Wal-Mart Joins N.Y. Civic Group [updated]

Here's something I hadn’t noticed before.

The Association for a Better New York, a civic organization in the city that works “for the common goal of making New York a better place to live, work and visit” has a new member: Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, doesn’t actually have a store in New York City, but it is listed here as an ABNY member — right between Walgreens and Waste Management.

Wal-Mart has been trying to open its first store in New York, but has faced stiff opposition from labor leaders in the retail workers union RWDSU, the Central Labor Council and other places because of what they regard as its anti-organized labor policies and below-market wages.

The New Yorker had a lengthy piece recently on Wal-Mart's public relations operation (Annals of Spin, Selling Wal-Mart: Can the company co-opt liberals?).

More recently, in a chat with the New York Times editorial board, the company's chief executive said that in the face of so much opposition, "I don't think it's worth the effort" to open a store here.

Maybe they're reconsidering.

UPDATE: The executive director of ABNY, Michelle Adams, emailed to say, "Wal-Mart joined ABNY earlier this year. Having a retail store in NYC would not be a prerequisite for joining us, they're connection is that they do business with other merchants in the city."

Wal-Mart Joins N.Y. Civic Group [updated]