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Poll Shows Majority Of New Yorkers Want Walmart In Their Backyard

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Walmart (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Walmart (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn’t the only one who wouldn’t mind seeing a Walmart in New York City.

According to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Friday, 57 percent of New Yorkers said elected officials should allow Walmart to open in the city. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they would shop at a city Walmart if it were convenient for them.

Speaking with WCBS 880 on Friday, Crain’s New York Business contributor Greg David said the poll numbers bode well for Walmart.

David said the despite the fact that 68 percent in the poll believed its presence would hurt small businesses, city residents were willing to make the trade-off.

“The trade-off is that competition will be good for consumers and the city. And cheaper goods will be good for New Yorkers — especially those who don’t have as much money as other people,” he said.

So why has City Council been so dead set against the proposal to bring the retail giant to the five boroughs?

David pointed to what he called “outsized influence” from labor unions in City Council primary elections.

“That’s why the council members are saying that Walmart shouldn’t come,” David said. “It’s unclear what they’re going to do to keep Walmart out.”

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has previously declared her strong opposition to having the store open in NYC.

“Walmart doesn’t bring jobs; it takes away jobs. They kill jobs,” Quinn said in early February.

David cited numbers released by Walmart stating that the retailer currently pays an average of more than $13.00 per hour in the state.

The wages at a potential store in the city would likely be higher.

If the city adopts a living wage law, David said Walmart would qualify.

“It pays more than the living wage and offers benefits,” he said.

SOUND-OFF: What do you make of these recent poll numbers?  Do you support or oppose a Walmart coming to New York City?  Let us know in the comments section…

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