Wal-Mart Supercenter to Open in Greene

Wal-Mart is going to open a 153,000 square foot location near the 29/33 intersection in Greene County, Brian McNeill writes in the Progress. The company figures that enough people drive down to the location on 29N, in Albemarle, that they’d get even more business with another location 11 miles north. Though Greene is “ecstatic” about the new jobs, Wal-Mart actually destroys more jobs than they create, since they put locally-owned companies out of business by undercutting them, and those jobs at Wal-Mart pay less and provide less benefits. Local retailers, in fact, describe themselves as “afraid,” as well they should be.

Wal-Mart recently announced they’d be opening a Louisa location. They also operate a distribution center in Louisa, which was subsidized by the state with a $500,000 grant, a strange thing to do for the nation’s largest private employer.

13 Responses to “Wal-Mart Supercenter to Open in Greene”


  • While the data in that report may be accurate, the analysis is quite poor, and the only other word I can use to describe it is laughable.

  • Wal-Mart Watch is a particularly great organization on this topic — their tone is one of gentle encouragement towards improvement, rather than badgering Wal-Mart to please simply cease existing. They deserve a lot of the credit for Wal-Mart’s recent decision to pressure their vendors to reduce the volume and weight of their packaging.

    The United Food and Commercial Workers point out that Virginia spends $42,950,692 annually subsidizing Wal-Mart’s healthcare, or lack thereof. Part of Wal-Mart’s profitability comes from providing terrible pay and even worse healthcare for their employees, which means that 5,254 Wal-Mart employees in Virginia are on Medicaid, and 3,207 of their dependents require

  • Wal-Mart is a double-edged sword. They provide a decent selection of lower-cost products to less affulent folks primarily in rual areas. That is certainly a good thing.

    They also treat their customers and employees like trash and buy mostly all Chinese crap. This is a bad thing.

    As far as competition with local businesses goes – I am less than sympathetic in most cases. Many local businesses COULD compete with better service – but they don’t. Most local businesses I frequent don’t offer any more knowledge or service than WalMart – meaning they offer virtually none. Add into that lousy hours, higher prices and less selection, and you have a recipie for a “Going out of business” sale.

    If you do not like WalMart – then do not shop there. And let them know WHY you are not shopping there. If enough people did it, the company would change it policies.

    WalMart is a public company, accountable to it’s shareholders. It’s shareholders are only interested in increasing the value of their investment – and how they get that return is not relevent to them.

    I FIRMLY believe in capitalism – and am staunchly against Federal regulation. However, I believe that investing in your employees is, in the long term, “good capitalism” and preferable to making a short term buck to make a 10-K filing look better. Watch your investments … don’t invest in funds and other opportunities that may end up owning Walmart stock.

    The only time I shop at WalMart is to buy ammunition – and that’s rare since I usually buy it online. Sorry, local buesiness charge 2x the price of Walmart and online, and that’s just too much. It’s ironic that the store named “Target” doesn’t sell ammo, but I digress.

  • I used to get my ammo at a ‘mart (K), but guilt finally got me to switch to Woodbrook. Now I just shoot less…though a bolt-action will do that to a man. :)

  • A big factor I think of why Louisa did this is the additional taxes it will bring in. I assume they’ll get a return on their $500,000 ‘investment’, and if so, that’s just good business sense from their part.

    For the rural counties here that are primarily residential, each new resident deepens the tax hole the county is already in. The counties do not make enough off taxing the residents to cover services/schools/roads/etc etc, which is why they need to be aggressive in getting businesses to come out there.

    I only wish Fluvanna did it instead of Louisa.. Fluvanna seems to be stubbornly anti-business, and it’s biting them in the ass.

  • I for one welcome our new walmart overlords. OK, obscure scifi/techie joke. Sorry, couldn’t resit. For an even more really obscure reference to things techie, see my name.

    Ah, the old walmart chestnut again. I agree somewhat with Mike W. about the good part is cheap goods for poor, but of course the bad part is cheap labor employment. I certainly don’t like to see subsidies for such corporations (i.e., corporate welfare) by helping with utilities/infrastructure and of course in making up for their underpaying of their employees. Another issue that worries me is that often those really cheap goods are really crappy goods from China and other places (watch out for that poison toothpaste). But then again, even the snobbish stores carry some of the same crap, they just charge you 20x the price. So maybe that’s a wash.

    Id like to see the corporate welfare stop. But perhaps the bottom line is voting with your wallet in the end.

    A related issue is where such things fits into the tax base for the county touched on by Chad Day. I don’t have references, but I saw a nice analysis that showed a direct correlation between where taxes come from and what development is promoted. If a county’s tax base is primarily coming from residential, then that’s what will grow. If it comes from business, then strip malls is what will grow. I think the underlying issue is governments want to grow no matter what, and which ever is the best means of increasing their money and power, that’s what they’ll promote. Interesting analysis. If I can find that reference I’ll link it.

  • Dandy:

    The problem (with Fluvanna, I don’t know how it applies to others) is that residential is NOT growth. Each new resident pays less in taxes than the city does for having them in here in terms of schools, roads, etc etc.

    Residential growth should not be an option for Fluvanna. If they want to continue to have a decent school system, roads, etc etc, they need to attract *businesses* out here instead of having all their residents drive into Cville/Albemarle and spend their money there.

    I really don’t get it. It’s just common sense, given Fluvanna’s situation, and is a pretty sore point for me.

  • Good point Chad about needing businesses in Fluvanna so as to not just be a bedroom community of C’ville. But getting more taxes from business instead of residence may mean the county will favor even more businesses. That is what is needed now it sounds like, but be careful of what you wish for, it could turn into strip mall city too.

    The walmart people also bring up an interesting point when they claim that a lot of traffic to the current walmart is from further north 29 and especially green county. I’m not sure I really believe that, but if it’s true, then perhaps some small amount of traffic would be lessened. It would be interesting to see if an accurate traffic (and other) impact study has (or will soon) be done. Did I say accurate… ha, what was I thinking. Wouldn’t it be funny if they discovered the vast majority of customers came from green and decided to close the current one. Ah, we can wish can’t we.

    And speaking of train wrecks on 29, what ever happened to Albemarle Place? No, what am I saying, it will be yuppy paradise. :-) I see some signs there now as if work is happening, and I even see a bit of dirt here and there, but nothing much beyond that. Anyone have any updates?

    Now for more important matters, I’ve got to catch up with Hex on BBC. Man these ghosts and immortals sure do have hang-ups…

  • The walmart people also bring up an interesting point when they claim that a lot of traffic to the current walmart is from further north 29 and especially green county.

    The people I know that shop at Walmart living in that area (Ruckersville, Barboursville, Gordonsville, and Orange) just as often go up to the Super-Walmart in Madison. If they go to the one in Cville it’s usually just because they’re going to Cville for some other reason.

    As it is, with the growth explosion that Greene County is fostering, they had better decide on and implement some basic architectural design standards. Last time I drove through Ruckersville it looked like truckstop hell- a mishmash of buildings just thrown up with no thought to the overall appearance of the area.

  • Last I understood is Albemarle Place is “stuck” because of inadequate sewer capacity.

  • Quote: “Another issue that worries me is that often those really cheap goods are really crappy goods from China and other places (watch out for that poison toothpaste).”

    It always amazes me how gullible Americans are. In my experience, Americans are the most credulous population in the industrialized world. I remember fondly the times when Hondas where slapped with the “Jap Crap” moniker. LOL! If the Chinese are often building “junk”, it’s because that’s how Walmart set the requirements for the contract to US consumers.

    You should see the Buicks the Chinese are making…
    http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/114/open_features-made-in-china.html
    They’ve been busy buying up US and Euro engineering for decades and are now starting to cash in on those investments. Same for the Koreans. Have you checked a Hyundai / Kia recently?

    You are digging your own graves by hiding from the real core issues in America: runaway for-profit healthcare, unhindered corporate lobbying and control, and our socio-political meltdown. Next time you are at the hospital, try asking for the price tag of the procedure you have just signed you’ll pay for! The whole medical / pharma / insurance environment is the biggest scam ever pulled off in American history! Then try to contest the outrageous hospital bill… The “for-hire” paid for by the hospitals will put you straight real quick. The Sheriff’s office taking his share in the slaughter…

    Yeah, but keep repeating to yourself the Chinese are the bad guys… [rolleyes]

  • Sympatico, The topic was about walmart. I admit my complaint about cheap goods was perhaps a bit off topic, but health care is way off. I don’t disagree of course that our health care system is a total train wreck.

    Remember, the early years of the Japanese automakers was rife with bad quality. Just like the early years of Japanese electronics were quite horrible. But those corporations learned really fast. Of course the oil situation in the ’70’s helped the automakers a lot, and then that new influx of business helped them reinvest and make even better cars. And that was around the same time the US manufacturers saw a drop off in quality. A perfect combination of events to flip which country made good cars and which one made crap cars.

    Products from China and others areas may go through the same cycles. It sure helps them now to have slave/prison/child labor to make stuff for cheap. But who knows, the quality may go up over time. Hopefully labor practices will improve as well. I’d put S. Korea in a different camp than China for various labor practices and quality reasons already. I agree Hyundai and Kia are getting quite good.

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