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Why New Yorkers Still Want Walmart

A new poll has found that a majority of New York City residents do indeed want retailer Walmart in their backyard.

As Bloomberg reported Monday (Aug. 10), as many as 55 percent of New Yorkers say elected officials should allow Walmart to open its first location in the city’s five boroughs, according to research from Quinnipiac University.

The newswire noted that the data approximated findings that were conducted by the university four years ago, when the company tried, and failed, to land a spot in Brooklyn.

The Quinnipiac poll detailed this week found that support for a store opening stretches across 70 percent of Republicans and as many as 55 percent of Democrats.

As Bloomberg noted, the company has faced opposition from current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and also from labor advocates. They contend that a Walmart in the city would hurt local businesses, and workers are not paid well enough. The latter point seems to be an area of criticism, as a majority of those polled say that Walmart does not offer high enough wages or benefits. Those opinions remain even after the company boosted its minimum hourly wages and its medical coverage, Bloomberg noted.

But 64 percent of the 1,108 respondents to the late July to early August polling said they would shop at a convenient, city-based Walmart, and three quarters of Staten Island and Bronx consumers said they would shop there.

Parsing the data a bit more, Quinnipiac said that 67 percent of New York households surveyed making less than $30,000 annually wanted Walmart — which Bloomberg stated represented an economic tier that wanted the retailer “the most” — while 49 percent of those earning more than $100,000 wanted to see a store opening in New York City or its adjacent boroughs.

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