Chalk up another victory for anti-Wal-Mart forces. In the village of Mokena, Illinois recently, Wal-Mart announced that it was ending its plans to build a 150,000 s.f. supercenter on 31 acres on 191st Street. The Mayor of Mokena told the Daily Southtown newspaper he was “suprised and disappointed” to learn that the land deal had fallen through. “I had assumed this was all taken care of, and their negotiations were completed.” A Wal-Mart spokesman would not reveal details of the collapse, except to say, “It’s just that at the moment, we’re not able to agree on the terms of the contract.” So the giant retailer is going to look for another location. But there has been deep division in the village over whether big box retailers are good or bad for the community. Wal-Mart had asked for private meetings with the Village Trustees, but two of its members refused to attend private meetings. One Trustee who was in favor of the supercenter, was quoted in the Daily Southtown as saying, “If you’re going to be monkeying around with a bunch of nit-picking apes, deciding what color your curtains will be, you’re going to decide to go somewhere else.”
Wal-Mart would love to engage local officials in discussions about curtains, because they don’t have windows. But in this case, Mokena residents are pleased that Wal-Mart has dropped the deal.