WalMart Comes to Boulder

January 26, 2013

I’m having some difficulty believing that WalMart was not aware of Boulder’s interest in who was rehabilitating the PetSmart/Ross space in the Diagonal Plaza.The inquiries were pretty specific. Playing hide the pea for a while may have been fair game, but even “plausible deniability” has its limits.

Building permits presume underlying zoning requirements have been met, and nothing about the structural reconfigurations proposed indicated an inherently unacceptable use was being contemplated. 52,000 square feet of grocery store in northeast Boulder is more or less equivalent to the same amount of square footage of grocery store located elsewhere in our fair city.

If the WalMart business model is a pariah in Boulder, we will soon know it. The wolf in sheep’s clothing has been revealed. For folks who consider shopping at a WalMart to be anathema, shopping elsewhere would seem to be an obvious alternative. That’ll show ‘em! If buying local floats your boat, WalMart may not suffice. So spend your money where you deem it will do the most good!

A 170,000s.f. “superstore” may be a category-killer, wiping out small mom-and-pop stores with impunity, but a 52,000s.f. grocery store must survive a well-estabilished competitive market that favors tradition and useful customer service, not outsourced and merely less expensive stuff.

Eventually, the false “efficiencies” associated with overseas production of our essential goods and services will stop making economic sense, and we will re-source what we want and need closer to home.

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