D.C. Commissioner Opposes New Wal-Mart On Grounds That Her Constituents Cannot Resist Shoplifting

Many local activists and politicians oppose the arrival of a Wal-Mart on the ground that it destroys small businesses, threatens historic sites, or introduces only minimum wage jobs. Brenda Speaks, a Ward 4 ANC commissioner in Washington, D.C., has a more novel argument against a store in the Capitol: her constituents (and particularly young people) will not be able to resist shoplifting and the store will generate as many plea deals as shoppings deals.

The company is planning four stores for the district. Speaks is not the only person to immediately think of shoplifting. In the article below, Terriea Sutton, 35, warns “There’ll probably be a lot of shoplifting going on. They’ll need a lot of security.”

Of course, under this don’t-tempt-us theory of urban development, few stores would be introduced beyond cement businesses and anvil stores.

Source: Washington Post

10 thoughts on “D.C. Commissioner Opposes New Wal-Mart On Grounds That Her Constituents Cannot Resist Shoplifting”

  1. What a bunch of horrifying stereotypes. The next thing you know, they’ll start arguing that there shouldn’t be any Wal-Marts in Tennessee because Billy Ray Cyrus won’t be able to resist bleaching his new mullet “Spongebob Squarepants” yellow.

    What? The only people you can still insult are white trash southerners, of course,

  2. I have to admire this woman’s gull to say what she thinks will happen. I live in a community that confuses Walmart with Nieman Marcus (needless markup) and they have police there non-stop taking shoplifters to the pokey.

  3. The Moar You Know:

    My choice of word would be”instinctive”

    “but I did something stupid anyway ”

    When you are proactive by nature,you can’t help yourself.

  4. Lotta,
    I think WalMart knows that most cities just can’t afford the concessions the way they could in the past. I was pleasantly surprised when WalMart recently agreed to use union labor in the building of a new WalMart in Chicago. They are bending a bit in order to get into markets that they haven’t been able to break into. That being said, this don’t build it because kids will steal from it is a ridiculous statement.

  5. An interesting aspect of the story is that Walmart has not asked for any tax breaks or incentives or anything from DC which lessens to (probably) zero any leverage he city council may have with the retail giant. This is pretty well stated in the article and one of the reasons that the city can’t lean on Walmart to sign an agreement to leave some profit in the community instead of funneling it out of state:

    “Also, the Respect DC coalition of nonprofit groups, unions and churches that organized the demonstration wasn’t actually trying to keep Wal-Mart out. Its main demand was that the company sign a citywide Community Benefits Agreement that would promise in writing to do things such as invest in local communities and treat its workers well.”

    I’m amazed by the lack of demands and have to wonder what is going on with that, when does (and why) a large corporation not demand tax and zoning and other concessions from cities? A few years ago when Walmart proposed to build a superstore in Bridgeton it was demanding 8 million $ in TIF and other concessions and was darned arrogant about it- make us happy on taxes or we don’t build, you need us more than we need you. Guess who got big tax breaks? I’m puzzled over this aspect of these proposed DC stores, why isn’t Walmart making traditional demands of the city?

  6. eniobob:

    Every retailer in this country has the same policy, and it’s there for a good reason, as I found out a long time ago when managing a bike shop.

    Some guy ran in, grabbed a VERY expensive road bike, and ran out the door. I’d been told NEVER to do this, but I did something stupid anyway – I chased him.

    Long story short, I started catching up to him and he turned around and pulled a gun on me. I stopped. Thankfully he had enough impulse control to not shoot – there is no way he would have missed.

    The retailers, to put things in cold perspective, do NOT want to have to pay your survivors millions of dollars over a thousand-dollar bicycle, much less the far less valuable crap they sell at WalMart. It’s just not worth it to them, and I see their point. Nobody’s life is worth a few DVDs.

    The way you MAKE SURE that nobody tries these superhero tactics is that you make them a terminable offense, and you put teeth in that policy by following through every time, and you announce it every time in the press – as both WalMart and their nearest competition, Target, do.

  7. It´s not so funny; Billions are spent on all kinds of psychological tricks to lure people to desire all kinds of garbage and poison-filled rubbish in shops.

  8. I think she is basing some in reality….but then again…maybe she has seen the “Minority Report” …..

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