Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Citizens Protest Proposed New Walmart Store

April 11, 2011 10:27 PM

CHICAGO (CBS) – A proposed Wal-Mart in the East Lakeview neighborhood received a not-so-warm welcome Monday night, even though representatives of the mega-retailer characterized the project as a downsized store that would sell mostly groceries.

The big box chain tried to sell its plan for a “Neighborhood Market” store in the Broadway at Surf retail complex, located in the 2800 block of North Broadway. The possibility of a Wal-Mart has generated intense debate among local residents and merchants who are leery of the chain and its potential impact on local independent businesses.

Wal-Mart tried to allay fears by saying the area needs a grocery store. The store it would build would be one-fifth the size of a typical Wal-Mart and would be limited to food items, produce, beauty products and pharmacy items.

The store would also sell “limited” general merchandise, such as computer printer paper and other items as neighbors saw fit, but would not sell items such as electronics, apparel, home furnishings and hardware as would be seen in a larger Wal-Mart Supercenter, Wal-Mart spokesman John Bisio said.

“This is one Wal-Mart store certainly of a different size and scope,” Bisio told a large crowd at the Wellington Avenue Church, 615 W. Wellington Ave.

Bisio said the store would create 75 to 100 new jobs, and would engage the community to identify local organizations and causes to support, which he said would likely include jobs and skills training, environmental concerns, and sustainability.

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