The long anticipated community meeting with the Walmart is today at 5 p.m. The big retailer is hosting what it calls a “community open house” at the former site of The Great Indoors, where it intends to open a new Walmart. So what are the plans for this one-stop shopping store? The Walmart honchos are supposed to reveal those plans at the meeting this evening and answer residents’ questions about the impact their new store will have on the Empire Center and the general area.
Recently, Walmart has been circulating a PR flyer touting the benefits of the store in the community. On the flyer, claims of good paying jobs, career opportunities, competitive benefits, support for our military, education, and a pledge of $2 billion to help end hunger. Also, Walmart says it generates over $500,000 per year in sales tax revenue…” and this can fund “…vital services like police and fire protection.” Oh, keep in mind, the new store is not just for Burbank. It will attract Walmart shoppers from all over to the Empire Center, which is already burden with traffic and congestion problems.
The opposition includes the well organized “Stop Walmart in Burbank.” A fundraiser at the local Flappers Comedy Club last Thursday, reportedly raised $800 for its war chest. The group plans to use the donations to increase awareness with flyers, lawn signs, and buttons. No doubt, this group and others against the opening of a Walmart in Burbank will be out in force at the meeting. It should be interesting.