Welcome Or Not - Walmart Is Coming To Stratford

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage

The 10 year expensive battle is over.  Walmart is coming to Stratford, Ontario.  Not in its' desired location or original size but none the less ground will be broken in 2012 to pave the way for the mega box store to put down roots in the Stratford community.

The city has spent $1.4 million dollars on legal fees alone in their fight to keep the retail giant at bay with their efforts to preserve the downtown retail businesses.  Many downtown merchants are concerned that Walmart's arrival will put additional stress on businesses already facing challenges.

The new location, still in the City's east end is a smaller parcel of land, meaning the size of the department store will shrink from the desired 135,000 square feet to 90,000 square feet. Wal Mart

Big box stores versus local merchants is a common battle faced by most communities.  While it is sad to see some mom and pop businesses suffer, many do survive and thrive as they cater to a different type of clientele.

There is no denying that these large anchor stores bring jobs and  keep dollars in the community.  Here in Stratford, you must travel a half hour away to Kitchener or Woodstock, Ontario to find a Walmart or Home Depot.

 Walmart's biggest competition in Stratford is Zellers, a chain stores that have recently been bought out by Target.  If the existing Zellers store eventually converts to a Target, it will be interesting to see the two big American giants go head to head vying for their share of business from Stratford's 32,000 residents.

Will Home Depot and Chapters be far behind?

 

 

 

 

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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Jenny,

It is always a touchy issue. If they come, it is a convenience, often lower prices... But local mom & pop store can suffer and even close doors

But thhe biggest problem will be to other big chains. Walmart can squeeze them out. I also do not understand the fight for smaller Walmart. I think that when they can't do what they could in  a larger store, they would have to keep the prices higher to keep the profit margins, which are tiny

May 17, 2011 11:19 PM #1
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Steve Shatsky
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - PenFed Realty Texas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Real Estate & Short Sale Specialist (214)21

Hi Jenny... WalMart versus Target would be a battle that does little to interest me.  I don't shop at either.

May 17, 2011 11:19 PM #2
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Larry Bettag
Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage - Saint Charles, IL
Regional Vice-President

I never get why people fight Walmart at all.  If people don't want to work there, they don't have to.  I am not a huge Walmart shopper, but I will say, there are some good deals there and if they put more to work......for the most part, I'm all for it!

May 17, 2011 11:21 PM #3
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Dennis Burgess
Total Realty Corp. - Mid Florida, FL
Orlando Property Manager and Realtor

Hi, Jenny:  The Wal-Martizing of our communities is always a touchy issue.  Are Wal-Marts good or bad?  Depends on who you ask.  Their prices are low, which is good for folks, right?  Not if you run a local hardware store, etc.  Takd a listen to the country song "Little Man" by Alan Jackson, and you get an idea of how Wal-Mart could hurt folks.  We've become accustomed to how Wal-Mart comes in, some businesses get busier and some die.  Perhaps the worst thing I've seen with Wal-Mart, though, is when they pull out.  A few businesses build up around a new Wal-Mart, only to have the Wal-Mart shutter itself in favor of a bigger place.  That's no good to the smaller folks.  The best thing would be for Wal-mart to only open SuperCenters to begin with- then they'd have less cases of their having to leave where they start out.

May 17, 2011 11:51 PM #4
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Vickie Nagy
Vickie Nagy, Broker Associate Realty ONE Group BMC Associates | BRE#01363932 - San Ramon, CA
Broker for San Ramon, Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton

Amazing that a city would spend that much money fighting to keep a 'big box' store out. Although  I don't keep tabs on legal bills, I'm pretty certain that my community would spend twice that. We just don't have big box stores...okay we have one, but it's across the street from the city line.

May 18, 2011 12:16 AM #5
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Marc Swartz, CPA, CA, Real Estate Broker
RE/MAX Vision Realty Inc., Brokerage, Direct: (416) 737-9800, Office: (416) 321-2228 - Toronto, ON
Toronto, Durham & York Regions, Ontario, Canada

Hi Jenny - I can't imagine that Chapters would open up in Stratford.  They have a couple in K-W as well as a Coles in Stratford.

In New York City and various parts of California, I have read that there have been tremendous battles over the years to keep Walmart out.

In the GTA, Walmart has been converting numerous stores to the SuperCentre format and keeps on building new stores.

May 18, 2011 01:02 AM #6
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Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX Solutions - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

Our small town fought Walmart and lost.  Now we have a great shopping center around Walmart that would not have survived without them.  As well, Lowe's came in.  What an asset to our town.  I'd rather see them come in as lose out to the larger cities.  It actually keeps some of the income here.

May 18, 2011 07:44 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,232,176
Al & Peggy Cunningham Brokers, Brampton Ontario Homes For Sale 905-450-5500
RE/MAX Realty Services Inc. - Brampton, ON

Once Wal-Mart arrives with Home Depot in tow, watch the population grow from 32,000 Jenny!

May 18, 2011 09:26 AM #8
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Yolanda Hoversten
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties - O'Fallon, IL
Broker - O Fallon, IL Real Estate

I didn't shop at WalMart for a long time, but found out that they have products that cost much less, health and beauty products, for example. Consumers eventually decide whether WalMart succeeds or not.

The mom and pop stores might not survive anyway, especially in this economy. But a different business model that differentiates itself will find a way. Take Ace Hardware Store, even with Home Depot and Lowe's dominating that market, it focuses on more personal service and it seems to thrive.

May 18, 2011 12:49 PM #9
Rainmaker
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Rob Thomas
Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954 - Bristol, TN
Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro

Jenny....change is good.....I bet you see things change for the better once they are in and running......
Hope you had a great day!!---Rob

May 18, 2011 05:34 PM #10
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Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Jenny - it is true that smaller communities targeted by the big box stores do benefit from the employment opportunities bring with them but they are generally at lower wage rates

May 18, 2011 11:10 PM #11
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Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, Huntsville AL - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Jenny, I gotta tell you that I'm not a fan of Wal-Mart, but it does bring jobs and lower consumer product prices with it.  If you've ever seen the emails floating around about "people of Wal-Mart"...you'll know why I prefer they don't come to my area.

May 19, 2011 06:24 PM #12
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Jenny Kotulak

Broker - Oakville Ontario Real Estate
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