business news in context, analysis with attitude

  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Wal-Mart Stores apparently plans to build a Supercenter in Hartford, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee – which would put it pretty much around the corner from one of the most successful Kmarts in the state.

    Local analysts suggest that if the proposed rezoning takes place and Wal-Mart builds the 183,900 sq. ft. supercenter, it will have an enormous impact both on the Kmart store and on one of two existing supermarket retailers – a County Market and a Sentry Foods.

    making it the latest Milwaukee-area community to be targeted by the world's largest retailer for a combined supermarket-discount store.

    The Hartford superstore is the fourth such store that Wal-Mart is seeking to build in the Milwaukee area.

  • The Journal News in suburban New York reports that two local communities – White Plains and New Rochelle – are looking at the possibility of trying to prevent Wal-Mart from opening a supercenter in either place.

    Both cities are trying to reinvigorate their downtowns, though it probably is fair to suggest that New Rochelle is in a lot worse shape than White Plains, which already has several malls and is home to a Nordstrom, a Niemann Marcus, and a Bloomingdale’s. Ironically, according to the Journal News, White Plains officials are a little less dogmatic in their opposition to a Wal-Mart, since the proposed unit would occupy a former Sears.

    In both cases, according to the Journal News, the recent defeat of a Wal-Mart proposal for Inglewood, California, is cited as the inspiration for any possible opposition.

KC's View:
We’re a little surprised that New Rochelle thinks it doesn’t need a Wal-Mart and doesn’t think that one would attract people to its downtown.

We grew up in Larchmont, the next town over, and can remember a time when New Rochelle had a pretty bustling downtown…which, based on our last visit, no longer is the case.

They’ll never be able to accuse Wal-Mart of killing the downtown there, because it seems to us that it’s been dead for a long, long time.

Apropos of nothing in particular, here’s a quick pop culture quiz: What famous fictional television characters lived in New Rochelle?

(If you’re too young to remember, keep it to yourself…)