Wal-mart’s Inglewood Loss

Most stories about Wal-mart’s loss in a voter referendum in Inglewood, California, are not telling the tale correctly. Yes, Wal-mart was spurned in its attempt to go directly to voters in its attempt to create a massive (17 football fields) Supercenter in the Los Angeles area.

But you shouldn’t read from this that the majority of people don’t want the center, or that Wal-mart’s industry-transforming expansion into groceries is in any way threatened. From the FT, here is a precis of the question that was asked:

The question on Tuesday’s ballot in Inglewood was whether to allow the retailer to obtain building permits without a public hearing or environmental impact study.

So, rather than voting against Wal-mart’s Supercenter, voters came in against allowing developers to end-run development rules and regulations. That is understandable, but it should not be spun to mean the food-fight over groceries is anything other than merely beginning.


  1. Yes, but.
    The process began when the City Council (or a related city board) created zoning regulations specifically designed to prevent Wal-Mart from building their SuperCenter.
    In response, Wal-Mart funded a ballot initiative specifically to get around that new zoning regulation.
    So this really was about the people of Inglewood consistently telling Wal-Mart to get lost, in a variety of forums and a variety of ways.