Sunday, February 8, 2009

Is Wal-Mart Solution to 'Food Deserts'?

The Tribune reported Friday that Wal-Mart is back at it, trying to get approval for stores in inner-city Chicago neighborhoods against resistance from unions, the City Council and others who fear the colossus will hurt small businesses and undercut wages at Chicago's other chain grocers.

Wal-Mart's argument is that bringing new stores to "food deserts," such as Englewood or the West Side, will bring inexpensive food and fresh produce to areas that badly need them.

And Wal-Mart is using the recession to press its case, promising tax revenue and construction jobs at a time when the city badly needs them.

So, is this a bad idea or a good one? What would happen if Wal-Mart moved into more neighborhoods?

1 comment:

Mike Quinlan said...

It's important to think of such developments objectively on a case by case basis. Is their demand? What are the benefits? What businesses (if any) will be affected? Will this encourage additional developments? Was their an RFP? How many jobs will be created? I think if you took a poll at Madison/Western it would be highly favorable. Until they demand a Target!