With Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto stating that people's perceptions (and suspicions) of Walmart have changed, and stating that no one wants to see empty storefronts, the super-sized store is likely coming to the city, according to the Daily Breeze. The 75,400-square foot building is proposed for a former Mervyns store close to Hawthorne and Sepulveda boulevards (Mervyns filed for bankruptcy in 2008). According to the paper, a Walmart store has been rumored for more than a decade, but previous plans to bring the store to the area were beat back (and by Scotto himself). Now, however, attitudes have changed, according to the paper.
“The long and painful recession that has created stretches of empty storefronts lining Hawthorne Boulevard and a decline in sales tax revenues has played a role in changing the city's perception of a Walmart, Scotto said. "We need to fill these stores," he said. "Having empty stores on Hawthorne Boulevard is bad for the residents, bad for everybody. They're as good as any other idea."
Scotto said that while the city is hoping for a boost in sales tax revenues because of Walmart's presence, he is also concerned "it doesn't have an adverse effect on stores in that vicinity."
Meanwhile, local union President Rick Icaza voices concerns about job cannibalization. "We have no objection to Walmart taking over the Mervyns (former location) as long as they don't adversely hurt the community by putting in minimum-wage jobs with no benefits," he [says]. "From our perspective, we're certainly going to look into it."
· Walmart is coming to Torrance [Daily Breeze]