Belleville, IL. Wal-Mart Scraps Plan For Another Superstore
Wal-Mart opponents couldn’t be happier. A Wal-Mart spokesman this week confirmed rumors that the retailer is dropping its plans for a supercenter in this city of roughly 42,000 people. Belleville already has one Wal-Mart superstore on Green Mount Common Drive.
According to the Belleville News-Democrat, Wal-Mart is “no longer moving forward with the project.”. Belleville’s Mayor told his City Council that work on the site had stopped, but the company spokesperson said Wal-Mart is now concentrating on investing in current stores and building fewer stores nationally.
“So many things have changed since we first started looking at building a store there several years ago,” the spokesperson said. “And now what we’re doing and what our focus is, is investing in our existing stores, investing in new technology and investing in our associates, and investing in the convenience that customers want today.” And this music to sprawl-busters ears: “We are building fewer stores, but we are improving the existing stores that we have. It is life changing.”
City officials said that Wal-Mart has spent “a lot of money” in planning for the proposed superstore on the west side of the city. One City Alderman who owns a local clothing store in Belleville, opined that Wal-Mart cancelled its plans because it is restructuring its business model and not building as many stores as it has in previous years.Internet shopping is cutting into sales at brick and mortar stores, and Walmart has to keep up with what customers want. He cited Amazon as Wal-Mart focus now.
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The Belleville project is one of at least half a dozen cancellations announced by Wal-Mart in the past several months. The retailer is now saying its going to build only 15 new stores this coming year.
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