Who funded the legal fees for the people who sued against the Walmart Distribution from happening?


According to the Wall Street Journal – It uncovered evidence that Wal-Mart competitors, such as Safeway, Supervalu Inc. and Ahold NV secretly funded hundreds of lengthy battles across the country opposing Wal-Mart’s efforts to open. The competitors were paying a consulting firm to prevent expansion of Wal-Mart’s retail and distribution centers in various cities, including Merced.

The grocers hired Saint Consulting Group, a land-use firm based in Massachusetts, to carry out anti- development campaigns against Wal-Mart using political tactics and suits to delay or derail the opening of Wal-Mart stores, the Journal said.

The Journal story said a consulting firm, Saint Consulting Group, had been paid by Safeway to organize more than 30 campaigns against Wal-Mart projects in the past years.

Wal-Mart was trying to open a distribution center in Merced for years, in the midst of a battle between the city and MARG. The alliance has accused the city of violating the California Environmental Quality Act. CEQA is a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions.

 In late 2005 Walmart proposed building a 1.2 million square-foot regional distribution center on Childs Avenue in the University Industrial Park. The project – initially valued at $66 million – would have started with 600 employees, rising to 1,200 workers in the state-of-the-art facility.

The City Council approved the project in 2009, but it was immediately tied up in the courts for years until the state Supreme Court ruled all the environmental documents were correct. Three Merced residents and the Merced Alliance for Responsible Growth filed the environmental challenge Oct. 28, 2009. The challenge was overruled in Superior Court and the Fifth District Court of Appeals. The state Supreme Court ruled in Walmart’s favor March 13, 2013.

The site sat idle until  February when the company began drilling test bores on the land. In March company officials said their plans had changed..

* A link to the Anti Walmart blog post from the Merced Alliance Of Responsible Growth will be in the comment section.





Leave a Reply