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Walmart aims, again, for Big Apple stores

Dec. 13, 2010 at 11:25 AM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Bill de Blasio, New York City public advocate, said Walmart Stores Inc. should not expect a warm welcome in its latest attempt to open stores in the Big Apple.

Walmart was "not going to find it easy to get serious public support," de Blasio said in a New York Times report Monday.

A public hearing to address community concerns over Walmart's plans to open a store in each of the five boroughs of the city was postponed until January because New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said, "We need a bigger room," the Times said.

"We heard from unions all across the city … small business leaders … . It's a growing list," Quinn said.

To help Walmart crack the code to get a store, finally, in the massive city market, the retailer hired Bradley Tusk, former campaign manager for Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

On Walmart's side, the Times said, is the city's 9 percent jobless rate.

"This is a time when the economy is bad and a lot of my constituents are looking for jobs. We have to begin to think out of the box and look at some different opportunities," said state Assemblyman Darryl Towns, whose district includes an area in Brooklyn Walmart has targeted for development.

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