I didn’t think I’d see the day that Wal-Mart would move into The District; but then again I never thought Costco would move into New York City or that Target would inhabit Columbia Heights.
The ongoing effort for the retail giant/labor union foe to build a location within Washington, DC may have come to a head this week. After announcing a deal to build a 2nd store in Chicago, the Washington Post is reporting that Wal-Mart is now close to finalizing a deal open a store in Northeast DC.
Anonymous sources within Wal-Mart told The Post that a deal should be in place by this fall to open a store on New York Avenue NE near the intersection of Bladensburg Road. The proposed site is 11 acres wide and wouldn’t need any zoning changes, a problem that came up for previous sites Wal-Mart has checked out. With a reputation like Wal-Mart’s, the corporation is looking for a location that would require the least amount of hassling. Right now the proposed piece of land is home to various auto parts shops and the Skylark Lounge, a strip club.
I wonder which would be more despised: a strip club or a Wal-Mart?
The new Wal-Mart would join other nearby stores in Hyattsville, MD & Alexandria, VA but of course the retailer would love to have a location in a major metropolitan city like DC.
Outside of the possible traffic implications around that area, I don’t see much of an impact outside the immediate area surrounding the proposed location. The site is a good 35-45 minute walk from the Red Line, any city dweller without a car would most likely opt to go to Target. Would those with cars want to drive into Northeast to shop at Wal-Mart? I wonder how the Target vs. Wal-Mart brand war would break down if this deal comes to fruition.
Then there’s the whole stigma of Wal-Mart. We don’t mind protesting anything and everything in this city- will we see a big anti Wal-Mart outcry?
Personally I grew up shopping at Wal-Mart because it was closer to home than the local Target. When I moved down here it was the opposite, and I grew to prefer the higher quality of Target. Would you shop at Wal-Mart if they opened shop in DC?