Walmart has stores surrounding New York City, but none inside the city limits. In that, New York is the only of the country's ten most populous cities not to have a Walmart; the only other major city in the Northeast that doesn't have one is Boston. The latest cities to get their first Walmart are Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles; it's part of a push Walmart is making to enter major American cities, where previously exurban and then suburban locations had been the norm.
This map shows how Walmart locations surround the city, meaning a low-cost distribution network that could cover the city already exists in the region. The only thing missing? The eight-million some-odd customers that a New York presence could bring them.
The problem: Unions and many elected officials object to Walmart's way of doing business, and with news of a scandal erupting for Walmart in Mexico, they have another shot at convincing the city not to extend the retailer any benefits unless the company makes big changes.
But what if Walmart can convince people they really do want the convenience, economic stimulus and access to inexpensive, fresh food that Walmart claims to provide?
The company has been engaged for over a year in just such a campaign. Click through this slideshow to see some of the mailers they've been using to try to change New Yorkers' minds.
This flyer touts Walmart's efforts to fight hunger, including donating 1.1 billion pounds of food to the hungry (food worth $1.75 billion, which pound for pound is certainly a reasonable price!) as well as $250 million in grants to fund hunger-fighting efforts.
Using a statistic promulgated by the City Council that 3 million New Yorkers do not have adequate access to affordable groceries, Walmart pulls quotes from a lobbyist for the grocery-workers' union ("You don't ever want to bring the bargain into the neighborhood") and from an anonymous New York-based supermarket-chain C.E.O. ("I keep my prices high and my overhead low.")