The recent announcement that Wal-Mart had purchased the Great Indoors property came as welcome news to me. Like some of my friends, my family and I have had to drive 25 miles or more to go to a Wal-Mart, either in Porter Ranch, Duarte, or the Wal-Mart Super Center in Santa Clarita. We go there because they have what we want or need at a lower price than other stores. It’s simple economics, and no amount of proposed community forums is going to change that fact.
Then there is the “snob” factor. The vocal opposition by the elitist snobs who hate Wal-Mart, is no surprise. I recall past City Councils turning up their noses at the mere mention of Wal-Mart. Apparently they were unaware that not everyone shops at Macy’s. In the past 2 ½ years as the economy went from bad to worse, we common folks shop where we can get the most for the least money. I had to laugh at the lady who came out on Facebook against a Wal-Mart in Burbank. She wants a Souplantation instead. I’d like to see a Souplantation in Burbank, too — although I’m sure the City Council would reject it like they did that nice chicken restaurant that wanted to locate on Magnolia Blvd. a couple of years ago. But let’s be serious — do we want the “world’s largest” Souplantation that employs a handful of food workers? Or do we want a Wal-Mart that will bring in millions of dollars in sales tax revenue to the City — just like Costco does.
The anti-Wal-Mart crowd is against the store being open 24 hours. The world no longer operates on a 9-5 Monday-Friday schedule folks. They don’t want it to sell groceries either. Why, would too much competition for Ralphs, Von’s, and Target might lead to (what a shock) Lower Prices? Some hate Wal-Mart because it is non-union. Most other retailers, like Target, Costco, Kmart, and Sears, are non-union. Why do they hold Wal-Mart to a different standard?
And then there is the tired old argument that Wal-Mart puts the small stores out of business. What small businesses? Ed’s Towne Shop, The Photo Art Shop, Naha’s Department Store, Albin’s Toys, Spector’s Market? Don’t recognize them? It’s because most have been gone for years, replaced by progress. Just as the Glendale Galleria pulled customers out of Burbank years ago, and the Empire Center pulled them away from the Burbank Town Center, stores that offer customers more for less will pull customers away from those that don’t.
A Wal-Mart in Burbank? It’s about time!