Has Mr. Catsimatidis Ever Shopped at Walmart? Or Seen One With His Own Eyes?
Reader comment on: Catsimatidis Versus Walmart
Submitted by Belladonna Rogers (United States), Jan 13, 2011 00:04
If Mr. Catsimatidis truly wants to live in "a more environmentally friendly city" he should stop polluting it with his own special house brand of hot air.
Just out of curiosity, I checked to see where Gristides actually has stores. The answer is here: www.gristedes.com/storelocator.aspx. Walmarts are typically the size of an NFL football field. Walmart is unlikely find space of this size in any of the neighborhoods where Gristedes' stores are located. Mr. Catsimatidis' argument is not only absurd on the ludicrous and hilarious grounds cited by Mr. Stoll ("How does Mr. Catsimatidis think that merchandise arrives now, at New York City's existing retailers? On horseback?") but also on logistical grounds. Any Walmart on the island of Manhattan would have to be located in an area not only underserved by Gristides, but entirely unserved by Mr.Catsimatidis' chain. This is true of the other boroughs, too, as well as the Gristides up in Scarsdale and Pelham Manor.
Of course, if Mr. Catsimatidis also owns some less high-end grocery stores than Gristides, he should declare that interest when writing on this topic.
Furthermore, writing as one who has been in many Walmarts (this is not intended as a proud boast but merely as a statement of fact) selling food is a small part of a typical Walmart. Walmarts are more like a humongous home goods store (everything from toilet paper to BluRay players to furniture) attached to a giant hardware store attached to a garden supply store attached to a crafts store attached to an office supply store attached to a camping, hunting and fishing store attached to a mega-pharmacy and drug store than like a supermarket, although they do sell food. Yes, supplying such an emporium would require a lot of trucks, but the last time I checked, New York wasn't exactly a truck-free zone. And, as perhaps no one has told Mr. Catsimatidis, trucks pay tolls coming in and going out of New York City, bringing additional revenues into the City's coffers, and must comply with federal EPA standards to prevent the very pollution that Mr. Catsimatidis claims he fears.
As Ira Stoll notes, Walmarts are magnets for recent immigrants, both as store personnel and as shoppers. This is because Walmart is far less expensive than Gristides, or than any other supermarket of which I'm aware. Any New York businessman who publicly advocates fewer new businesses in a city in which retail stores have been closing at an alarming rate since September 15, 2008 is anti-capitalist, and a disloyal New Yorker, to boot.
Mr. Catsimatidis would do better, as a member of the New York business community, to keep his views to himself than to broadcast them in a major newspaper. As Abraham Lincoln said, it is better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
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