Walmart Polls Washingtonians

July 18, 2013

The D.C. Council will eventually send the Large Retailer Accountability Act to Mayor Vince Gray’s desk, though nobody really knows when. As Council Chairman Phil Mendelson tells The Washington Times, he doesn’t “even know where the bill is.” Signs point to Gray vetoing the bill, over which Wal-Mart Inc. has said it will not build three stores planned for D.C., although the mayor has not issued any overt veto threats. Still, that is not stopping Wal-Mart from continuing to fan its prospects. The retailer is conducting a poll of D.C. residents this week in hopes of delivering some favorable statistics to Gray by the time the living wage bill makes it his way.

Wal-Mart spokesman Steven Restivo confirmed that the company is running a poll, though he has not said what questions are being asked. But from his comments, it seems that the survey is looking to shore up the results of a 2010 poll that found 73 percent of D.C. residents would welcome a Walmart—or a few Walmarts—into the city’s borders. Restivo says Wal-Mart is also confident District residents still want the retailer by the fact that people living in D.C. spent $40 million at stores in Virginia and Maryland last year. “We thought it made sense to see what residents think about the future of economic development in the city, since that issue is at the core of the LRAA debate,” Restivo says. (dcist)

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