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Why the opposition to Walmart?

I would like to comment on the recent articles and editorials regarding the opening of a Walmart in Burbank.

It seems many are vehemently opposed to this chain coming to our city. I understand some of their views, but when it comes to a big-box store taking customers from small businesses, I do not understand.

For years we have welcomed Costco, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot and so many others. Did we as Burbank citizens even think how they would affect the small mom-and-pop hardware, sporting goods and other markets?

The answer is no.

Did we fight against Costco and the Empire Center because of the increase in traffic? Not really, since they supposedly took appropriate action to address the increased traffic in the area.

So how is Walmart going to generate more traffic than what the city already did a study on and approved?

I owned a small sporting goods store in the city and no one thought about my business at the time when they allowed the new Sports Chalet to open up. And what about years ago, when our city had many small mom-and-pop markets, such as Handy Mart, to buy our groceries from? Did anyone at the time want to stop the big grocery chains — Vons, Pavilions, Ralphs and Albertsons — from coming to town?

The answer is no.

I do agree that we should have a say in the store’s hours and what it will be selling. At least Walmart is interested in holding community meetings to hear the public’s opinion on this.

So I ask the question, why the opposition to Walmart? It will add jobs, lower prices for our goods, and much needed revenue to the city.

David Yonan

Burbank

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