Poll Results: Walmart Will Flourish Here
Readers think world’s largest retailer will be a North Shore success but criticize its business practices.
When Patch sought Reader opinion on the potential success of a Walmart Store on Skokie Valley Road in Northbrook, there was no shortage of opinion as well a strong feeling the retail giant would find a winner on the North Shore.
Nearly 70 percent of the respondents think the business will be a flourish here. Of the 59 people who responded, 41 think the location will be a good bet for Walmart while 18 think the company will fail.
The story also sparked a debate among readers as it generated more than 100 comments as of 5 p.m. Sunday. The people who offered their opinion also weighed in on whether they would shop at the store, Walmart’s labor practices and the location itself
A number of people would like to see Walmart take ready space at Deerbrook Mall. “Too many empty spaces to satisfy this need around here that are more than sufficient,” Erin Cooper wrote.
Some people like Debra Gisby criticize Walmart for the way it treats its workers. She claims to feel for people who both work for the company and shop there to save money, but would like to see Northbrook say no.
“If Walmart does ask to build in Northbrook, Northbrook should make it mandatory that they pay a decent wage, and part time workers are not allowed to work more than their maximum number of hours and if they do, they are to be deemed full time and given full benefits,” Gisby wrote. “If no one speaks up for the oppressed, when it’s your turn, no one will speak up for you.”
Donald Brayer is content to let people make their own decisions about shopping and working at Walmart. He argues no one is forcing either on anyone.
“There are many poor people in Northbrook who may be well served by a Walmart,” Brayer wrote. “As for wages and benefits, I believe people will make up their own minds as to whether they choose to work there. Some may need a second or even third family income to make ends meet.”
Another reader, Sandy Granroth thinks Walmart will have a challenge finding a work force on the North Shore. She writes of other businesses which have closed because of an inability to find people willing to work for low wages in the area.
“The North Shore is notorious for having shut down business, mostly restaurants, in the past because they could not find a local employee base willing/wanting/needing to work for bottom of the living scale wages,” Granroth wrote. “Call it snobbism if you like, I call it reality.”