Maybe you will be one of the 10,000 people expected at a June 30th protest in L.A.’s Chinatown against a controversial plan to open a Walmart store there. The uber-retailer’s reputation for wrecking the atmosphere of historic districts like Chinatown, and posing a potential threat to local businesses, has generated strong resistance to plans for a 33,000 square-foot “express” Walmart at Cesar Chavez and Grand avenues.
The fight isn’t only about Chinatown–it’s about all of Los Angeles, because Walmart may be coming to a corner near you. Walmart has designs on locations around L.A. County to gain a foothold in the local urban grocery market.
The retailing behemoth needs to shore up sagging sales and stagnating stock prices, which requires expansion into U.S. urban markets. (Rural and suburban areas across the country have reached the Walmart saturation point.) But Walmart has encountered stubborn opposition in urban centers where residents take issue with its penchant for keeping its employees in low-wage,