My favorite Veggie Tales movie was "Madame Blueberry," and her adventures at Stuff Mart. In real life the Stuff Mart Twins, Kay and Wall, are an undeniable force in American life. I had no idea, though, of all the drama that happens behind the scenes when Stuff Mart wants to move in to a community. The Wall Street Journal had a great article on Monday, "Rival retail chains secretly fund opposition to Wal-Mart," by Ann Zimmerman (6/07). There is a sizable section on Pennsylvania intrigue. Here is the introduction to that part of the article:
In Pennsylvania, Saint's work roster in August 2007 listed 53 projects, almost all directed at stopping Wal-Mart on behalf of client Giant Food Stores, owned by Amsterdam-based supermarket company Ahold. Saint documents from 2007 say it had lost one battle in Pennsylvania, defeated 13 projects and delayed the remaining ones from four months to four years.
At one point the anti-Wal-Mart forces practicing (in their words) "dark arts" had to reverse course and "kill a community group we started" when the corporation funding them decided to open a store near the proposed Wal-Mart location in North Cornwall, PA. It's mind boggling.