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Crain’s New York Business reports that just days before the New York City Council “is expected to pillory Walmart at an oversight hearing, company officials launched a counter attack Monday in print, online, on the air and via direct mailings that focused largely on jobs ... Walmart also said it will start sending direct mail to residents of 10 City Council districts, including that of Councilman Charles Barron, an outspoken opponent who represents the East New York neighborhood where Walmart is considering space. All of the mail will go to voters in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, which fits in with Walmart's stated strategy to focus on opening in areas where unemployment is high and fresh food options are low.”

According to the story, “All of the ads direct New Yorkers to, a website launched Monday that seeks to build a community of supporters. The site includes various facts and figures about Walmart, a petition and select media coverage of the retailer. The site is patterned after one the retailer built in Chicago, where it engaged in an extensive battle for permission to open a second store. Potential supporters can also call a hotline to register their backing.”

At the same time, the New York Times reports that Walmart plans to skip the actual City Council hearing.

“What should be clear, especially in this week’s activities, is that we are not going to be idle while others try to tell our story for us, and build that story on misinformation,” said Steven Restivo, a Wal-Mart spokesman. “We know we have a good story to tell. And quite frankly, we owe it to New Yorkers to be proactive in telling it.”
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