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Walmart rides Jet into New York City

After decades of being denied a physical presence in New York City by unions claiming the mega-retailer takes advantage of its workers, Walmart has finally wormed its way into the Big Apple.

The New York Times reported that Walmart has leased a 205,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in the Bronx that it intends to use as a base to grow sales of its unit in New York.

The Times suggested that Jet’s push into New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington represents a strategic move on the part of Walmart to win a bigger share of the wallets of higher-income city dwellers. The paper quoted Jet president Simon Belsham as saying, “We believe we can win in New York.”

Walmart was rebuffed in previous efforts to open its big-box stores in Queens and Brooklyn. Labor groups including the Working Families Party convinced community boards and municipal officials to vote down proposed projects due to poor working conditions for employees.

City officials will continue to be vigilant of Walmart in its new gambit.

“Walmart may think they have found a new, under-the-radar path into New York City by buying up businesses already here, but we should not be fooled. We intend to be watching very carefully,” said Comptroller Scott M. Stringer in a statement.
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