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Friday, November 11, 2011

Press Release: Walmart in Somerville?

Community Coalition Organizes Forum to Discuss Potential Impact and Concerns

On Wednesday November 16th at 6:00 PM, the Somerville Coalition for a Responsible Walmart will convene the first in a series of community forums to discuss the potential Walmart development in Somerville. The forum will include speakers and community discussion in hopes of generating a better understanding the economic and community impact of such a development.

Somerville Local First Executive Director Joe Grafton says: “Our broad coalition is pleased to organize this forum to discuss our concerns about the impact of a Walmart in Somerville. The speakers will communicate our shared concerns about this development related to the local economy, the environment and the quality of jobs in Somerville and more and we look forward to an engaging dialogue with our community.”

Former Walmart Associate and OUR Walmart leader Kim Quartimon says: “Because Walmart talks about creating jobs, I plan to let Somerville residents know what it’s like to work at Walmart. What I experienced working at Walmart is similar to that of associates at all stores nationally and Somerville won’t be any different.”

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice Executive Director Russ Davis says: “Somerville needs to be able to decide if the negative consequences of Walmart coming to town such as low wages and driving out small businesses is really in the community’s best interest.”

The Community Forum will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Somerville City Club, 20 Innerbelt Road, Somerville, MA 02143. At the meeting, the coalition will communicate its concerns, have an open space for community discussion and input, and determine the next step in the process.

The Somerville Coalition for a Responsible Walmart includes the following organizations, in addition to a number of Somerville Residents, and continues to grow in both size and scope. Organizations include: Brazilian Women’s Group, CORES, First Church Somerville, Groundwork Somerville, Massachusetts Interfaith Worker Justice, Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, New England Jewish Labor Council, Somerville Climate Action, Somerville Community Corporation, Somerville Local First, UCC, and UFCW Local 1445.

Presented by the Somerville Coalition for a Responsible Walmart. Facebook Invitation.


Anonymous said...

Bring Wal-Mart on and let the people, workers and customers, decide.

Nothing wrong with lower everyday grocery retail prices for struggling families; particularly when seeing the everyday higher prices Shaws/Star and Stop & Shop charge for the same exact items that Market Basket charges less everyday.
All named share the same buying power re volume buying where the manufacturers offer the same lower bracket unit cost to all....but not always reflected in their everyday shelf prices.

If the only other concern is about low wages for the average hired employees there would not be any Dunkin Donuts, MacDonald's, Burger King, CVS or Rite-Aid Pharmacies, or, Convenience Grocery stores 7/11's etc., in or near Somerville.

And yes, lower wages paid by super markets--[Market Basket, Stop & Shop, Shaws/Star, in and around Somerville]--for the everyday average hired employee stocking shelves, etc., for which a college degree is not a requisite.

Might also throw K-mart, Target and Kohls Department stores into the low-wage mix for the average hired worker.

Nobody puts a gun to the head of people forcing them to work for
the (lower) wages offered.
For most, the wages fill a it full-time or part-time basis----or a second job.

'Hillen said...

Why is it that the discussion of grocery stores so often seems to be Shaws vs. Stop N' Shop vs. Market Basket?

For those of you who believe that there is no such thing as a place to buy groceries unless it is a humongous corporate box store, you should walk the streets of Somerville a little more.

I walked from East Somerville to Magoun Square today, and passed ..

1. Amigo's Market
2. Tony's Foodland
3. Patsy's Pastries
4. Winter Hill Meat Market
5. Sultana Market
6. Shivalic
7. Winter Hill Bakery
8. Latinos Market

All of these places sell fresh produce, and/or meats, and/or fresh baked goods, plus the staples like milk, beans etc.

And all of them have prices lower that Shaws/Stop N' Shop/Market Basket.

So the idea that there is a shortage of places to buy groceries for central and east Somerville is nonsense. If you support our local businesses that are already here, there is plenty of options. We don't need some out-of-state corporate giant to bring us food, we have tons of local shopping options right here in Somerville.

And these people are our neighbors and fellow Somervillians, as opposed to the corporate lobbyists that are eyeballing our town. And these are also the same neighbors who are going to be (some, not all) driven under if you give your business to a Walmart down the street.

Anonymous said...

Well, where to start in "contesting" what the last poster put up as "facts" regarding the stores he cited versus supermarkets as we know supermarkets to be.

1st-his [assuming the poster to be a male) listing of retail entities he noted in his walk from east Somerville to Magoun Square.

Some were/are, in the parlance of the business, "specialty stores" basically dealing with one category of retail consumer offerings.
Viz:---Patsy's Bakery and Winter.
Hill Bakery. Winter Hill Meat Market
Others listed are "ethnic" oriented."

Yes---one might find similar items stocked by the supermarkets----but, unless he did a visual "price check" in all the stores he cited, versus a physical "price check"--same items, in Market Basket for one, his contention that the stores he cited "have prices lower" than the supermarkets is not true. Just check the differences in the weekly staple price of milk. Market Basket Brand, for one, $2.59 vs. close to $4.00 at the Convenience Stores. Young families, with kids, are buying many gallons ever week.

Simply put, these smaller stores, having to be supplied by independent wholesalers and distributors, versus the chain stores who maintain their own direct warehouses---thus, take advantage of volume discounts offered by manufacturers not seen by the smaller stores who, being supplied by a "middle supplier" who has its own "service costs"---and gross profits added to the smaller stores cost of goods.....resulting in the stores higher retail prices.

Meaning---the smaller stores unit cost is much higher, and in order to realize a higher gross profit (over 30%) margin than the bigger volume supermarkets (profit margins being well over 30% vs. the supermarkets approximately 22%) the smaller stores unit cost being higher must get a higher retail price for their goods vs. the supermarkets.

Our last poster should walk from east Somerville to Magoun Square in the shoes of a young mother/father with children, with limited income, and today's cost of feeding a family and tell them they should be buying their week's groceries in the higher priced smaller stores----because the smaller stores people are our "neighbors."
Many of whom are not "neighbors"---they live elsewhere, not in Somerville.

I have nothing against these owners of smaller stores; they do serve a purpose convenience-wise; but, the proper perspective versus the supermarkets from a retail cost point of view must be recognized and maintained.

In addition they, space-wise, do not and cannot stock the variety of goods and variety of "SKU" sizes that the supermarkets can.