NEW YORK—Walmart is looking to extend its services into New York City by opening its first store in Brooklyn.
Crain's New York reports that the 630,000-square-foot Gateway II shopping center in Jamaica Bay, Brooklyn, could be a potential site for the shopping center.
“We know that New Yorkers want to shop and work at Walmart, and as a result, we continue to evaluate potential opportunities here,” Steven Restivo, Walmart's diretor of community affairs, told Crain's.
The Gateway II shopping center is currently abandoned. In the past, the retail chain attempted to set up shop in Queens and Staten Island but was driven out of town by community groups and unions.
Even though no contract talks are underway, some unions and community activists have said they would protest the opening of the store. Walmart opponents say that the store will put family-owned “ma and pop” stores out of business, and businesses like Duane Reade and Pathmark might lose jobs.
“We don't like how they treat workers as it relates to salaries and benefits, and we're not going to have them in our community,” City Council Member Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn) said to Crain's.
“The area cannot sustain a Walmart, a Target, and a BJ's,” Pat Purcell, an assistant to the president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500 (UFCW 1500), told Crain's. “In this area, it's a job killer; it's just the wrong use.”
UFCW 1500 plans on holding a protest against the chain's potential move to New York City sometime next week.