Wal-Mart not the Right Fit for Downtown

Ty Yewman, Staff Writer

Downtown Green Bay has always been a historic tourist attraction. The district’s old buildings with modern style and small shops make downtown Green Bay a warm, welcoming destination. The buildings that are still part of the downtown have been there for more than 100 years and they show the history and character of Green Bay.

Green Bay has been offered to have the site of one of their older manufacturing mills to be turned into a Wal-Mart. This district has old time shops, and small local businesses, but the Broadway district doesn’t have a grocery store for locals to go grab a gallon of milk. They have to go out of the district just to get groceries.  Enter Wal-Mart who would like to be the answer to the needs of the Broadway district.

Green Bay, about 8 years ago, did have a small local grocery store, Jubilee Foods, located 3 minutes away from the Broadway district. Jubilee was a local store located on Velp street. It closed due to the higher competition from larger grocery stores like Woodmans, Festival, Wal-Mart, Target, and Copps.

Historic downtown Green Bay isn’t a good place for a Wal-Mart to open up because it would drive away business at the smaller stores on Broadway. Green Bay had a fine grocery store in Jubilee and that got shut down. Think of what will happen if a Wal-Mart opens up? Wal-mart won’t just make other stores run out of business, but it will destroy the history of older downtown Green Bay.

I’m not saying that Wal-Mart isn’t a good organization, but Wal-Mart just doesn’t seem to attract the kind of clientele that the historic Broadway district is looking for. The people that work and go to the store aren’t  the neatest people, and I know times are tough, but that doesn’t mean you need to look like a scrub 24/7. The times I’ve entered Wal-Mart, I’ve seen some very odd characters. It just doesn’t make sense to put a big store like Wal-mart in that specific area. If they put a local grocery store there, that would be perfect, but a Wal-Mart just isnt a good fit.

The mayor is not in favor of allowing Wal-Mart on that site, but if he should decide to accept Wal-mart, not just the downtown area will be hurt and in shock, but the whole city will be. There will definitely be some uproar in the community.