Sunday, June 3, 2012

Why is Walmart still distributing promotional materials asking for support from District residents?



I came home on Saturday to find this postcard wedged into my storm door. It's a condensed version of the mailer that Walmart sent to D.C. residents just over one year ago, in May of 2011. One neighbor mentioned that she saw a small group of people gathered at the Curtis Chevrolet site on Saturday afternoon carrying clipboards; it looked as though they were about to set out canvassing in the neighborhood. I assume they were the ones who left the postcard at my door, and had I been at home I might have had the pleasure of speaking with them face to face. If anyone reading spoke to the canvassers directly, I'd be interested in hearing what was said.

I'm really surprised that Walmart is still distributing promotional pieces like this, as all of the conversations I've had with the developers have led me to conclude that Walmart fully intends to build stores at both of its chosen sites in Ward 4 (the Curtis Chevrolet site at Georgia and Missouri Avenues NW, and the planned Fort Totten Square development at Riggs Road and South Dakota Avenue NE). However, the distribution of this postcard indicates that the company still feels it's necessary to try to assuage community opposition to their projects. Are both Ward 4 Walmart plans really done deals, as the company has been insisting they are?


Side 2

8 comments:

  1. i sure as hell hope something will trip them up.

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  2. I sure hope they're done deals... at least the rotting carcass of the Chevy dealer is gone, but the vacant dirt lot isn't a whole lot better.

    As much as I'd rather it be something besides a Wal-Mart, I'm ready for almost anything that can occupy some of the vacant or neglected properties in our neighborhood.

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  3. I agree that I'd like to see something occupy vacant/neglected properties on Ga. Ave.

    However, what the hell is this "bringing fresh groceries to underserved areas" crap? As if Brightwood is the South Bronx or something ...

    The Swillmart site (former Curtis Chevrolet dealership) is not even a mile from a full-service Safeway on Ga. and Piney Branch. I live about a block from that Safeway, and it does have some issues, but the fact is that it is a big supermarket. People may be underserved in terms of choice (Safeway or nothing), but I wouldn't call Brightwood a food desert, if a definition of a food desert is an area that lacks a full service grocery store. Brightwood doesn't. People might not like the Safeway, and people might wish for a Wegman's or Harris Teeter on the Walter Reed Site (I do!), but the presence of the Safeway negates the Walmart propaganda that people in Brightwood have no access at all to fresh groceries.

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  4. @eam531 Wal-Mart will be a full grocery store in easy walking distance of a lot of residents south of Missouri, which is something we don't have now.

    I agree we're far from being a food desert, and that the Piney Branch Safeway is a valuable resource. I shop there, and will continue to even with Wal-Mart coming two blocks from my home.

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  5. Boybert,

    Sorry, didn't mean to sound 'locationist'. You're absolutely right--the Safeway at Piney Branch and Ga. Ave. is not walkable for folks south of Missouri (especially laden with groceries).

    I was just bristling at the Walmart advertising that made Brightwood sound like a food desert.

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    1. @eam351 I'm not sure what a locationist is, but you certainly didn't sound unreasonable. I wasn't meaning to argue with you, just to add the perspective of a Longfellow St resident.

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  6. Seems to me they are trying to continue the "buzz" surrounding the opening, making sure people remember (as if we could forget) that they are coming. I live close to the Safeway also, but am excited for another option. Since WalMart announced their plans, I have seen a definite uptick in service, variety and quality at Safeway, especially a lot more attention from management. As I've said in public meetings, competition is a good thing!

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  7. Walmart was a good company once upon a time. It has fallen to nepotism and the other things that come with age. Of course, those running now have no clue to Quality Business, but then again many other companies are similar. Somewhere along the line, greed always seems to get the better of them.

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