Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Walmart Makes It Official: Burbank, Here They Come

Beautiful Day at the Walmart store in Gladstone, Missouri

Much to the chagrin of a grassroots No Walmart in Burbank group, firm plans are now in place to turn the vacated The Great Indoors space at Burbank's Empire Center into a new Walmart.

Burbank residents began mobilizing against the store several months ago. Now, they're hoping to make one last-ditch push to stop the store, starting with a 5 p.m. rally tonight at the Burbank City Council meeting (275 E. Olive Burbank). Details:

This is it! Tomorrow's rally before the City Council meeting is our best chance to get our voices heard. The rally starts at 5pm. We have at least 2 confirmed news stations covering the event. It's really important for us to make a huge statement and that means we need you, your energy, your commitment and your voices to be there. We'll only be taken seriously if we show strength in numbers! See you there!

Here is info from the Glendale News Press on the new store:

Walmart spokesman Steven Restivo said he expects the company will use all of the 120,000-square-foot building, but added that “leasing opportunities within the store are to be determined.”

Sometimes the mega-retailer leases space to other retailers, such as a small restaurant or nail salon, if it is putting a store in a large building, he said.

Restivo said the company will hold public forums so that residents can share their concerns and give input on what amenities they would like in the store, such as a grocery store or home-improvement section.

They will also discuss whether the store should be open 24 hours a day.

“We want to come into Burbank the right way,” Restivo said.

The dates and locations of the meeting had yet to be determined.
The Empire Center tenants include Best Buy, Target and Lowe's. I'm sort of indifferent about the arrival of this Walmart store. Walmart is a horrible, unpleasant shopping experience. But it's looking to enter a shopping center that is already filled with big box stores, and it's at least replacing a bankrupt big box store (which otherwise would sit vacant), so it's not going to have much of a negative impact, I would think. If you want to shop at Walmart, you're already shopping at the Target next door, so I would think the only business impacted would be that one.

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