Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ballston, NY Rejects Wal-Mart

From the Albany Times Union:
The Town Council said "game over" Tuesday to Wal-Mart and its plans to build a super center on Route 50.
By a unanimous vote, the council rejected Wal-Mart's application, resulting in an eruption of cheers and standing ovations from residents.

Before the vote, Albany attorney Mary Beth Slevin, who represented Wal-Mart's proposal, said the retail giant looked forward to working with the Town Council. She was unavailable for comment after the vote.

Councilwoman Mary Beth Hynes, meanwhile, had challenged fellow board members to take a position on the proposed Wal-Mart.

"I urge my fellow board members to join me tonight in sending an unambiguous message that, as far as the town of Ballston is concerned, the door will be closed to Wal-Mart and big-box development once and for all," she said in a prepared statement.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Ballston! We used to live near Glenville, NY where WM put a supercenter a few years ago. They came into the adjacent village of Scotia and began hiring people right off the floors of those shops, offering to pay them one more dollar per hour. Before the supercenter was even completed, WM began the process of grieving their taxes. I salute you in (figuratively) giving them the finger - I hope we finally do the same in Saranac Lake!

Anonymous said...

As Al Norman writes in his book
"The Case Against Wal-Mart," one out of every 3 communities where Wal-Mart wants to go is now fighting them. Al's web site
"" has all the stories. Just click on "news flashes" and read them all. You will be there for a while just reading what is current.
A recent story he had was how 29% of Americans can't stand Wal-Mart. A survey of about 1,000 New Jersey residents found that Wal-Mart is the most reviled company today. Al says if they were a politican that would be different. But Wal-Mart is a retail store!! How many Americans actually hate a retail store? And considering Wal-Mart has spent 1.6 million on image advertising, they can't be too thrilled.
I am looking foward to the day Saranac Lake does what Balston Spa has done. This is one nasty company. They don't care how they treat their employees or suppliers. And they don't care what happens to their customers after they leave the store either. Check out a story on "" about crime rates in Wal-Mart parking lots. The article can be found in "news flashes archives." It is titled
"Washington DC--Wal-Mart: High Everyday Crime--Always." It is dated 5/20.06. If they really cared about their customers they would have security people in their parking lots. But Wal-Mart IS TOO CHEAP TO DO THAT. For the 551 stores sampled there were 2.909 reported police calls for violent or serious crimes. They included 4 homicides, 9 rapes or attempts, 23 kidnapings or attempts, 154 sex crimes, 550 robberies or attempts and 1,024 auto thefts. Wal-Mart crime has cost American taxpayers $77 MILLION ANNUALLY. So do they care about their customers? Hardly. Lets send them packing like Balston Spa has already done.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Ballston! Well done!!

Robert D Feinman said...

It would nice to have some stories from communities where a big box store moved in and did things right.

In principle big box stores can provide a better shopping experience than a small store because they can use economies of scale to keep prices lower and also can use their large turnover to make it economical to carry a larger assortment of items.

The down side may be that their business model won't allow for for slow moving items, so where as the local hardware store might keep an assortment of odd sized screws as a service to regular customers, for example, the big box would see this as a waste of shelf space.

The problem with Walmart is that they squeeze their employees, their suppliers and even local governments. The higher profits go to the Walton family, one of the most miserly group of people on the planet.

Anonymous said...

Robert Feinman, in his comments above, make a good point and can make a case for a Wal-Mart or other larger scale store to come to Saranac Lake... but it would require it to be a size that fits in. The mom & pop stores can live with a smaller sized department store. That department store of reasonable size can carry those items as Mr Feinman describes, the stuff we've all said we need that Ames used to carry - and a store the size of Ames will carry that which is currently not available - it will fill a void, without burying everyone else in the process. This is an oversimplification, but you get the idea.

Unfortunately, this is probably not realistic because Wal-Mart wants it ALL and doesn't like ANY competition which is why they take the "scorched earth" approach to merchandising: eliminate everyone and then dominate and control the entire retail market.