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Looking to quell opposition to its plan to put a store in East New York, Wal-Mart has been pulling out the stops, courting local leaders and sponsoring everything from nutrition education to wetlands restoration. The company’s efforts seem to be working—recent polls place citywide support for Wal-Mart at over 60 percent—and some former opponents have caved. Here, a look at the retailer’s ground game.

PROBLEM
Reputation for ruthless, free-market exploitation and creation of poverty conditions.

SOLUTION
Donations to progressive efforts and pols’ pet charities, including but not limited to ...

$4 million
To bail out a cash-strapped city youth-employment program beloved by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

$812,500
For a summer program in literacy, math, and “experiential learning” for 2,000 at-risk middle-schoolers.

$382,879
To renovate the Food Bank for New York City’s 90,000-square-foot warehouse.

$225,000
To purchase two refrigerated trucks to deliver summer meals to kids.

$150,000
For a concert series founded by Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz.

$100,000
To restore 25 acres of tidal wetlands in Jamaica Bay.

$75,000
To fund summer jobs for teens in Harlem RBI’s summer-baseball program, championed by Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira.

$10,000
To replace 35 bikes, 40 helmets, and a pump stolen from a Flushing program that teaches kids to ride.

$13 million
Total amount of charitable giving in New York byWal-Mart since 2007.

$260 billion
Net sales for Wal-Mart’s U.S. division at 3,804 stores in the past fiscal year.


“Some New Yorkers Have Plenty of Choices When It Comes to Shopping … We Think You Should Too.”
Headline of a Wal-Mart flyer sent to city residents, which depicts boutique shops on Fifth Avenue between 54th and 55th Streets.


Marty, Mollified

2009
“The borough president has strong opposition to allowing retailers into the borough that have had questionable employment practices … It is well known that stores such asWal-Mart have questionable labor practices.” — aide to Marty Markowitz

2011
“I am not philosophically opposed to Wal-Mart.” —Markowitz

Have good intel? Send tips to intel@nymag.com.


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