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    Lukewarm Feelings for Walmart in NYC

    Poll: Smaller retailers say giant would hurt them
     

    Only 32 percent of small businesses in New York City favor Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opening stores in the Big Apple.

    That’s according to a survey by Gotham Government Relations of 300 owners and managers of small to medium-size retail stores in New York City about their opinions concerning Walmart’s proposed opening of stores throughout the city.

    The majority of people surveyed between Dec. 14 and Jan. 1 say they believe that Walmart will destroy small business and that the employee benefits are unacceptable, according to a Gotham press release. Gotham noted that while the poll did not ask owners if they were for and against Wal-Mart, pollsters did “educat[e] them on how an opening of a Walmart usually means the closing of small businesses.”

    Gotham’s survey was conducted in response to Walmart’s announcement in December of its own polling that the Arkansas-based super retailer said revealed 62 percent of New York City’s small business owners favor bringing the retail giant to New York’s five boroughs.

    Among those targeted by the Gotham poll were owners of grocery, convenience, general discount and hardware stores; pharmacies; and retailers of appliances, electronics and clothing in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.

    Small business owners were adamant in their opposition of Walmart’s entry into New York City, Gotham said. Of those polled 32 percent, or 97 out of 300, favored Walmart’s arrival; 56 percent, or 169, opposed it; and 11 percent were indifferent.
     

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