LA Times and ethnic media updates on Wal-Mart’s Chinatown plans
The Los Angeles Times confirms that Wal-Mart plans to open a grocery store at the corner of César E. Chávez and Grand in Chinatown. The store will be on the ground floor of a multi-story apartment complex for seniors.
The World Journal (世界日報), a Chinese-language newspaper distributed across the US, translated the LA Times article and supplemented it with its own reporting. They found that some Chinatown residents are happy that Wal-Mart is opening in their neighborhood, because otherwise they would have to drive to the suburbs to find a similarly well-stocked store. Business owners in Chinatown, on the other hand, are not so happy:
But Chinatown entrepreneurs believe that Wal-Mart will make bad business even worse. Some small business owners say that Chinatown’s economy is not doing so well, and customers often come by without buying anything. If Wal-Mart does indeed open, “There will be no way to do business. We’d have to pack up and leave.”
Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) consultant Zhang Zihao says that opening a Wal-Mart in Rosemead (a heavily Chinese suburban community in the San Gabriel Valley) led to the closing of many nearby small businesses. However, before a large supermarket opens there must be a public hearing, so he invites business owners in the community to attend the meeting to hear the impact report. Attending business owners may complain and voice their opinions. The city government will weigh the pros and cons. If business owners are afraid of speaking up because of language difficulties, they may ask the CCBA to have a representative speak on their behalf.