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City Council Discusses Walmart's Possible Return

Economic Development Director: No confirmation on retailer's plans for Woonsocket site.

 

There's no official word from Walmart on whether it's planning to open up its Woonsocket location again, according to Economic Development Director Matt Wojcik.

Councilman Marc Dubois asked Wojcik for an update on the property and WalMart's plans during Monday night's City Council meeting, but Wojcik didn't have any concrete news.

The WalMart building at 1919 Diamond Hill Road has been vacant since the store moved over the line into North Smithfield in Sept. 2011. At the time, Walmart officials sad they would study the situation and possibly return to Diamond Hill Road.

Dubois referenced rumors of the retailer's return, and asked if Wojcik had any information on their plans. 

"We have no confirmation," Wojcik said, but, "I see activity building that's fairly significant."

The site was quiet Thursday morning. The property remained closed and vacant. 

I certainly hope it comes," Wojcik said. We've made the case all along that WalMart has two distinct market baskets in this area, one from Dowling (North Smithfield), one from Diamond Hill.

Dubois asked what Wojcik had done to try to influence their decsion. Wojcik said he had provided them with as much market data as possible to support a move back to the city for Walmart. 

"It would be nice to get that traffic back on Diamond Hill Road," Dubois said.

"All the market data that says that you shouldn't have a Starbucks in Woonsocket say that you should have a Walmart," Wojcik said, however, "There are some fences that need to be mended with the customer base here." Wojcik said he hoped that necessity would prove more important to local shoppers than their ire with Walmart for leaving.

Mayor Leo Fontaine said Walmart had indicated they would be studying the situation with the possibility of moving back into Woonsocket at a later date. "This does seem to indicate that they are following along with what they said they were going to be doing at the beginning." Fontaine said.

A request for information on the site sent to Walmart's corporate office was not returned. 

Mumio October 18, 2012 at 05:50 PM
I, for one, miss Walmart in Woonsocket. So convenient to go there and pick up whatever I needed, whenever I wanted to go/had time to get there. The No Smithfield location might be great for folks out that way, but it's too much of a drive for me to bother with. Walmart definitely should reconsider, come back and enlarge/renovate, and re-open. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way.
Melissa F October 18, 2012 at 07:25 PM
I think that bringing Walmart back to Woonsocket would not only be a boost for our city's economy, but it would also bring much needed jobs back to our resident's. T
Melissa F October 18, 2012 at 07:26 PM
I am in full agreement with you!!! Bring our Walmart back!!
B BOO October 18, 2012 at 10:13 PM
i really HATE the new wal-mart !!! too big,shelves are always empty!! takes way too much time to get what ya need.i wont ever go there again!! wal-mart leaving was a BIG mistake!!!!! BB
Michelle Amaral October 18, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Bring it back to Diamond hill rd, not only is the new location out of the way for me it is never fully stocked anymore. The shelves are always empty now!!
Jess October 19, 2012 at 01:03 AM
I dont like the new walmart either, they never have what I'm looking for. Their toy selection is so small. I really enjoyed having everything on diamond hill road, food stores, job lot,dollar tree and walmart. Everything is just more convenient that way. Besides there is a lot of people in woonsocket that would walk to walmart and now they cant go to walmart if they dont drive
Doctor October 19, 2012 at 12:36 PM
I used to be a regular when Wal-Mart was in Woonsocket, especially the outdoor and sporting goods sections but have not returned since they move to North Smithfield.
Novan for Life October 19, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Why would Wal Mart want to come back after the city shafted there plans for a supercenter? Nevermind Wal Mart doesn't anyone realize Lowes is leaving soon!
Yvette M Ayotte October 19, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I want Walmart back also, I'd love to see it come back!! In fact, I think I'll write their headquarters and beg them to come back. :)
Novan for Life October 19, 2012 at 07:15 PM
wow a little desperate are we i like the new store more organized and roomy
John October 19, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Remember Walmart left because a resident, not the City Administration, filed a suit against them because they wanted to expand into a super center. It's the same thing that happened with CVS at Cass Ave. and Mendon Road. It only takes one to ruin things for all of us.
Mew October 19, 2012 at 11:13 PM
I hope you all get your wish and Walmart returns, biut, PLEASE Use Mendon Rd. to get there, We have all the traffic we need on Diamond Hill Rd. GIVE US A BREAK!!
Mumio October 20, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Yeah, I'd heard they left because the city itself wouldn't negotiate re the supercenter. I've also heard that Lowe's will be going too. What I don't get though is how the city of Woonsocket can afford to allow these businesses to go elsewhere. Aren't you having financial issues there, much like many other towns/cities?
joe monteiro October 22, 2012 at 10:50 PM
You wonder we have no jobs,pay more in taxes and cant start a busines. Enjoy your Wal-Mart your children are going to love working there.
Kyle October 23, 2012 at 01:00 AM
I've seen unmarked white trucks go to Walmart on Diamond Hill lately. Could it be an unmarked Walmart truck? If they did come back to Diamond Hill, it would probably be the regular Walmart than a Super Walmart. Hope they come back in time for Black Friday!
newresident October 26, 2012 at 02:03 PM
I find very little traffic on diamond hill these days. Nenetheless, and while I'm sympathetic to the inconvenience as I assume you're a local, I think a little traffic is a small price to pay for anything which contributes to Woonsocket's economy (and tax base) these days. Diamond Hil is in desperate need of a new direction. Lowes is moving as is Staples. With three of your largest stores gone this will have serious trickle-down implications on the remaining businesses.
Yvette M Ayotte October 26, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Woonsocket is a city, we're suppose to have traffice!! If you don't like the traffic, move to the country!! It's the neighbors around the old Walmart that took them to court and made it hard for them, (I guess they can pay the higher taxes) not the city. Sure hope they come back, although, I heard from a good source that they weren't coming back. :(
David T October 27, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Yes to Walmart in Woonsocket and let them supersize this time if they want to. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who misses the Starbucks, Matt Wojcik. I don't know why they left because it always seemed to do fine whenever I was there.
MissM November 12, 2012 at 10:14 AM
I agree about the supercenter in N. Smithfield, a big disappointment. Shelves are always empty no matter what time of day or night you go. Even during the late night/early morning hours when the stockers are filling the shelves. Never have what I am looking for. Always asking an associate do you have this or that? They go to the back room take forever returning and say no we are out - they seem to be out of everything all the time. How can that be? Prefer other Walmart locations, but do not go out of my way to get to one. I have started going to other stores some small businesses and some big box stores that have what I am looking for. Would Walmart coming back to Woonsocket be a benefit? For jobs, and getting the economy moving, maybe.
Carlos aquino November 19, 2012 at 04:28 PM
I think thay should a cimena that would bring the economy back up in woonsocket.A lot of people have to travle to lincole or prov to watch a movie when a lot of people dont have a car.I think that uwoul boost up the economy in woonsocket
Dean Jarry January 26, 2013 at 03:36 PM
i agree 1000% with you on EVERYTHING you said.. I dont go there anymore because every time i go there for something, its out.. mens deodorant! c'mon are they serious? havent been there in over 10 months now..
Jennifer Jolicoeur January 26, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Finally someone speaking the truth! Walmart is one of the main causes for the death of the small business person! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiSmlmXp-aU
Jennifer Jolicoeur January 26, 2013 at 10:52 PM
YES!
Angry Shopper February 04, 2013 at 03:25 PM
I never much cared for the Woonsocket location, I used to make the trip to Whitinsville, I am so sick of the N. Smithfield store being EMPTY and never having anything in stock, looks like it's time to go back to Whitinsville again.
Novan for Life February 04, 2013 at 04:56 PM
first wal mart to woonsocket not happening, second the supercenter has improved and there are going to be empty every store will have shelves empty get over it!
Novan for Life February 05, 2013 at 12:53 AM
wrong john

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