It seems that St. Paul’s last Walmart’s life draws to a tragic end soon: the retail giant’s final hypermarket in the city is to cease operations on September 20.
The reception of this news, however, was not as heartfelt as one might expect. On the Facebook page that WCCO maintains, a flurry of comments displayed not-quite-amicable sentiments toward the establishment.
Many, in fact, were cheerful to hear about it closing down. Many a comment also complained about it being the most miserable of all Walmarts in the state. Yet another actually recalled seeing one of its dumpsters being on fire.
These comments might appear excessive to outsiders, but this market did suffer from many problems. Crime was definitely one of them.
This Walmart was far from a stranger to calling the police for assistance. To be sure, most Walmarts also rely on law enforcement, but this one outshone the rest. Just in 2016, over 2,100 calls came from the establishment. Some, like the one in Brooklyn Park, failed to even make as few as 500 in the same amount of time.
And the image of Walmart’s brand isn’t exactly sterling to begin with. Most recognize its many flaws, such as depending on sketchy suppliers, being a force of monopoly and mistreating its employees. As soon as it opened in St. Paul in 2014, people showed mixed feelings toward it.
The Downsides of the Walmart Disappearing
This by no means implies that St. Paul residents outright rejected its services. Just this Friday, the hypermarket was host to a swarm of shoppers. A major draw that redeems Walmart stores is its remarkably affordable goods. Now with the place going out of commission, many a shopper will have to resort to more expensive stores.
In fact, its low prices were what set the market apart as a go-to destination for many citizens. How much profit it rakes in actually coincides with the state of unemployment and food assistance. When unemployment rose, for example, it would see more customers.
This Walmart closing down will also lead to quite a few job losses. Some 333 people will find themselves in need of new work or a transfer after September 20. Seeing that the ones in closest proximity are in Roseville and West St. Paul, this isn’t exactly a small deal.
The fact that this Walmart is vanishing signals a rapid ongoing change in the neighborhood. From Allianz Field to Starbucks, the profile of the area is heading toward more prestigious by the day. What fate will befall those who cannot roll with the changes remains up in the air.