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.