On Wednesday, the New York City Council will hold a hearing to discuss whether or not retail giant Wal-Mart will be allowed to build stores within city limits. Though the company will not send representatives to the hearing, it is launching a large campaign today in order to convince NYC residents they don’t just want a Wal-Mart, they need a Wal-Mart. The main strategy employed? Guilt.
On Wal-Mart’s New York website, pie charts and bar graphs show that minorities and outer-borough residents support a Wal-Mart more than whites and Manhattanites, feasting on an already existing “us against them” mentality. Next, we see young TV host and Brooklynite Anna Swanson during her long commute out of the city to pick up her prescription medicine. Out of options (other than, you know, moving somewhere else), Swanson calls the lack of Wal-Marts in New York “unfair” and blames it on the politics of the city’s wealthier denizens. Come on, New York! Are you really going to deprive this poor woman from affordable medicine? How could you?
The New York Times points out that Wal-Mart is using the same kind of rhetoric that led the company to victories in Chicago and Washington D.C. So, how’s it working out in Chicago? In poorer neighborhoods, we hear few complaints as the store has created jobs and kept prices low. But, the company continues to try to force its way into wealthier areas, and the city’s residents aren’t too happy about it.