Housing Complex

Councilmember: Walmart Canceling Plans for at Least Two D.C. Stores

This post has been updated.

Walmart has decided to cancel plans for at least two of its planned D.C. stores in response to the living wage bill passed by the D.C. Council last month, according to Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander.

"Walmart is pulling out of Skyland and Capitol Gateway, and I'm pissed off," says Alexander, referring to the company's two planned stores in Ward 7. Alexander says Walmart representatives just visited her office and made the announcement that they are pulling out of stores they have not yet started. The company will soon send out a press release, she says.

The company has actively opposed the Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013, which would require large retailers with stores over 75,000 square feet and parent companies grossing at least $1 billion per year to pay a "living wage" of $12.50 an hour, minus benefits. The bill still needs to be approved by the Council on a second vote tomorrow and signed by the mayor before it takes effect. But according to Alexander, the company does not expect the mayor to veto it, nor does she think Walmart is bluffing in order to stir up opposition to the legislation.

"I don't think it's a bluff," Alexander says. "I don't think they'd come to the councilmember who's going to have two in her ward and bluff her."

Three of the six planned D.C. Walmart stores are under construction. The stores at Skyland Town Center and Capitol Gateway, in addition to one at New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road NE, have not yet broken ground. Alexander's understanding of Walmart's position would imply that all three of these stores would be canceled, though she spoke specifically to the two in her ward.

A Walmart spokesman couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Kevin

    F#ck Walmart.

  • seriously now

    um, OF COURSE they'd try to bluff the councilmember who's going to have two in her ward. come on, yvette.

  • Stronghold Resident

    All of those who would have benefited from a brand new store in your neighborhood and the development that came with an anchor tenant can blame the following:

    Anita Bonds
    Jack Evans
    David Grosso
    Vincent Orange
    Mario Barry
    Jim Graham
    Kenyan McDuffie
    Phil Mendolson

    Voted against:

    Yvette Alexander
    David Catania
    Tommy Wells
    Murial Bowser
    Mary Cheh

    “For once in your life, stop worrying about business, because business is going to take care of itself,” said Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large), one of those introducing the bill.

    So true.

  • name

    Ha ha! 3 decades of low rent sucker politicians in DC thinking they're gamers, but always getting gamed.

    The only thing sadder is that they actually DO represent the majority voter.

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  • drez

    It would be interesting to correlate and compare incomes in the areas where the Walmart stores under construction are with where Walmart has elected not to build.
    It seems to me that they were cherry-picking.

  • DC_anon

    Good... We did not need six damn Walmarts in DC. Three is still too many.

  • Opportunity Knocks

    Honestly... Target would be a great alternative if they are willing at any of the aforementioned locations. Target is amazing at Columbia Heights! Love that store!

    Hope the city can work this out soon.

  • http://allthingsdc.com AllThingsDC

    if i'm not mistaken, Capitol Gateway is part of Ft Lincoln. with the other store planned for NY and Bladensburg, why would they put in 2 Walmarts within a half mile of each other?

  • c

    Didn't Wal-Mart say it pays people like $13 an hour already? So what exactly is their problem with $12.50? (PS, $12.50 is only $25K a year if you are working full-time, which at Wal-Mart you are almost certainly not. Not really enough to live on.)

    Also, it's really gross that Wal-Mart is pulling this. They've been a big bully to towns and workers for years and years. Too much to hope for that this City Council will have a spine and realize Wal-Mart needs DC more than DC needs Wal-Mart?

  • AERzondzinska

    Walmart is such a prick. They told a meeting of clergy months and months ago that they would start "associates" in their D.C. stores at $13/hour, so no worries. If they had not been lying through their teeth, the LRAA would have required them to SAVE money on wages. But you can't trust them as far as you can throw Alice Walton. I am thrilled that they are pulling out, if only they'd pull out all the way.

  • Tina

    MD and VA will gladly take your sales tax dollars. If DC lawmakers believe DC wages are too low they should raise wages for all businesses. In the meantime, please do not write anymore whiny op eds about food deserts and the lack of grocery stores and affordable shopping options in low income neighborhoods in DC.

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  • Blevins

    @Seriously now. Lol'z. Yvette is not bright. As if we needed any more proof.

  • AERzondzinska

    Tina, the whole reason Walmart's been sniffing around Washington and other cities is because they've saturated the rural parts of the country (you can tell because the small towns are mere husks), the exurbs, and increasingly, the suburbs. I'd love to see them cannibalizing themselves now that we've shown them the door.

  • NW Dave

    This pretty much assures that Gray will veto the bill... He will do everything possible to protect Skyland... The bottom line -- Walmart wins.

  • Theresa

    Haven't they (Employers) figured out yet that a happy (and well-paid) employee is a productive employee? Stop being so cheap!!

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  • http://citypaper sly

    Theresa, Walmart is a global GIANT!

  • noodlez




  • damichix

    fuck Walmart.

  • dcgovcorruption

    Walmart didnot request any handout incentives from
    the dc government and now the Council wants to imposr
    a law on Walmart for higher wages than md or va.
    This is economic voodo by blackmail by the Council.
    I see why potomac yards is filled with dc tags everyday of
    the week.

  • Dave

    what do you expect? You beg walmat to come to town and then you ram salary requirements down their throat. Of course they will leave. Walmart serves their investors, not the residents of DC.

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