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Walmart To Invade The Heights


HeyHatch

Walmart at Yale & I-10: For or Against  

160 members have voted

  1. 1. Q1: Regarding the proposed WalMart at Yale and I-10:

    • I live within a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am FOR this Walmart
      41
    • I live within a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am AGAINST this Walmart
      54
    • I live outside a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am FOR this Walmart
      30
    • I live outside a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am AGAINST this Walmart
      26
    • Undecided
      9
  2. 2. Q2: If/when this proposed WalMart is built at Yale & I-10

    • I am FOR this WalMart and will shop at this WalMart
      45
    • I am FOR this WalMart but will not shop at this WalMart
      23
    • I am AGAINST this WalMart but will shop at this WalMart
      7
    • I am AGAINST this WalMart and will not shop at this WalMart
      72
    • Undecided
      13
  3. 3. Q3: WalMart in general

    • I am Pro-Walmart
      16
    • I am Anti-Walmart
      63
    • I don't care either way
      72
    • Undecided
      9

This poll is closed to new votes


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You brought up the fact that I am new to this board in order to belittle my viewpoints. I just made light of your ad hominem attack. And I can understand how HAIF would get boring when it is dominated by a small cadre of ultra-pro development people who can't stand it when someone challenges them.

I think that's an unfair misrepresentation. You have to debate logic with logic though, not emotions. If you offered more than your opinions and hyperbole, it would be more welcome. I promise you that.

And I have not been defeated. The fight against Wal-Mart is just beginning. The West End civic club had a meeting with representatives of the developer (Ainbinder) and the local and state officeholders last night. At that meeting it was very clear that the developer understood that a single monster suburban Wal-Mart would be a major problem for residents in the area. Both the representatives from city council and the developer said that they did not want to shoehorn a suburban Wal-Mart in the middle of the West End/Heights/Washington corridor. So, while you were congratulating yourself at slaying internet windmills, the Wal-Mart opposition has been making major strides in having their legitmate concerns heard and addressed. Word from the developer was that no deal on the development has been made with Wal-Mart yet. My bet is that Wal-Mart will balk at having something other than their usual big box and walk away from the deal. They won't want to pay a premium for the cost of environmental mitigation and aesthetic upgrading from their usual ugly boxes and won't want to compromise on size. So, while you were arguing that it would be a savage injustice to require people to drive an extra 5-8 minutes to go to Crosstimbers instead of Yale to visit Wal-Mart, the Wal-Mart resistance has already taken real action to stop the development.

You and Crosstimbers... When will you realize this Walmart isn't exclusively for Heights residents? This location is central in the loop, has the requisite amount of land and is in a safe neighborhood. That's why it'll be built at this location. It's intended for all the residents of the inner loop, not just Heights residents. This is a very basic point which you consistently seem to be unable to grasp. Your entire Crosstimbers contention is predicated on the fact another Walmart will be built on Crosstimbers. The Crosstimbers location still won't conveniently serve everyone within the loop.

And pointing out spelling errors on a message board is just tacky.

Is it tacky to point out a failure in reading comprehension?

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The Crosstimbers location is barely 4 miles from the Yale location. By definition that means market cannabilization between the two stores.

It probably does, but that hasn't stopped Wal-Mart from doing exactly that.

http://www.minneapolisfed.org/publications_papers/pub_display.cfm?id=1382

I'm guessing the ideal for Wal-Mart would be the "Dallas District" where the median person is only 3 miles from a Wal-Mart store.

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...2369 members and counting in one week on the Facebook Stop The Heights Wal-Mart page.....

So at 2405 members (yep, still adding )...

O-M-G! That's like TOtally way more FB friends than for Heights First Saturday in support of local businesses! Coming soon: White Remonstration Night !

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There was once a time when Dee Snider was cool and Napolean Dynamite was funny. Fortunately those days are behind us now.

I would like to bring some sanity back to this ever increasingly insane thread...Napolean Dynamite is in fact still funny.

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It probably does, but that hasn't stopped Wal-Mart from doing exactly that.

http://www.minneapolisfed.org/publications_papers/pub_display.cfm?id=1382

I'm guessing the ideal for Wal-Mart would be the "Dallas District" where the median person is only 3 miles from a Wal-Mart store.

It has been interesting watching s3mh posit 'unassailable' theories of Walmart's mistakes, claiming them as uncontrovertable fact, only to have a subsequent post reveal that Walmart's research and planning led them to do exactly what s3mh claimed they could not do. The only conclusion to be reached by this is that the Heights is clearly NOT what Walmart opponents think it is (or wish it to be), and EXACTLY what Walmart thinks it is.

Perhaps this is the source of the Walmart opponents' angst. If Walmart is moving in next door, the Heights...by definition...cannot be any different than any other Houston neighborhood with a Walmart.

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It has been interesting watching s3mh posit 'unassailable' theories of Walmart's mistakes, claiming them as uncontrovertable fact, only to have a subsequent post reveal that Walmart's research and planning led them to do exactly what s3mh claimed they could not do. The only conclusion to be reached by this is that the Heights is clearly NOT what Walmart opponents think it is (or wish it to be), and EXACTLY what Walmart thinks it is.

Perhaps this is the source of the Walmart opponents' angst. If Walmart is moving in next door, the Heights...by definition...cannot be any different than any other Houston neighborhood with a Walmart.

Here is another article from the same Federal Reserve Bank website titled "The Wal-Mart effect: Poison or antidote for local communities? http://www.minneapolisfed.org/publications_papers/pub_display.cfm?id=3033

I have not read the entire article, but I thought you guys might be interested in it. From what I have gleaned so far (just skimmed and looked at the pretty graphs) the article gives a non-biased study of Wal-Mart's effects on the community. It doesn't "prove" whether Wal-Mart is positive or negative, but does come to this conclusion:

"findings from this fedgazette analysis suggest that much of the conventional wisdom regarding Wal-Mart's nefarious effects on local communities is off base, at least in relation to measures that the public and policymakers often use to gauge community health. The analysis is also absent any discussion of the savings local consumers realize by having Wal-Mart in town (see further discussion).But neither does the analysis assume that Wal-Mart is a boon to counties. Though the balance of findings is, in sum, more positive than negative toward Wal-Mart, all of the measured effects were small. Given some positive and some negative outcomes, it's probably safest to say that Wal-Mart's net imprint on a county's health appears to be smaller than most perceive.

If that's surprising, maybe it shouldn't be. County economies—even small ones—are dynamic entities, constantly changing and extending well beyond their retail borders. Firms, jobs and people come and go with regularity, and for lots of different reasons. It could be that the economic idiosyncrasies of local communities—education levels, infrastructure investments, entrepreneurial culture, local business mix, geographic good fortune—play a larger role in determining the long-run growth prospects for the 89 counties studied here than whether the bogyman dressed as Wal-Mart showed up at the community door."

I feel like I have been hearing a couple of people saying almost this exact quote during this thread...

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The bottom line is this: it's 2am, and you need cheetos, a fishing license, an inflatable kiddie pool, ammunition, lawn furniture, 3 TVs, and Christmas decorations. And the kicker - you want to be able to return all of it (except the cheetos (long gone), ammo (spent!), and fishing license (non-transferable)) Monday after your bender weekend. What choice do we really have here? Exactly.

Edited by 20thStDad
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I feel like I have been hearing a couple of people saying almost this exact quote during this thread...

Several have said exactly that...that though Walmart is an aggressive, cutthroat and not overly generous retailer, one who buys from overseas suppliers that pay less than generous wages in harsh working conditions, so are Walmart's competitors, making the demonization of Walmart without also chastising Target, Academy, Kroger and HEB, disingenuous at best, and a lie at worst. And, targeting their faults while ignoring the benefits is only telling part of the story.

Since Walmart's entrance to Yale Street is assured (if they choose to build there), as there is no viable way to keep them out, I'd much rather see my fashionable neighbors direct their efforts toward a fight they can win...demanding that Walmart spend a bit of their considerable construction budget on a more attractive building, with better landscaping, and efficient traffic patterns for its formidable parking lot. At least this way, they would not be as offended when they drive past it, as we know they would never shop there. Pragmatism has served me well over the years. It may work well here.

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You brought up the fact that I am new to this board in order to belittle my viewpoints. I just made light of your ad hominem attack. And I can understand how HAIF would get boring when it is dominated by a small cadre of ultra-pro development people who can't stand it when someone challenges them.

I'm not so one-dimensional that you can label me "ultra-pro-development". I've racked up lots of negative rep by questioning the fervor among some HAIFers to develop something on top of every surface lot downtown. I questioned Mosaic before it led to a bank failure; and more recently I questioned the sanity of Museum Tower in Dallas. And I question lots of public projects, particularly those related to light rail. Don't get me wrong, I think that sometimes things that look dumb have redeeming qualities, and I'm certainly not afraid to take up an unpopular/contrarian position. My motivation for contributing to HAIF is to lash out at ill-conceived or intellectually dishonest ideas.

There are people on HAIF that would fit your characterization of being "ultra-pro-development" through-and-through, however those of them that have contributed to this thread have come down pretty strongly against Wal-Mart.

And I have not been defeated. The fight against Wal-Mart is just beginning. The West End civic club had a meeting with representatives of the developer (Ainbinder) and the local and state officeholders last night. At that meeting it was very clear that the developer understood that a single monster suburban Wal-Mart would be a major problem for residents in the area. Both the representatives from city council and the developer said that they did not want to shoehorn a suburban Wal-Mart in the middle of the West End/Heights/Washington corridor. So, while you were congratulating yourself at slaying internet windmills, the Wal-Mart opposition has been making major strides in having their legitmate concerns heard and addressed. Word from the developer was that no deal on the development has been made with Wal-Mart yet. My bet is that Wal-Mart will balk at having something other than their usual big box and walk away from the deal. They won't want to pay a premium for the cost of environmental mitigation and aesthetic upgrading from their usual ugly boxes and won't want to compromise on size. So, while you were arguing that it would be a savage injustice to require people to drive an extra 5-8 minutes to go to Crosstimbers instead of Yale to visit Wal-Mart, the Wal-Mart resistance has already taken real action to stop the development.

Your "bet" is itself a "major stride"? Sorry dude, but talking about results is not the same thing as achieving results. If Wal-Mart can get built within the City of Austin (which has zoning and is waaaay more difficult to work with than the City of Houston) then Wal-Mart can get past this. It may have to modify its typical color scheme or the percentage of its front facade that is concrete cinder block, but political hurdles probably will not be a real problem.

And pointing out spelling errors on a message board is just tacky.

If you're going to accuse someone of being ignorant of something...and you can't even spell that something...I'm going to point it out. It'd concern me a whole lot less if you accidentally misspelled "the" as "teh", because the word "the" isn't a cornerstone of your argument that someone doesn't understand a concept.

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demanding that Walmart spend a bit of their considerable construction budget on a more attractive building, with better landscaping, and efficient traffic patterns for its formidable parking lot.

Can you cite any examples of WalMart complying with local interests in such a way? Or will the Heights be the first instance?

If so, lucky us!

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Can you cite any examples of WalMart complying with local interests in such a way? Or will the Heights be the first instance?

If so, lucky us!

Wal-Mart abides by all local building codes, drainage regs, and with zoning regs (where applicable). Otherwise they'd never get their permits.

In the City of Houston, to the best of my knowledge, Wal-Mart has never been challenged. (I know that it has been challenged by activists League City, but unsuccessfully.) It is unclear to me why this particular site is so special that we ought to start now. ...unless it really is a class or race issue.

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It has been interesting watching s3mh posit 'unassailable' theories of Walmart's mistakes, claiming them as uncontrovertable fact, only to have a subsequent post reveal that Walmart's research and planning led them to do exactly what s3mh claimed they could not do.

Well I don't see the article I linked to as contradicting anything s3mh says. Wal-Mart is probably capitalized enough to operate all of its Houston stores at a loss sufficient enough to undermine every other retailer in town on every item, indefinitely. I almost feel sorry for H-E-B for thinking they could outbid Wal-Mart.

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Well I don't see the article I linked to as contradicting anything s3mh says. Wal-Mart is probably capitalized enough to operate all of its Houston stores at a loss sufficient enough to undermine every other retailer in town on every item, indefinitely.

...but why?

And if they did, GOOD FOR US!

Edited by TheNiche
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Wal-Mart abides by all local building codes, drainage regs, and with zoning regs (where applicable). Otherwise they'd never get their permits.

In the City of Houston, to the best of my knowledge, Wal-Mart has never been challenged. (I know that it has been challenged by activists League City, but unsuccessfully.) It is unclear to me why this particular site is so special that we ought to start now. ...unless it really is a class or race issue.

Sorry, but I don't see any link from "attractive building, with better landscaping, and efficient traffic patterns" to somehow being associated with race, or even class for that matter. If Wal-Mart, or anyone for that matter, wants to build on that site, any concern I have about how that building looks (that I drive by everyday) or traffic patterns, has nothing to do with race. HEB is meeting with neighborhood residents for their proposed location on Alabama, with I believe three potential designs. And this is just to extend an olive branche to the existing neighbors since HEB is the one moving into their area.

(P.S. I left in a mis-spelled word on purpose, just to give you an excuse to dismiss my opinion) blush.gif

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Can you cite any examples of WalMart complying with local interests in such a way? Or will the Heights be the first instance?

If so, lucky us!

Why, yes! Yes they do. In fact, a proposed design for an Austin store would fit perfectly into the Washington Corridor architectural scene.

04_Walmart_Austin_LB.jpg

http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/business/article_2e3f9a18-2a75-11df-ad23-001cc4c03286.html

Here's a Flagstaff store...

xy_309EB1D2-42B9-4408-91C2-520E6EFFADDF__.JPG

This would look pretty cool located on the site of a former steel factory...

walmart_store.jpg

This is rather hokey...exactly what I would expect to find in Round Rock. However, it is still not a blue and grey box...

Walmart_-_Round_Rock_TX.JPG

Edited by RedScare
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Several have said exactly that...that though Walmart is an aggressive, cutthroat and not overly generous retailer, one who buys from overseas suppliers that pay less than generous wages in harsh working conditions, so are Walmart's competitors, making the demonization of Walmart without also chastising Target, Academy, Kroger and HEB, disingenuous at best, and a lie at worst. And, targeting their faults while ignoring the benefits is only telling part of the story.

Since Walmart's entrance to Yale Street is assured (if they choose to build there), as there is no viable way to keep them out, I'd much rather see my fashionable neighbors direct their efforts toward a fight they can win...demanding that Walmart spend a bit of their considerable construction budget on a more attractive building, with better landscaping, and efficient traffic patterns for its formidable parking lot. At least this way, they would not be as offended when they drive past it, as we know they would never shop there. Pragmatism has served me well over the years. It may work well here.

Can you cite any examples of WalMart complying with local interests in such a way? Or will the Heights be the first instance?

If so, lucky us!

Sorry, but I don't see any link from "attractive building, with better landscaping, and efficient traffic patterns" to somehow being associated with race, or even class for that matter. If Wal-Mart, or anyone for that matter, wants to build on that site, any concern I have about how that building looks (that I drive by everyday) or traffic patterns, has nothing to do with race. HEB is meeting with neighborhood residents for their proposed location on Alabama, with I believe three potential designs. And this is just to extend an olive branche to the existing neighbors since HEB is the one moving into their area.

(P.S. I left in a mis-spelled word on purpose, just to give you an excuse to dismiss my opinion) blush.gif

I live in the Heights and found this forum linked on the Facebook page. My initial thought was "Cool, a forum about the Heights." Then I read it.

There is going to be a Walmart in the Heights area. This is probably a given. This is not a good thing for many reasons beat to a pulp in this forum. It does have some redeeming qualities for many reasons beat to a pulp in this forum.

When the New Orleans Garden District fought Walmart, they had significantly stronger protections and zoning in place then SuperNeighborhood 22 does in Houston. New Orleans lost. They did end up with a building much more suited architecturally to their area, but hey had to start by wanting to keep them out completely and the better building was the compromise. We can't start by asking for what we may actually want because Walmart will negotiate us down from whatever point that is. Never start a negotiation resigned to failure. We have to start at one extreme if we expect them to meet in the middle.

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Are you truly that shortsighted, or are you just being obnoxious?

That was a serious response to an absurd proposition. Lower prices would benefit the consumer. And besides, that's basically what the government of China is doing by manipulating their currency to build up their manufacturing sector...only it makes sense for China (and not for Wal-Mart) because there a degree of permanence to industrial infrastructure (whereas price-driven market share is more easily swayed).

Some people are outraged by this, but for all intents and purposes China is giving us discounted consumer goods that they otherwise would've consumed. It's not unlike the foreign aid that we give to impoverished countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, except that whereas we unintentionally use warlords for our distribution channels, China very intentionally utilizes competing wholesalers and retailers.

Edited by TheNiche
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Wal-Mart is probably capitalized enough to operate all of its Houston stores at a loss sufficient enough to undermine every other retailer in town on every item, indefinitely.

Fortune just released its 2010 rankings, and this year Wal-Mart is not only the US' but also the world's largest company by revenue:

Fortune Global 500

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Sorry, but I don't see any link from "attractive building, with better landscaping, and efficient traffic patterns" to somehow being associated with race, or even class for that matter. If Wal-Mart, or anyone for that matter, wants to build on that site, any concern I have about how that building looks (that I drive by everyday) or traffic patterns, has nothing to do with race. HEB is meeting with neighborhood residents for their proposed location on Alabama, with I believe three potential designs. And this is just to extend an olive branche to the existing neighbors since HEB is the one moving into their area.

Few people seem to be arguing for reasonable aesthetic compromise. And as for traffic patterns, there's really only so much that anybody could do about traffic patterns in or around this site, regardless of what ends up getting developed here. ...and I think that we can all agree that a vacant brownfield site would be undesirable.

(P.S. I left in a mis-spelled word on purpose, just to give you an excuse to dismiss my opinion) blush.gif

The other guy misspelled a word as he tried to come off as the superior authority on that very same word. Typos are forgivable, but not if you're going to try to talk down to someone.

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We can't start by asking for what we may actually want because Walmart will negotiate us down from whatever point that is. Never start a negotiation resigned to failure. We have to start at one extreme if we expect them to meet in the middle.

Has it occurred to you that Wal-Mart uses the threat of an ugly facade as cheap leverage and that they'd probably end up using an upgraded facade one way or another in the kind of community that would care enough to protest? In places with lots of discretionary income...it's a good business practice.

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Has it occurred to you that Wal-Mart uses the threat of an ugly facade as cheap leverage and that they'd probably end up using an upgraded facade one way or another in the kind of community that would care enough to protest? In places with lots of discretionary income...it's a good business practice.

No, it hasn't. It isn't true. I gave you the facts of what happened in the Garden District and I do not believe from reading this forum topic that you were a part of that effort. My partner was involved with the project and, therefore, I can tell you with certainty Walmart did not come to the table with a compromise in mind. It would be foolish to proceed as though they will in this case.

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So you don't understand "why" Wal-Mart would want to do that, or you don't understand "why" the eventuality of Wal-Mart being the only game in town might be perceived as a bad thing?

What's Walmart's market share across individual sectors? I ask this realizing they're the biggest retailer, but what percentage of the grocery sector do they control? Electronics? Toys? Clothing? Et cetera.

I'm curious if their dominance has more to do with the fact they dabble in everything or if they really are becoming a monopoly. Without knowing the facts of it, and not having the time to research it, I'm going to bet it's the former. If they have ten percent market share, or even considerably less, in every sector, then I would imagine that would still be enough to make them the world's largest retailer.

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When the New Orleans Garden District fought Walmart, they had significantly stronger protections and zoning in place then SuperNeighborhood 22 does in Houston. New Orleans lost. They did end up with a building much more suited architecturally to their area, but hey had to start by wanting to keep them out completely and the better building was the compromise. We can't start by asking for what we may actually want because Walmart will negotiate us down from whatever point that is. Never start a negotiation resigned to failure. We have to start at one extreme if we expect them to meet in the middle.

News strory on its opening... http://www.wdsu.com/...082/detail.html

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No, it hasn't. It isn't true. I gave you the facts of what happened in the Garden District and I do not believe from reading this forum topic that you were a part of that effort. My partner was involved with the project and, therefore, I can tell you with certainty Walmart did not come to the table with a compromise in mind. It would be foolish to proceed as though they will in this case.

If you read carefully, I'm not claiming that Wal-Mart has compromise in mind when it implements an upgraded facade. Of course...I don't doubt that there are anecdotal exceptions, and if there ever were one, the Garden District in New Orleans would probably qualify. What can I say, but that some nuts are more difficult to crack than others. ...as for the Heights/West End, I think that standard negotiating procedures for affluent constituencies will apply.

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So you don't understand "why" Wal-Mart would want to do that, or you don't understand "why" the eventuality of Wal-Mart being the only game in town might be perceived as a bad thing?

I understand why an individual store in a small market would engage in a price war to force out competition and subsequently raise prices. I don't understand why Wal-Mart would want to "...operate all of its Houston stores at a loss sufficient enough to undermine every other retailer in town on every item, indefinitely." How could they possibly expect to maintain monopolistic pricing when barriers to entry are so low...except by maintaining an indefinite price war? And if they did (which would be dumb), that'd be wonderful for the consumer.

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What's Walmart's market share across individual sectors? I ask this realizing they're the biggest retailer, but what percentage of the grocery sector do they control? Electronics? Toys? Clothing? Et cetera.

I'm curious if their dominance has more to do with the fact they dabble in everything or if they really are becoming a monopoly. Without knowing the facts of it, and not having the time to research it, I'm going to bet it's the former. If they have ten percent market share, or even considerably less, in every sector, then I would imagine that would still be enough to make them the world's largest retailer.

I can't find any source that breaks it down by category, but according to this article, Wal-Mart's market share of a $3 trillion retail market in the United States is 11.3%. I'm impressed. But...that hardly qualifies Wal-Mart as a national monopolist. I'm sure that if we were able to look at Wal-Mart's market share among urban consumers, it'd be a fair bit lower.

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I understand why an individual store in a small market would engage in a price war to force out competition and subsequently raise prices. I don't understand why Wal-Mart would want to "...operate all of its Houston stores at a loss sufficient enough to undermine every other retailer in town on every item, indefinitely." How could they possibly expect to maintain monopolistic pricing when barriers to entry are so low...except by maintaining an indefinite price war?

I meant that Wal-Mart *could* do such a thing if they wanted to -- they have a lot of money. If I were a new retailer thinking of entering a Wal-Mart dominated area I could not possibly be excited about the prospect of being undercut on price no matter what I did or how long I did it -- and I think this would be a losing proposition I would be stupid to enter. This would be in addition to advantages Wal-Mart would already have with respect to economies of scale regarding suppliers, which I'm not going to pretend to understand the subtleties of, but which I know in fact do exist.

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I meant that Wal-Mart *could* do such a thing if they wanted to -- they have a lot of money. If I were a new retailer thinking of entering a Wal-Mart dominated area I could not possibly be excited about the prospect of being undercut on price no matter what I did or how long I did it -- and I think this would be a losing proposition I would be stupid to enter. This would be in addition to advantages Wal-Mart would already have with respect to economies of scale regarding suppliers, which I'm not going to pretend to understand the subtleties of, but which I know in fact do exist.

The threat of an ever-lasting price war is not credible. Though a tremendous boon for consumers, it would not be in Wal-Mart's long-term interests.

Wal-Mart is only successful within a sizable segment of the retail market because it can deliver "every-day low prices". Competing retailers can succeed by focusing on product quality, greater selection within a category of products, better service, better customer experience and/or store aesthetics, by catering to niche markets and/or selling items that Wal-Mart refuses to, or by being more convenient.

The appropriate response to Wal-Mart (or any other competitor muscling in on market share) is strategic innovation that targets the competitor's dissatisfied or marginally-satisfied customers. It won't always work in small towns where the market for a given product category simply isn't large enough to be split, but it clearly works VERY well in a large metro area. Otherwise you wouldn't witness FM 518 in Pearland or I-45 & FM 646 in League City getting built up around their respective Wal-Marts with all sorts of "competitors".

Edited by TheNiche
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The threat of an ever-lasting price war is not credible. Though a tremendous boon for consumers, it would not be in Wal-Mart's long-term interests.

It would not be ever-lasting. It would only need to drive competitors out of business. This is most certainly in Wal-Mart's long term interests.

Anyway, there is no doubt in my mind that people can come up with business models that can make money selling things. It was not my point to say that there weren't. What I was trying to show by posting that link is that s3mh's ideas about Wal-Mart's motives and reasons for building are as valid as anyone else's. And in addition, I find it funny and a little bit sad that people think H-E-B could ever outbid Wal-Mart on a site, that not shopping at a Wal-Mart could *ever* make it close, and that things like "governance" and "laws" could ever prevent multi-billion dollar corporate entities from doing whatever they wanted wherever they wanted for whatever reason they were capable of coming up with.

Edited by N Judah
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It would not be ever-lasting. It would only need to drive competitors out of business. This is most certainly in Wal-Mart's long term interests.

Anyway, there is no doubt in my mind that people can come up with business models that can make money selling things. It was not my point to say that there weren't.

Come on, man, we've been over this and you're arguing in circles. If Wal-Mart starts a price war, its competitors innovate and some fail. When Wal-Mart ends the price war, not only is there a retail vacuum and nothing to keep the competitors out, but the competitors that are left are stronger than ever. A price war cannot be maintained indefinitely; it is bad policy.

Retailers in highly-competitive urban areas are most successful when they engage in strategic innovation in such a way as contributes to the bottom line. It isn't enough to out-sell everyone else by volume, as is the case in a small town where Wal-Mart can function as a natural monopoly.

What I was trying to show by posting that link is that s3mh's ideas about Wal-Mart's motives and reasons for building are as valid as anyone else's.

I don't think that anybody here has denied that market cannibalization between Wal-Mart stores occurs. What's more, your link hardly supports s3mk's arguments.

He or she claimed that, "Wal-Mart isn't going to spend piles of cash to compete with itself," and that "And chances are very strong that these [lunchtime] consumers have been cannabalized from suburban Wal-Marts, meaning a net zero in terms of revenue." Your article says that some stores cannibalize up to 20% of sales from other stores...and yet...Wal-Mart continues its efforts to densify. Wal-Mart has literally thousands of stores yielding plenty of data to feed into a predictive model. If they want to build, clearly its because they think that they can make money in spite of some inevitable rate of cannibalization. One thing is clear; that rate is not anywhere close to the 100% speculated upon by s3mk.

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Come on, man, we've been over this and you're arguing in circles. If Wal-Mart starts a price war, its competitors innovate and some fail. When Wal-Mart ends the price war, not only is there a retail vacuum and nothing to keep the competitors out, but the competitors that are left are stronger than ever.

The threat of a price war can keep competitors out. The goal is to make money, not to lose money.

I don't think that anybody here has denied that market cannibalization between Wal-Mart stores occurs. What's more, your link hardly supports s3mk's arguments.

He or she claimed that, "Wal-Mart isn't going to spend piles of cash to compete with itself," and that "And chances are very strong that these [lunchtime] consumers have been cannabalized from suburban Wal-Marts, meaning a net zero in terms of revenue." Your article says that some stores cannibalize up to 20% of sales from other stores...and yet...Wal-Mart continues its efforts to densify. Wal-Mart has literally thousands of stores yielding plenty of data to feed into a predictive model.

I was referring to the claim that Wal-Mart just wants to screw with Target, whereupon everybody began saying with conviction "No, they just want to serve the Inner Loop!" I'm saying that you can't say for sure either way. It's tempting to think that they are willing to cannibalize existing stores just so you don't have to drive another 5 minutes to get to their store, but it's also possible they just want to use their economies of scale such that they can eventually set the price without competition. They certainly have enough money to support any losing proposition to this end indefinitely as long as eventually they can achieve this goal.

If they want to build, clearly its because they think that they can make money in spite of some inevitable rate of cannibalization.

I agree.

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The threat of a price war can keep competitors out. The goal is to make money, not to lose money.

Then why do you suppose doesn't Wal-Mart just do it?

I was referring to the claim that Wal-Mart just wants to screw with Target, whereupon everybody began saying with conviction "No, they just want to serve the Inner Loop!" I'm saying that you can't say for sure either way.

That was hardly a viewpoint discussed in the article you linked to.

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On top of everything else, studies show Walmart makes people fat.

Supersizing Supercenters? The Impact of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Body Mass Index and Obesity

Charles Courtemanche

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Bryan School of Business & Economics

Art Carden

Rhodes College

January 1, 2010

Abstract:

Research attributes much of the rise in obesity to technological progress reducing the cost of food consumption. We examine this hypothesis in the context of Walmart Supercenters, whose advancements in retail logistics have translated to substantial reductions in food prices. Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System matched with Walmart Supercenter entry dates and locations, we examine the effects of Supercenters on body mass index (BMI) and obesity. We account for the endogeneity of Walmart Supercenter locations with an instrumental variables approach that exploits the unique geographical pattern of Supercenter expansion around Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. An additional Supercenter per 100,000 residents increases average BMI by 0.25 units and the obesity rate by 2.4 percentage points. These results imply that the proliferation of Walmart Supercenters explains 11% of the rise in obesity since the late 1980s, but the resulting increase in medical expenditures offsets only a small portion of consumers’ savings from shopping at Supercenters.

Keywords: Walmart, Wal-Mart, warehouse clubs, obesity, body weight, body mass index

JEL Classifications: I10, D0, L81, R10

Working Paper Series

Date posted: September 05, 2008 ; Last revised: January 04, 2010

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Can you cite any examples of WalMart complying with local interests in such a way? Or will the Heights be the first instance?

If so, lucky us!

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Several years ago, McDonough was asked to help build a WalMart store in Lawrence, Kan. He declined. His other projects--a high-end men's store in New York City, the Environmental Defense Fund's corporate headquarters, an office building in Warsaw--were for companies who marketed themselves as ecologically aware. He didn't think he could work with a retail giant with a reputation for gobbling up mom-and-pop stores in small towns and driving out competitors. Then he realized that if environmentalists don t win over corporate America, the chasm between them will grow wider, benefiting no one.

So McDonough took on the Wal-Mart project but insisted on doing it his way. His Wal-Mart store was built with wood instead of steel, thus saving thousands of gallons of oil just in the fabrication of the building. His firm used only wood from forests that had been managed sustainably and was constructed with specially engineered beams, which experts estimate saved the equivalent of 87 trees, 120 feet tall and 18 inches in diameter. They also arranged for no CFCs to be used in the store's construction and for the building to be converted into housing when it is no longer used as a retail center.

Walmart has done some pretty interesting things in the past and since this is they're first inner city store it would benefit the community to be aware of what they've experimented with in the past.

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His firm used only wood from forests that had been managed sustainably...

This describes all wood sourced from the US and Canada. I applaud McDonough's efforts to promote American enterprise.Funny though... Walmart has their pick of the litter when it comes to contractors. If one contractor balked at their practices, Walmart could have just gone to the next one in line, especially now. It's rice and beans or famine out there in the construction biz right now. Most contractors would bend over backwards to land a Walmart deal. Instead, Walmart continued to use the one who practiced socially and ecologically responsible construction. Why?

I'm not suggesting Walmart is acting as a responsible corporate citizen, but I do find it interesting they chose, as least in this case, to go with a (likely) costlier method of construction over the cheap. Could it be they've grown so large, they can devote some of their revenue to improving the planet? I've found, in my line of work, businesses that have achieved more than just moderate success tend to turn their focus on improving the planet vs growth for the sake of growth. Perhaps Walmart's dominance isn't such a bad thing as they're able to focus less on revenue growth and more on things their competition cannot - like the environment and poverty. Again, I'm not suggesting anything improbable like the Waltons are the next Andrew Carnegie or even the next Bill Gates, but it is something interesting to consider as a possibility.

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Wal-Mart is also putting a location in at Silber and I-10: http://www.license.state.tx.us/ABDataSearch/SearchResultDetail.asp?1=EABPRJA9815960

If Wal-Mart is also going ahead with the Crosstimbers and I-45 location, then there will be 3 Wal-Marts within a 8 mile radius. Thus, the Yale location is not needed and is of no real benefit to anyone, except Wal-Mart's business strategy to compete with Target. Our neighborhoods are not playgrounds for megacorporations to play games to make their 10-Qs look good to investors.

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Wal-Mart is also putting a location in at Silber and I-10: http://www.license.s...=EABPRJA9815960

If Wal-Mart is also going ahead with the Crosstimbers and I-45 location, then there will be 3 Wal-Marts within a 8 mile radius. Thus, the Yale location is not needed and is of no real benefit to anyone, except Wal-Mart's business strategy to compete with Target. Our neighborhoods are not playgrounds for megacorporations to play games to make their 10-Qs look good to investors.

If Walmart determines that it's a good business move to have 3 stores in that area, then it is. You can't say it isn't needed just because you don't want it there. Especially in this great city that brought us 2 Starbucks across the street from each other.

No one can argue that there are tons of people who don't want a Walmart there, but no one on this board has the knowledge or data to back up the statement that it wouldn't do well there.

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If Walmart determines that it's a good business move to have 3 stores in that area, then it is. You can't say it isn't needed just because you don't want it there. Especially in this great city that brought us 2 Starbucks across the street from each other.

No one can argue that there are tons of people who don't want a Walmart there, but no one on this board has the knowledge or data to back up the statement that it wouldn't do well there.

It will do well for Wal-Mart. The store will dillute Target's market share at its Sawyer Heights. Investors will see that Wal-Mart's market share is increasing and Targets is not and will move their money over to Wal-Mart, driving the price of Wal-Mart's stock up and the opposite for Target's. Wal-Mart doesn't need to do well at the Yale location. They just need to take away Target's business.

The only benefit to the residents who have to put up with the traffic, drainage problems, increased cost for additional fire and police, damage to local small business and destruction of the revitalization of the Washington corridor (no one will want to invest in opening new businesses on Washington when the intersection of Heights/Yale and Washington becomes gridlocked with Wal-Mart traffic) will be saving a few minutes in the car.

There is a big difference between what is good business for Wal-Mart and what is good business for the citizens of Houston. Just because Wal-Mart wants something doesn't mean everyone in the City has to roll over and give them every variance and permit they want. If the community doesn't need three Wal-Marts within 8 miles, then the community shouldn't bend over backwards to cut new roads, add traffic lights, clogging important intersections for residents, and so on for a store the community doesn't need.

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There is a big difference between what is good business for Wal-Mart and what is good business for the citizens of Houston. Just because Wal-Mart wants something doesn't mean everyone in the City has to roll over and give them every variance and permit they want. If the community doesn't need three Wal-Marts within 8 miles, then the community shouldn't bend over backwards to cut new roads, add traffic lights, clogging important intersections for residents, and so on for a store the community doesn't need.

I couldn't agree with you more. This development will create a huge traffic burden to anyone who lives around here, all so the people can buy toilet paper 10 cents cheaper, and this could never have been possible unless we first paid the tab for the grand walmart avenue exits off of I-10.

I know there is no sympathy for the weirdos who bicycle to work, but this redevelopment will certainly kill the already anemic stretch of the bike lane (pt parking lot) on Heights between I-10 and Washington. I would welcome walmart or anyone else if the end result was a safe bike lane that could get you from the heights to the otherside of buffalo bayou. Instead this will probably kill this stretch of bikeable Houston.

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Actually, as a bike rider AND a Heights resident, I can sympathize. In fact, I intend to ride my bike to this Walmart, just as I occasionally do to Target. My question is, however, why would a Walmart on Yale kill a bike lane on Heights? I won't go into the overblown remarks about huge traffic burdens and the rest of s3mh's hyperbole, but it would seem that the Heights bike lane would be untouched by this store. Additionally, I would expect, like Sawyer Heights Target, that the new Walmart would cause the Yale section to be repaved, perhaps drawing some traffic AWAY from Heights Blvd.

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Actually, as a bike rider AND a Heights resident, I can sympathize. In fact, I intend to ride my bike to this Walmart, just as I occasionally do to Target. My question is, however, why would a Walmart on Yale kill a bike lane on Heights? I won't go into the overblown remarks about huge traffic burdens and the rest of s3mh's hyperbole, but it would seem that the Heights bike lane would be untouched by this store. Additionally, I would expect, like Sawyer Heights Target, that the new Walmart would cause the Yale section to be repaved, perhaps drawing some traffic AWAY from Heights Blvd.

If there are so many Wal-Marts in such a small area, would the result be LESS traffic at each individual location? It's not like people are going to fly down from Wal-Martless places like Chicago to shop in the Heights. Aren't you just taking the existing number of Wal-Mart customers, and spreading them out across more stores?

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I certainly hope that the Heights bike lane will be unaffected by the development. This actually presents an interesting issue for me. I hate Wal-Mart. But if the Wal-Mart puts in bike racks, might I actually stop there on my ride home instead of heading over to the Target for the same thing? Yes, I might.

However, if they are dumb enough not to put in any kind of bike parking, Wal-Mart will be officially dead to me.

Seriously, as far as danger on my bike commute, that new Whole Foods on Dallas and Waugh is going to be a bigger issue than traffic exiting from the rear of the Wal-Mart.

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Seriously, as far as danger on my bike commute, that new Whole Foods on Dallas and Waugh is going to be a bigger issue than traffic exiting from the rear of the Wal-Mart.

Completely agree, I am not brave enough to take Heights\Waugh down to Dallas. I quit at Washington and take the pedestrian bridge at Jackson Hill. Even though it is a big inconvenience I've almost died on the Waugh bridge too many times to take it anymore..

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My question is, however, why would a Walmart on Yale kill a bike lane on Heights?

I believe it was the plot on chonicle that showed a road connecting 2nd and Koehler crossing yale and heights with a new set of red lights that made me believe this would bring walmart traffic through Heights Boulevard.

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