A woman attends a Walmart jobs fair in Chicago several years ago. (Tribune file photo)
Interesting column from Chicago magazine’s Whet Moser:
The Tribune editorial page comes out in favor of WalMart’s plan to build stores across the city—which if anything is going to get more controversial. Previously attention had been focused on neighborhoods like Chatham, low-density areas in need of both retail and jobs. As Ta-Nehisi Coates has pointed out, the collapse of urban neighborhoods has left WalMart with the blank retail slates that made it so successful initially in the rural South, where the company started.
But now WalMart company is eyeing Lakeview and Logan Square, neighborhoods dense with existing businesses, instead of business-sparse areas, a serious issue—not just in terms of jobs—that Kimbriell Kelly of the Chicago Reporter has written about at some length.
I’ve read a lot about the WalMart fight from both sides, but this point hasn’t come up very often:
Wal-Mart should be treated like, oh, PetSmart, or any other large retailer. A store with an appropriate size and design for a neighborhood should be welcome.