Grill Walmart: The retail giant is fielding your questions

By | March 29th, 2012 | 18 Comments
"How May I Help You?" by Robby Campbell

Got questions about Walmart's plan to open its first Miami location? The retail giant is at your service. -- illustration by Robby Campbell

Walmart’s plan to open its first City of Miami location, a two-story store in Midtown, has sparked contentious debate between people who see it as a threat to an emerging neighborhood and others who see it as a boon to residents who will benefit from easy access to inexpensive goods and new jobs. With so much at stake, Beached Miami, which has been leading the local media with its coverage of the Midtown Walmart debate, asked the retail giant if it would field questions from our readers. To its credit, Walmart agreed to be grilled.

***Be heard***

This is an opportunity for people on both sides of the debate to engage directly with an issue that, for better or worse, would have a major impact on the City of Miami. There are several ways to submit questions:

— leave a comment on this post
— via Twitter, with the hashtag #grillwalmart (for example, “What is Walmart doing to limit the affect of increased traffic in Midtown once the store opens? #grillwalmart”)
— via Facebook, by posting a question on the Beached Miami Facebook page
— via email: info [at] beachedmiami [dot] com

Steven V. Restivo, who leads Walmart’s public relations in Miami and several other major U.S. cities, will be answering your questions (10 total).

***Deadline: Wednesday, April 4***

We will accept questions until 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4, so make sure to get yours in before deadline. We will then forward 10 of the questions to Walmart and publish the company’s responses on in early April.

To give you a sense of Walmart’s stance, here is a document the company is circulating as part of its community outreach strategy. It may help you formulate your questions.

Here’s the #grillwalmart reaction so far via Storify.

Grill Walmart, Get Answers

Walmart’s plan to open its first City of Miami location, a two-story store in Midtown, has sparked contentious debate.

Storified by Jordan Melnick · Thu, Mar 29 2012 10:22:37

To learn more about the debate, visit
RT @beachedmiami: Attn. Miami! Walmart is taking questions about its plans to build a store in Midtown. Ask away! #grillwalmartFatgirl Hedonist
RT @beachedmiami: Attn. Miami! Walmart is taking questions about its plans to build a store in Midtown. Ask away! #grillwalmartGregory Alexander
Illustration by @robbycampbell for our #grillwalmart initiative. Ask a question!Jordan Melnick
RT @beachedmiami: Attn. Miami! Walmart is taking questions about its plans to build a store in Midtown. Ask away! #grillwalmartMs. Jenn
Attn. Miami! Walmart is taking questions about its plans to build a store in Midtown. Ask away! #grillwalmartJordan Melnick

Related Links

“Park may hinder construction of Midtown Walmart”
“Major Midtown landowners clash over Walmart”
“Fox News zeroing in on Midtown Walmart story”
“Despite setback, Walmart to move forward in Midtown”
“Midtown developer asks city to reject Walmart zoning request”
“Opinion: City should reject Walmart zoning request”
“Puerto Rican business group supports Midtown Walmart”
“Midtown Walmart Would Force Art Fairs Out”
“Plans for Midtown Walmart emerge with zoning request”
“Op-ed: Midtown Walmart will hurt job growth, local businesses”

This post was produced in partnership with Open Media Miami.

Follow Beached Miami on Twitter (@beachedmiami) and Facebook and email and RSS.

18 Comments on “Grill Walmart: The retail giant is fielding your questions”

  1. 1 Sara said at 9:12 am on March 29th, 2012:

    Miami 21 is a zoning plan that focuses on creating walkable, pedestrian-friendly urban areas. Is Walmart committed to upholding these goals at their proposed Midtown location?

  2. 2 Denise said at 10:08 am on March 29th, 2012:

    Why choose midtown shops that house a growing upper middle class community? If the focus is truly to benefit the community and not compete with the developing marketplace the impact could be greater in little haiti, west wynwood, morning side etc. Its common knowledge that once you pass 59 street or go west of n Mia ave there’s nothing for the community. Why put a megastore next to a competitors megastore with similar offerings in an area that has started to see parking congestion already?

  3. 3 Rob Goyanes said at 10:35 am on March 29th, 2012:

    Walmart is a well-respected global retailer that offers a myriad of affordable, quality goods. It is known especially for its commitment to the growth of the communities it inhabits, the support it provides for minorities, and the equitable treatment of employees.

    Normads is a band that is founded on the same principles, and we support you, Walmart! We love your affordable clothing, fresh fruits and vegetables, and innovative global supply strategies!

    We would love to play your grand opening! Will there be a welcoming party?

  4. 4 Rob Goyanes said at 10:48 am on March 29th, 2012:

    Walmart is a well-respected retailer known for its inexpensive quality goods, positive impact on local communities, and equitable treatment of employees.

    Normads is a band from Miami that feels aligned with these principles, and we love your fresh food, durable yet affordable clothing, and innovative global supply strategy!

    Do you plan on having a welcoming party for when you open your Midtown location? We would love to play and support you!

  5. 5 Rob Goyanes said at 3:19 pm on March 29th, 2012:

    Sorry for the double post!

  6. 6 Big Time Jones said at 12:21 pm on March 30th, 2012:

    If so many people are opposed to the construction of a Walmart in Midtown, why doesn’t Walmart, with its 10 point manifesto, show some interest in caring about this opposition. Perhaps because Walmart is first and foremost interested in Walmart’s bottom line. If Walmart cared about ANYTHING else, it would locate elsewhere, be able to achieve all of its objectives, and make no enemies. All that will stop Walmart is the will of the people in Midtown.

  7. 7 Jordan Melnick said at 1:58 pm on March 30th, 2012:

    Big Time Jones, I’m no Walmart apologist, but the fact that the company is fielding questions from the community is at least a token of its “interest in caring about the opposition”, no? We don’t know what the company’s answers will be, but if your minimum requirement is that Walmart “show some interest”, then I think it’s fair to say that it is being met.

  8. 8 nathaniel sandler said at 3:00 pm on March 30th, 2012:

    How does Walmart feel about all the backlash when there’s a Target less than a half a mile away?

  9. 9 Glenn said at 6:43 pm on March 30th, 2012:

    Why do you treat your workers so poorly and think no one will notice?

  10. 10 Emmy Castellanos said at 10:21 am on April 2nd, 2012:

    I don’t really have any questions–I don’t want WalMart coming to Midtown or the element that is typically associated with it. Keep Midtown’s local businesses flourishing–no WalMart! WalMart would be better served elsewhere!

  11. 11 Craig Chester said at 12:22 pm on April 2nd, 2012:

    WalMart – Why not deploy the more reasonably-scaled Walmart “Neighborhood Market”concept in Midtown that exists in other urban areas? It seems you are trying to attract customers from all over Miami-Dade with the size of the current proposed store, which will degrade the neighborhood with automobile traffic.

  12. 12 Kareem Tabsch said at 4:17 pm on April 3rd, 2012:

    Midtown/Wynwood is currently served by a myriad of other shopping options.

    Walmarts affordably priced merchandise is actively marketed towards working families whereas the Midtown area is comprised of young, single, professionals or young professional couples. Walmart also touts its job creations in the communities it has stores.

    My question is this: If Walmart is truly committed to both offering affordable merchandise to working families and creating jobs in the community, why is it not looking at locations across NW 7th Avenue that could be more centrally located to the communities of Allapattah, Wynwood, Liberty City, Little Havana, Overtown, Miami River and more? A more central location further west of Midtown can be accessible to a larger part of the city, create jobs in the communities that are experiencing severe unemployment, and create less of a carbon footprint.

    Why not locations further west and more central where a new Walmart can create a greater, positive community impact?

  13. 13 kaelsie said at 7:57 am on April 4th, 2012:

    As a neighborhood resident my biggest concern of this project (among the many other concerns I have) is that this neighborhood remain walkable and not be flooded with an additional 600 cars a day. Do you think you can create a store which has a pedestrian scale and pedestrian friendly features on the ENTIRE perimiter of the store, does not face its back to Midtown Boulevard, and which doesn’t bring gridlock?

    From the other Walmart stores I have experienced, I have no faith in the company to create a store that fits into the pedestrian friendly Midtown neighborhood and that supports local interests. All I can foresee is the store driving out smaller competitors and building a monstrosity, while jamming our sidewalks with hundreds of cars speeding out of it’s parking garage. I would LOVE to know if Walmart thinks they are able to do otherwise.

  14. 14 Dci247 said at 1:55 pm on April 4th, 2012:

    For those of us who’ve recently moved into the area please update voter registration. Because many haven’t done so the new emerging middle class are not represented well demographically to this market which is how Walmart and the casino project are trying to justify these buildouts. It cost nothing, takes 5 min call and will help ensure your voice is heard!

  15. 15 Dci247 said at 2:17 pm on April 4th, 2012:

    Before we scream at midtown the land they are looking to build on is owned by the family who owns pyke bros car repair.

  16. 16 Jordan Melnick said at 4:25 pm on April 4th, 2012:

    UPDATE: The deadline to submit a question has passed. We are compiling the questions to submit to Walmart, which should have its responses to us in time for posting early next week. Thank you to everyone who took part.

  17. 17 pb54 said at 7:35 am on April 5th, 2012:

    Walmart is not building where pyke bros car repair is. It is wanting the vacant land behind them.

  18. 18 Jessica Boudreaux said at 12:19 pm on April 5th, 2012:

    They managed to block one in California:

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