Wrong place, wrong vibe
Who needs ya smiley face? Keep Walmart out of the Heights
The People of Walmart are preparing to invade my Houston Heights — with 152,015-square-feet of store and 664 parking spots. If reports are correct, the world's largest company will plunk down a supercenter south of I-10 near the intersection of Yale and Center streets.
Well listen here, Walmart, you should heed the advice of Vizzini in ThePrincess Bride: "Never fight a land war in Asia." It would be a classic blunder.
I know I'm not alone in my disdain for a company with a history of treating its workers horrendously, a cloying smiley-face mascot and products that aren't often anything to be proud of. Next to BP, Walmart may be the most hated company in America.
I've lived in the Heights my entire life (with a sabbatical for college), and in a neighborhood that values its independent coffee joints, unique boutiques and restaurants; fights hard for preservation; and has residents that sport bumper stickers like "Friends don't let friends go to Starbucks," I can tell you that Walmart's corporate icon isn't going to get a friendly welcome.
I understand the demographics are changing, arguably for the better (my parents proudly say that when they "discovered" the Heights in law school, it was still "marginal") but Walmart is seriously pushing it. I would argue that it's a step backwards in gentrification. Can we not get an H&M? Hell, Hobby Lobby would have been better.
I don't even consider the proposed site the real Heights, and I'd bet money that no one who lives there will make themselves a patron. Even if convenience did persuade us to abandon our principles, we've got a massive Target just over I-10 on Shearn Street, and my family has always driven to the Costco on Richmond Avenue for the groceries Target lacks (when we want to buy in bulk). Most days we just head over to Houston's largest Kroger on 11th Street and Shepherd.
The way I see it, Walmart's not offering a community that wouldn't be caught dead there anything they don't already have.
What do you think? Would you go to the Heights Walmart?