most considerable) defense I have heard for Wal-mart's dominating presence, is: "Hey, the reason wal-mart is successful is because most people welcome the convenience and value offered by wal-mart." Here's the problem with this mentality- it disreguards the ultimate cost at which this suppossed convenience and value is obtained. It's hard to deny that wal-mart imposes many negative affects over the communities in which it storms into. But hey, "the convenience, the value." Perhaps wal-mart really is more of a sympton than a cause. Maybe its just a reflection of changes in our society's values and what not. Whatever the cause may be, the symptoms resemble those of dependancy on drugs, on television, on anything that comes easy but ultimately leads you nowhere you want to be.

Wal-Mart "fakes" its data 08.Apr.2004 11:28

Government employee

I've been to several meetings with the Wal-Mart representatives as they battle with local officials and citizens over proposed building sites. WM always has on hand its lawyer and a carefully selected group of "professional" consultants (architechs, envionmentalists, traffic engineers.) Oddly though, all these so-called experts are from the private sector and have been paid huge amounts of money for their "expert" testimony. NOT ONCE did WM ask for a government agency's opinion on traffic flow, congestion, pollution, water contamination, environmental impacts, etc. WHY? Simple, because a government agency would tell the truth! Government agencies have no financial ax to grind. They exist only to serve the public interest. They are not out to make a profit. WM, on the other hand, is out for nothing BUT more profit, and they will use any tactic available to get it--even if it means deliberately stacking the deck with "paid-for" testimony. Before you swallow any more of WM's political hogwash, ask yourself, why don't they want you to hear the WHOLE story?