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New study touts why California wins with Walmart

Walmart Supercenters in California benefit communities by supporting additional job creation, small business growth and more robust sales tax revenues, according to a new economic impact report.

The study was conducted by economist Lon Hatamiya of the Hatamiya Group and the results were announced by Walmart, which is sure to cause opponents of the company to question the validity of the results. That said, key findings of the study show the following:

  • On average, California communities with Walmart supercenters fared far better on taxable retail sales than those communities without Walmart Supercenters.
  • Total taxable retail sales in California communities with Walmart supercenters increased by an average of 20.3% after the opening of those stores.
  • Total taxable retail sales in California communities without Walmart Supercenters decreased by an average of 11.7% over the same time period.
  • On average, California communities with Walmart Supercenters experienced even stronger gains in the number of retail business permits issued than those communities without supercenters.
  • Total retail business permits in California communities with Walmart supercenters increased by an average of 48.5% after the opening of those stores.
  • Total retail business permits in California communities without Walmart supercenters also increased, but only by an average of 20.3% over the same time period

“I first launched this study in 2008 and found similar results,” study author Hatamiya said in a press release distributed by Walmart. “I added an element to the current version by looking at communities without Walmart supercenters and comparing the results. It’s clear that communities with a Walmart supercenter experience overall positive economic benefits to a local economy when compared to a community without a Walmart supercenter.”

Critics may scoff at the results of a study so favorable to Walmart, but Hatamiya is no shill for the company. He previously served as California’s Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency Secretary in the administration of former governor Gray Davis and was the state’s primary promoter of economic development, job creation and business retention.

Click here to read the full study.