Anaheim Officials Bar Gigante Citing Hispanic Focus

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Aug 07, 2002
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Officials in Anaheim, CA have denied Gigante USA permission to open a supermarket
in a mall that serves an area of the community slated for redevelopment, The
Wall Street Journal
reports.


Elisa Stipkovich of the Anaheim Redevelopment Agency wrote a letter to the
manager of the mall explaining the decision. “While we believe the supermarket
will provide a valuable service to portions of the surrounding community, we
do not support this use as an anchor tenant of the City’s regional mall.”


Ms. Stipkovich cites Gigante’s Hispanic focus as the primary reason for the
decision. The proposed supermarket is being viewed as a specialty store targeted
to the Hispanic community evidenced by store signage being in Spanish. This
single community focus does not make Gigante “appropriate for a regional shopping
center.”


Some believe the Anaheim Redevelopment Agency’s action is outright discrimination.
The Journal quotes Los Angeles real-estate broker Ron Stockdale, “Their
attitude seems to be, ‘We’ve got more Mexicans than we want as it is; we don’t
want new ones driving in from out of town.’ ”


Anaheim officials deny Stockdale’s accusations.


Gigante currently operates three stores in Los Angeles with a fourth slated
to open in Santa Fe Springs. The chain has targeted Mexican immigrants in the
United States to fuel future growth. Mexicans and Mexican Americans, living
in the Los Angeles area, spend $100 billion annually on goods and services according
to estimates.


Moderator’s Comment: Two questions in one:

  1. How are growing immigrant populations as well as increased
    foreign ownership of stores affecting the retail marketplace?

[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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