Thursday, March 23, 2006

Wal-blogging: Sushi, expensive wine, and sales tax revenue

This article appeared in yesterday's Chicago Tribune. I've been meaning to do a post on it since then, but Tuesday's local primary election and its fallout have preoccupied me.

Free registration may be required to view the Tribune article.

Plano, Texas is a well-to-do town north of Dallas. And a new Wal-Mart store opened there this week.

And the new store is offering more than "Always Low Prices."

From the Tribune article:

In its boldest effort yet to target upscale shoppers, the nation's largest retailer is opening a new store this week with an expanded selection of high-end electronics, more fine jewelry, hundreds of types of wine ranging up to $500 a bottle, and even a sushi bar.

Wal-Mart says it won't duplicate this format anywhere else. But if plasma TVs, microbrewery beer and fancy balsamic vinegar sell in Plano, those items could be added to stores in other affluent communities.

Time for Macy's to get nervous?

Oh, I'm sure the new Plano store sells a lot of stuff you can find at traditional Wal-Marts. There certainly is a music section, and after a trip to the sushi bar, a shopper can head over there, and purchase the Best of The Tubes 1981-1987, and groove to such tunes as Sushi Girl.

Su-su-sushi (sushi girl)
Mushi-mushi (sushi girl)
Cherry blossom (sushi girl) and rice
Su-su-sushi she’s so nice

Su-su-sushi don’t you cry
Take you to the sushi bar and buy you some
Fillet and claw
Clam and tuna
Gonna eat it raw
She’s my my abaluna

Marshall Manson of Edelman PR sent me this article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (No he didn't send me the Tubes lyrics.)

The southern suburbs of Atlanta have some poverty stricken areas. And rather than block Wal-Mart from entering the area, the residents of DeKalb County south of Atlanta are embracing the retailing giant.

From the Journal-Constitution:

DeKalb Chief Executive Officer Vernon Jones said new Wal-Mart's location off I-20 will also attract shoppers from outside the county, putting sales-tax revenue in county coffers.

Jones also believes people in the community should welcome the new supercenter, especially because of what it replaced.

"I think it's obvious what people would like, if they have a choice between a dilapidated, crack-infested old building with no jobs versus a thriving retail box with supporting retail shops, providing jobs and services and improving the property value," he said. "I think it's a no-brainer."

About sales tax revenue: It was this Marathon Pundit post that brought my blog to the attention of Edelman.

24,000 Chicagoans apply to work at suburban Wal-Mart
And Chicago has just one Wal-Mart. Two years ago, Chicago's city council turned down a plan to allow a Wal-Mart to open on Chicago's South Side, not too far away from the store that will open Friday in adjacent Evergreen Park. That suburb, not Chicago, will reap in significant sales tax revenue.

Unions, Jesse Jackson and the usual suspects chased away the South Side Wal-Mart. Ordinary Chicagoans seem unfazed by the "boogey-man" reputation the Left has heaped on Wal-Mart, according the Chicago Sun-Times.

According to John Bisio, regional manager of public affairs for the retail giant, there were 24,500 applicants for positions at the new Wal-Mart. All but 500 listed a Chicago home address.

Obviously, these Chicagoans don't care about the High Cost of Low Price.

The final link goes to the hit-job of a movie about Wal-Mart that came out last fall.

Rob "Meathead" Reiner liked it, though. He also liked Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.

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