August 12, 2004

A new twist in the Wal-Mart wars

(Here's a follow-up to Bob's earlier post). Featured in today's Christian Science Monitor (here):

USA > Economy
from the August 12, 2004 edition

In a nod to small retailers, Los Angeles is planning to make it much harder for 'big box' stores to expand.

By Daniel B. Wood | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

LOS ANGELES � Proponents say it may become a national model for handling skirmishes over so-called "big box" stores moving into economically fragile communities.

Opponents call it another thinly veiled attempt by pro-labor legislators to stand in the way of stores like Wal-Mart and Costco, fearing the stores' low wages and low costs.

Still others see the new ordinance, given initial approval this week by the Los Angeles City Council, as more evidence of a deadlock between America's largest employer, Wal-Mart, and its largest state, California, over the store's future and its policies.

The ordinance, voted on Wednesday, says simply that developers of superstores (those over 100,000 square feet) must do cost/benefit analyses to assess their economic impacts. Beyond the current practice of "conditional use" permits - which hinge on parking, land, and pollution impacts - applicants would have to assess a new list of controversial concerns, using approved but independent consultants.

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Read the entire article, here.

Posted by Morgan on August, 12 2004 at 08:57 AM