City Council will take on Wal-Mart - Metro US

City Council will take on Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart might be coming to town, and not everyone’s happy about it.

The City Council meets today to address the superstore’s overtures to the city. Business owners and community leaders will discuss the potential impact on local shops.

Wal-Mart, however, won’t attend. Company representatives declined an invitation, telling the City Council in an open letter that the hearing unfairly targeted Wal-Mart, and not other city superstores like Target and Kmart.

Although Wal-Mart hasn’t finalized any plans, spokesman Steven Restivo said the company agreed Tuesday with the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council to build potential projects with city union labor. It has been rumored the retail giant wants to build a store in Brooklyn.

Right now, the closest Wal-Marts are in Secaucus and North Bergen, N.J., and the company maintains that many New Yorkers already shop in the suburbs.

Those in the neighborhood aren’t convinced.

Mark Tanis owns Shopper’s World in East New York — which Wal-Mart’s reportedly scoping — and plans to protest with Wal-Mart Free NYC at today’s hearing.

“It would be a catastrophe for the small businesses,” he said. “When I heard this was happening, it was a blow to my stomach.”

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