Report: Wal-Mart eyes Manhattan location

Bentonville, Ark. Wal-Mart has its eye on a Brooklyn shopping center for its first Manhattan location, according to a Crain's New York report.

The retailer is scoping out the Gateway II shopping center near Jamaica Bay, as well as other unidentified sites in the city, the report said.

Wal-Mart does not have "a project to announce anywhere within the five boroughs of New York City," Steven Restivo, the retailer's director of community affairs, told Crain’s New York.

"However, we know that New Yorkers want to shop and work at Wal-Mart and as a result, we continue to evaluate potential opportunities here,” he said.

Wal-Mart feels there is a potential fit because "New Yorkers want quality jobs and affordable groceries and it remains our goal to be part of the solution," Restivo said.

Wal-Mart has already tried twice to secure a location in the New York City area, in Queens and Staten Island, the Dow Jones reported. Efforts were unsuccessful because of union and community opposition. Concerns ranged from low wages to traffic congestion.

Dow Jones noted, however, that this time may be different for Wal-Mart, which has indicated that its expansion plans may include smaller stores, which might be more palatable to crowded New York City neighborhoods.

Wal-Mart could also face stiff opposition from unions and smaller shops that don't want to see their locations hurt by a store that carries lower costing produce, the report said.

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