Walmart stores open in Washington DC for the first time

After a ten year delay, the first Walmart stores open in Washington DC to rave reviews. Photo: AP

WASHINGTON, December 6, 2013 — This week, Washington D.C. saw the opening of the first Walmart stores in the city, after a contentious legal battle over minimum wage. The company opened two stores in Washington after support from D.C. Mayor Vincent Grey helped to overcome lobbying over minimum wages in the district.

Walmart originally announced its plans to open the stores in D.C. in 2003, but lengthy disputes delayed the opening for ten years.

According to the Washington Post, “Critics argue that the selection and lower prices have come at a cost to other retailers and workers in Chicago, a troubling sign for businesses near Walmart’s first D.C. stores along Georgia Avenue and North Capitol Street.”

Citing the store’s popularity, supporters of Walmart disagree. Salon Magazine wrote about its immense support for the stores, “There’s an argument on the other side–in the immediate sense it’s a boon for people on limited incomes who get to shop there.

“Walmart received 38 applications for every position. At Harvard, they only get 20 applications for every slot in the freshman class.”

Walmart #5968 is built on a lot that was a shuttered Chevrolet dealership. No other big chains were moving to serve this community. Unlike in many cases, this store looks like an upgrade for the neighborhood. The shoppers I talked to–mind you, they were a biased sample group–were thrilled to have convenient access to what they need every day.”

Mayor Grey was present at the grand opening, as were hundreds of shoppers at both locations, on George Avenue and North Capitol Street.

Apparently, openings of such stores in Washington D.C. are highly politicized events. Vice President Biden visited the opening of a Costco in the city last year.

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Rahat Husain

Rahat Husain has been working as a columnist since 2013 when he joined the Communities. With an interest in America and Islam, Rahat is a prolific writer on contemporary and international issues.


In addition to writing for the Communities, Rahat Husain is an Attorney based in the Washington DC Metropolitan area. He is the Director of Legal and Policy Affairs at UMAA Advocacy. For the past six years, Mr. Husain has worked with Congressmen, Senators, federal agencies, think tanks, NGOs, policy institutes, and academic experts to advocate on behalf of Shia Muslim issues, both political and humanitarian. UMAA hosts one of the largest gatherings of Shia Ithna Asheri Muslims in North America at its annual convention.


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