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Archive for September 10th, 2009

10th September
written by Arizona Kid

Back in 1999 Tucson geniuses passed a big box ordinance to keep out big bad Walmart. Neighborhoods pushed hard to preserve their unique character and individuality. Now those neighbors are driving to Marana to buy their big screens.

What the ordinance did was push a big source of general fund revenue out of Tucson city limits.  It’s time for another look at the ordinance and see if it still make sense.

The new Target on Oracle and Roger will bring in between $2 and $3 million in general fun revenue this year alone.

“At Alvernon as you mentioned, there is an opportunity there, potentially,” she said. “There is a lot of speculation about El Con. We would be interested in serving that community.”

On a local level, Wal-Mart needs the locations. Its store at Speedway and Kolb, which preceded the 1999 big-box ordinance, is extremely busy and stressed. There are plenty of Walmart customers who either fight through traffic to get to that location or turn around and head to Benson — yes, Benson — to buy their stuff.

“We know that customers from the southeast area are traveling to Benson and Green Valley and some are even going all the way over to Marana,” Garcia said.

But this expansion push also comes at a time when Wal-Mart is rolling out smaller “neighborhood market” grocery stores.

Squeezed out of metro markets with big-box ordinances and looking to reshape its brand, Wal-Mart has turned to the smaller store as a way to gain market share, recent news reports have said.

I don’t like Walmart and try not to shop their. I disagree with their treatment of vendors and their demand for “Always Low Prices” has driven manufactures to chase ever cheaper labor (and quality) all around the globe. So this is no means a call more more Walmarts in Tucson. This is a call for the council to finally realize that the market will determine if Best Buy, Target or Walmart locate in our market. People will drive for a deal and that drive is starving Tucson of much needed sales tax revenue.

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