Anti-gay Walmart to add 12 stores in Dallas

Posted on 22 Feb 2011 at 9:03pm

Walmart plans to open 12 new stores in Dallas, according to a celebratory press release sent out by Mayor Tom Leppert’s office earlier today.

Unfortunately, the LGBT community doesn’t have much reason to celebrate.

Walmart scores a dismal 40 out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, based on the company’s treatment of LGBT workers.

The world’s largest retailer was docked 15 points on the CEI for resisting shareholder efforts to add gender identity to it employment nondiscrimination policy. According to HRC, Walmart and ExxonMobil Corp. are the only two top 10 companies that have yet to add gender identity to their nondiscrimination policies.

Also, unlike the majority of Fortune 500 companies, Wal-Mart doesn’t offer domestic partner benefits to its employees except where required by law.

Walmart withdrew its support for LGBT organizations in 2007 after conservative Christian groups threatened a boycott. And in 2008, CEO Mike Duke signed a petition in support of banning gay adoption in Arkansas.

In other words, we’d rather shop at Target.

The city’s full press release is after the jump.

WALMART LOOKS TO DOUBLE NUMBER OF DALLAS STORES

$200 Million Investment Includes Stores in Southern Dallas

Today, Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert announced that Walmart intends to invest $200 million to launch more than a dozen new projects in the city of Dallas, including at least three new stores in Southern Dallas. The expansion will more than double the number of locations inside the city, and is seen as a vote of confidence in Dallas.

“Clearly, Walmart understands the strong economic fundamentals of our city’s economy and sees    tremendous potential,” said Mayor Leppert. “And all indications are, if these stores do well, especially in Southern Dallas, more stores will come.”

The projects will be located in almost every part of the city. Walmart Regional Vice President Dacona Smith is particularly pleased with Walmart’s expansion in Southern Dallas.

“Walmart’s commitment to additional growth in the Dallas market will go a long way in bringing convenient access to fresh, affordable produce to more consumers, particularly those who live and work in areas that have been undeserved for many years,” said Smith. “We look forward to opening these additional stores, which will not only provide additional jobs in our community but will help more North Texans save money so they can live better.

While many of the projects will be Neighborhood Market full service grocery stores, they will also include Sam’s Clubs and Supercenters, which are stores containing both general merchandise and full line grocery assortments. One Southern Sector store is expected to be located at I-35 and Ledbetter Road. The Supercenter will provide general merchandise and groceries and create 300 full and part-time jobs. This store is planned to be approximately 180,000 square feet.

In Pleasant Grove, a Neighborhood Market by Walmart is planned near S. Buckner and Scyene Road providing that community with a large selection of affordable groceries and fresh produce, as well as a pharmacy.

And in Oak Cliff, a Neighborhood Market by Walmart is slated for a site near N. Hampton Road and Fort Worth Avenue.

District 3 Councilmember David Neumann says Walmart’s timing couldn’t be better.

“The neighborhood, the city and I have worked hard to create a foundation for economic growth on Fort Worth Avenue and everyone’s work is paying off,” said Neumann. “Walmart clearly recognizes this area is on the upswing and we’re thrilled they want to be partners with this community.”

Another area getting a boost is the Bachman Lake neighborhood north of Love Field. A Sam’s Club is being planned at Webb Chapel and Northwest Highway, which is replacing an existing location west of I-35. This new facility will provide better access for residents in Northwest Dallas and will include new retail and restaurants. In addition, a new Walmart is being planned nearby, which will create an additional 300 jobs.

A Walmart Supercenter will be opening later this year in the currently closed Walmart discount store located on Central Expressway at Midpark just north of LBJ-635. This Supercenter will add approximately 300 new jobs as well.

Walmart will announce other specific locations in the future. Mayor Leppert says the city has built a strong relationship with Walmart.

“We have worked with Walmart for several years to build an investment program that meets their business requirements and addresses important community needs,” said Mayor Leppert. “Walmart has been a tremendous partner with the City, especially in terms of education, nutrition and fighting diabetes. This expansion is clearly another sign of their commitment to Dallas.”

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