Wal-Mart Will Take Inglewood Grocery Restriction to the Ballot

BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Wal-Mart on Monday announced its intention to go forward with a referendum petition in Inglewood, Calif., where the city council has passed legislation preventing opening any store larger than 155,000 square feet and selling more than 20,000 nontaxable items such as food.

"While we have no immediate plans to sell groceries in our proposed Inglewood store, Wal-Mart staunchly opposes any attempt by local government to restrict the amount of grocery items large retail stores may carry," said Robert S. McAdam, Wal-Mart's vice president for state and local government affairs. "To limit what a retailer may carry is to limit consumer choice."

A public opinion survey recently conducted in Inglewood by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates on behalf The Homestretch at Hollywood Park -- a proposed retail development at 90th Street and Prairie Avenue in Inglewood -- revealed that 77 percent of those surveyed supported the sale of groceries at Wal-Mart, according to the company. Seventy-one percent of those surveyed said they would support repealing the city's recently adopted grocery restriction.

"In every jurisdiction where Wal-Mart has challenged grocery restriction ordinances, we have prevailed," said McAdam. "In addition to pursing the ballot referendum, we are currently exploring legal remedies and may also seek relief in court."

In April, Wal-Mart announced plans to build 40 Supercenters in California. "In other areas of the country where Wal-Mart has opened Supercenters, grocery prices drop 20-40 percent," said McAdam. "Wal-Mart is committed to lowering the price of groceries for California consumers, just as we have for consumers around the country."
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