One week ago, Wal-Mart filed suit against Meridian Township for denying its expansion request.
Just type the words “Wal-Mart” and “sues” into any search engine and you’ll see a bunch of results. Try the same with Target or K-Mart, or just about any other big-box retailer and you won’t get much at all. Somehow, Wal-Mart’s competitors manage to build what they need on land they own without having to sue the local municipalities to do it.
Apparently, Wal-Mart likes to sue the small towns they claim to be helping by providing jobs and delivering low prices.
- In 2005 Wal-Mart sued Turlock, CA for denying its request to build a Supercenter.
- In 2005 Wal-Mart sued Miramar, FL for denying its request to build a Supercenter.
- In 2003 Wal-Mart sued Macomb, IL for denying the store a liquor license.
- In 1999 Wal-Mart sued Chandler, AZ for denying its request to build a Supercenter.
- In 2006 wal-Mart sued Hercules, CA for the city’s use of eminent domain against them.
This last suit galls me in particular. In my original hometown of Northlake, IL, where I was raised, the town used eminent domain to level hundreds of homes, a public playground, and the 72-lane Town & Country bowling alley so that a Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club could be built. This was back in 1991. So, let me get this straight: Wal-Mart likes eminent domain when it allows them to kick people out of their homes and build what they want. But when a town like Hercules uses eminent domain to reclaim land Wal-Mart owns, then suddenly it’s not okay?
As for all those claims about Wal-Mart’s benefits in a given town? The impact is likely to be mixed according to this study.
Meanwhile, every dollar my township has to spend defending itself, is a dollar that could go to improving roads, sidewalks, parks, and any number of other things. So when some entity forces my community to change its spending priorities, instead of the ones decided on by our elected officials, I really don’t appreciate it. Wal-Mart didn’t elect our Township Board. The residents of Meridian township did. So Wal-Mart won’t be getting any of my business anytime soon because I won’t shop at a place that’s suing my community. I don’t appreciate being sued. I guess I’m kind of funny that way.