A recent study estimated Walmart could open over 150 stores in New York City – 43 in Queens alone – if the retail giant is allowed to enter the New York City market.
ALIGN, a New York-based nonprofit, released a study after analyzing Walmart’s market share in the grocery industry – 21 percent – and calculating the minimum number of stores the retailer would be required to open to reach a corresponding share in the five boroughs.
To reach this market share, the study estimates Walmart would need to open 43 stores, three supercenters, nine Walmart Markets and 31 Walmart Express stores.
Reports have indicated the chain would open smaller stores – 15,000-square-foot range – in the city, as opposed to the 185,000-square-foot megastores.
In recent years, Walmart has expressed its desire to establish a presence in the largest consumer market in the U.S., only to be denied each time. A recent poll by NY1/Marist said 64 percent of Queens residents support Walmart opening a store within the city limits. Seventy six percent of residents said they would shop at the store if one opened in their neighborhood. The WalmartNYC Facebook page has garnered 47,000 likes.
According to Walmart, Queens residents spent $84.3 million last year shopping at the store. There are five Walmarts within driving distance of Queens in Nassau County.
In response to the ALIGN study, Walmart said that the market share they have in other markets took over five decades to achieve. The store called the insinuation that 159 stores will open overnight an attempt to “manipulate reality.”
“We remain focused on solutions for New Yorkers who need jobs and want more affordable grocery options in their own neighborhood,” Walmart said in a statement. “It’s clear that the overwhelming majority of residents want Walmart in the city and we’re working hard to make access to our stores more convenient.”
“Walmart is desperate for growth in New York City, because the company has saturated most non-urban U.S. markets, and its U.S. stock has been stagnating,” said Josh Kellerman, an ALIGN researcher who co-authored the study with Stephanie Luce.
The study also estimates over 1,000 jobs in Queens – and almost 4,000 throughout the city – would be lost, a number Walmart disputes as based on an out-of-date study.