Monday, January 18, 2016

How Oakland Should Respond to the Closing of It's Wal-Mart- Guest Post By Brian Crowell

With the closing of WalMart in Oakland, one must ask the question? Do we need WalMart in America at all. The WalMart in Oakland was always busy. The other Walmart in the area is literally 1.5 miles per way in the San Leandro Suburb neighboring Oakland. The WalMart in Oakland brought in 4,000 jobs. It was also in the top 25 for tax receipts for the City of Oakland.

So what was the problem? Was is the fact that the City of Oakland raised the minimum wage to over $12.00 per hour? How can a store that was profitable be a problem? Its part of WalMarts Macro Scheme to close 269 stores world wide.

What can Oakland do? Why use the empty space and open its own retail store? The City Manager could make the deal with the distributors and import the same products. We have the Port of Oakland in the same city where all the products came from China anyway. Oakland has population, tax receipts and demand so its not like true store would be any less empty. Also the City of Oakland could pay the employees MORE than the WalMart Employees were getting. We can call the store OakMart.

Oakland could probably undercut WalMart in its distribution and WalMart might cry bloody murder. If so, then Oakland could take WalMart to court for violating anti trust laws. City Municipalities don't have the profit mandate that corporate models necessitate. Its time for Government to serve its people and not these companies who cut and run when the numbers are bad for a quarter. Although I'm certain this was not the case in Oakland.

Brian Crowell