Alderman claims city could have prevented Walmart store closure: “It doesn’t make sense”

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MILWAUKEE -- One Milwaukee alderman is accusing the city of not doing enough to save a Walmart store and nearly 300 jobs. Alderman Joe Davis says the city could have prevented this but they disagree.Walmart

Four stores learned the bad news in our area Friday morning, January 15th including the Walmart located in Midtown Center on W. Hope Avenue. There is disagreement whether or not one of the stores could have been saved.

"They shut certain departments down already," said a shopper.

Shoppers say there were warning signs.

"It's not as organized as it should be," said a shopper.

Walmart announced it is shutting down its store on Hope Avenue, along with three suburban Walmart neighborhood markets.

Midtown Center Walmart

Midtown Center Walmart

It's hitting folks hard.

"It's important to the neighborhood, it doesn't make sense," said a shopper.

Midtown will now have lost both its anchor stores -- Lowe's shut its doors in 2009.

Also gone, nearly 300 jobs, in an area of the city that suffers from high unemployment and poverty.

"Why take a Walmart out of an area that is serving the people," said a shopper.

One Milwaukee alderman is now questioning if the store could have been saved.

Alderman Joe Davis

Alderman Joe Davis

"There was over $3 million put aside in order for us to retail at that location. The mayor and commissioner has a lot of explaining to do," said Milwaukee Alderman Joe Davis.

Davis, who is also a candidate for major, says the city set aside millions of dollars for a time just like this, to keep stores here. He points out similar funds have been used to keep large stores in other parts of town.Joe Davis

"They subsidized Bon-Ton downtown with the same agreement, but they can't do the same thing in the African American community with an anchor like Walmart," said Davis.

However, the city says Davis is wrong. The cities commissioner of city development tells FOX6 News, a $2.7 million fund was never designed to keep retailers -- instead, the city says it is intended to help subdivide empty spaces like breaking up the Lowe's into smaller stores.

The city says Walmart made a business decision and they were not going to change their mind. They point out Walmart isn't just shutting down Milwaukee area stores, but 154 locations around the country.

Midtown Center Walmart

Midtown Center Walmart

Worldwide, 269 stores are closing. Walmart's CEO says 95% of the stores are within 10-miles of another store, and they are working to transfer employees to other locations.

18 comments

  • RALPH

    Here’s your story, rewritten to fix the misspelled words, bad syntax, and other errors that made it nearly unreadable. Hopefully this will be of help to other readers:

    MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Alderman Joe Davis is accusing the city of not doing enough to save a Walmart store and nearly 300 jobs, after Walmart announced the closing yesterday of four stores in our area, including the Walmart located in Midtown Center on W. Hope Avenue.

    The four stores learned the bad news in our area Friday morning, January 15th. Walmart announced it is shutting down its store on Hope Avenue, along with three suburban Walmart neighborhood markets.There is disagreement whether or not one of the stores could have been saved.

    Shoppers say there were warning signs. “They shut certain departments down already,” said a shopper. “It’s not as organized as it should be,” said another.

    Midtown will now have lost both its anchor stores — Lowe’s shut its doors in 2009. Also gone are nearly 300 jobs, in an area of the city that suffers from high unemployment and poverty.

    The announcement is hitting folks hard.

    “It’s important to the neighborhood, it doesn’t make sense,” said a shopper. “Why take a Walmart out of an area that is serving the people?,” said another.

    One Milwaukee alderman is now questioning if the store could have been saved. “There was over $3 million put aside in order for us to have retail at that location. The mayor and commissioner has a lot of explaining to do,” said Milwaukee Alderman Joe Davis.

    Davis, who is also a candidate for mayor, says the city set aside millions of dollars for a time just like this, to keep stores here. He points out similar funds have been used to keep large stores in other parts of town.

    “They subsidized Bon-Ton downtown with the same agreement, but they can’t do the same thing in the African American community with an anchor like Walmart,” said Davis.

    However, the city says Davis is wrong. The cities commissioner of city development tells FOX6 News, a $2.7 million fund was never designed to keep retailers — instead, the city says it is intended to help subdivide empty spaces like breaking up the Lowe’s into smaller stores.

    The city says Walmart made a business decision and they were not going to change their mind. They point out Walmart isn’t just shutting down Milwaukee area stores, but 154 locations around the country.

    Worldwide, 269 Walmart stores are closing. Walmart’s CEO says 95% of the stores are within 10 miles of another store, and they are working to transfer employees to other locations.

  • Doug E Fresh

    That location was the absolute worst Walmart I’ve ever been in. Dirty, unorganized, incredibly long checkout lines, no staff anywhere to be found, etc. They’ve been having management issues for almost two years now and it’s no surprise they’re shutting it down.

  • J Russ

    I guess Walmart isn’t satisfied driving our manufacturing sector overseas to the slave labor wage countries, they want our workers working for slave wages too. I wonder in the end who will earn enough to buy our business and services providers goods and services, just the Walton’s and the 1%?

    • Diggs

      Democrat elitists have been fighting WalMart for years now. When money is no object, rich Democrats can send Reginald to Whole Foods and Rodeo Drive to do the shopping for them. But for a lot of middle and lower class, a nearby WalMart is a great asset. Decent jobs, in this case 300 of them, decent prices, and one trip to get 90% of what you need. It’s a long strange trip, this combination of America’s most weathly and America’s poor that make up the Democratic Party. I guess someday the poor will realized that the party of Goldman Sachs, the party that proclaimed “some businesses are too big to fail”, the party that demanded and got a Wall Street Bailout, is not the right party for them.

    • .

      Their great great grand kids will still be billionaires or trillionaires long after you’re dead and they still have thousands of stores that employ 2 million+ people and they’re actually opening another 400+ stores so your sarcasm is well deserved but moot.

  • rolandmelnick

    Yes…this store is a case study on how we have a huge population in the 18-30 yr old demographic that have zero job skills. I walked into the Midtown Walmart a few years ago and there were five guys shooting dice and smoking weed in between the inner and outer entrance doors.

  • Max McGee

    Walmart could not make a profit with all the theft taking place in the store. Lesson to be learned is stop acting like savages If you want retail to stay in your neiborhood.

  • Timm

    Hey knucklehead, white people DON’T want it either. Just don’t want you to get too racist before you speak.

  • Marion Emory

    This is only a bad thing if people are already too deeply set in their dependence on a crappy paying job with a corporation that would rather direct employees to government assistance, as opposed to paying a decent wage. Instead of whining about how they could have saved a toe of the evil giant, perhaps they should be thinking of ways to attract small businesses to fill the void. It may be too far in the past for many, but I remember the days before Walmart and Lowes, when several Mom & Pop hardware and grocery stores served the community.

  • Amarie

    I live 2 blocks from this store and WILL NOT GO IN IT,due to it being dirty and filled with @ssholes that I don’t care to deal with. for the last year if I need to go to Walmart I drive right past it to go to the neighborhood market in tosa unfortunately for me that one is closing as well. I guess Target will be getting my business from here on out at least until I move south of the interstate which will be VERY soon

  • tarzan me jayne

    That place be rolling with too many caddies and rachets parking in disabled spots shopping themselves with a 10 finger discount. Loss prevention has to so many thefts it rises on the order of looting.

  • Ted

    Maybe walmart is just tired of bring shoplifted and stole from, i wouldn’t put a,store in the getto, the animals will just destroy it

Comments are closed.