Wal-Mart Push Polls Chicago, Claims 74% Support New Store
By Kevin Robinson in News on Jul 29, 2009 3:20PM
Photo by Tobin Black
Indeed, this morning, local PR firm Serafin & Associates, Inc. sent out a press release saying:
We called every household in the Chicago white pages today - more than a million households - and asked residents whether they approve of a Walmart on Chicago’s South Side. A resounding 74.4 percent of participants said they support Walmart’s plan to open a store on the South Side near 83rd and Stewart, providing hundreds of jobs and offering groceries to a region of the city commonly known as the “food desert” due to it lack of fresh, healthy food.
This isn't a novel tactic for the Arkansas-based retailer. When Wal-Mart tried to open a new Supercenter in Austin, Texas, push polling and opinion surveys were part of the strategy. In 2006 the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce funded a similar poll, targeted at stopping the so-called big-box living wage ordinance.
And one more point: the phone calls were also going through to cell numbers not just numbers out of the "white pages" as claimed [Ed's Note: such as the call going through to my cell phone which still has a New Orleans area code. - M.G.]. Plus, the D.C. area code on a push poll run by a local PR company seems...well, sketchy. Like everything else surrounding Mayor Daley and this proposed new store.
Serafin & Associates are promising more information later today.
Update: The Trib's Clout Street is reporting that a Chicago City Council committee has put off a vote on the new store, putting the issue before the Finance Committee, much to the dismay of more than 200 protesters who are supporting the store.
Update II: Per the Sun-Times, the delay means the Wal Mart vote will be shelved until after the October 2 announcement of the 2016 Summer Olympics host city.