Bargain shoppers will have to keep going to Target, and writers everywhere will have to shelve their “A Walmart Grows in Brooklyn” headlines — talks between Walmart and a proposed new location in East New York fell apart last week, meaning New York is farther away than we thought from getting its first-ever branch of the reviled, ubiquitous chain.
Opposition groups including Walmart Free NYC are claiming the news as a victory, though it seems that the deal mainly fell apart because of money.
A Walmart spokesman confirmed on Friday that after extended talks with Related Companies for a 600,00-square foot space in Jamaica Bay’s Gateway II shopping facility, they “were unable to agree upon economic terms for a project in East New York.”
While the project had the backing of Mayor Bloomberg (of course), other officials, including Christine Quinn, have been vocal opponents, instead throwing support behind a new ShopRite that will now open in the location, creating 1,300 jobs for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local.
“I welcome this company’s newest location with its history of responsible business practices, supporting its workers and the communities they serve,” said Quinn in a statement.
A UFCW official added, “This is less about Walmart not going in and ShopRite going in. The community desperately needed a supermarket [...] A Supermarket was a better fit with what is already there.”
In that case, maybe we can go ahead and skip shedding any tears for the Brooklyn Walmart that never was.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.