LA Times and ethnic media updates on Wal-Mart’s Chinatown plans

Wal-Mart, of course, can't wait for this store to open. Screenshot taken of Wal-Mart's official Twitter feed.

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:

但華埠商家則認為,沃爾瑪將會讓本已不佳的買氣變得更淡。部分小商品業者表示,華埠如今買氣低落,顧客看多買少,若真還要在附近建起沃爾瑪,「生意就沒法做了,將馬上收攤走人」。

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.”

中華會館顧問張自豪表示,之前羅斯密市開設沃爾瑪曾導致許多附近小商家紛紛倒閉。但大超市建立前都會舉行公聽會,邀請社區商家與會聽取影響報告,屆時商家可在會上表達訴求、闡明顧慮,市府也會衡量利弊。若商家擔心語言障礙,可反映給會館,屆時會館代表也會替店主發聲。

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.


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