Walmart blocked from entering New York City

Bentonville, Ark. -- Despite its interest in making a New York City debut in a new Brooklyn neighborhood shopping center, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Friday it was unable to agree to economic terms for a new store. Instead, developer Related Cos. struck a deal with ShopRite to open a new grocery store at the 630,000-sq.-ft. Gateway II shopping center planned for Brooklyn.

According to Steven Restivo, senior director of community affairs for Wal-Mart, however, the retailer is still interested in breaking into New York despite stiff and heated opposition from unions and politicians who have worked hard to block non-union Walmart stores from entering the market.

“We remain committed to bringing new economic development and shopping options to New York City, especially in the neighborhoods that need them most,” said Restivo in a statement. “Two things remain constant: most New Yorkers want us here and we remain interested in providing more convenient access to Walmart for local residents.”  

Restivo emphasized that the Gateway II deal dissolved over financial matters and was unrelated to politics.

Restivo said that Walmart will continue to evaluate local opportunities across all five boroughs. New York City has long been a priority for the retailer, which recently made a $4 million donation to a New York City job program.