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UPDATED: ShopRite Challenges Spencer Street Walmart Location

The local supermarket has filed an appeal against the decision to approve a Walmart supercenter on Spencer Street.

Updated Story

ShopRite has filed an appeal against the town's Planning and Zoning Commission and Walmart seeking to block the construction of a new 158,420-square foot Walmart supercenter, which would be directly across the street from its business. 

The PZC approved a special exemption on Jan. 7, 2013 to allow the development at 205 Spencer St., which would be built on a now vacant lot that was formerly occupied by a KMart. 

But ShopRite, located almost directly across the street from the proposed new Walmart at 214 Spencer St., has filed an appeal with the Hartford Superior Court seeking to overturn the PZC's commission. The appeal, dated Jan. 24, 2013, was filed on behalf of Waverly Markets, LLC., the local ShopRite's parent company, and prepared by Marjorie Shansky, a New Haven-based attorney. 

"The plaintiff/appellant…is aggrieved by the decision of the PZC and by approval of the applications because it is the long-term owner of an establishment operating at 214 Spencer St., the driveway and parking lot for which are within one hundred feet of the land involved in the commission's decision, the subject property, being located immediately across the street," the appeal states. "…The commission's vote to approve the application and the resulting congestion, inadequate queuing space, and safety issues will impair access to plaintiff's driveway and directly affect traffic operations for its customers." 

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The appeal has specified a return date of March 12, 2013 for the town and Walmart to respond. 

Bill Wertz, Walmart's divisional director of Public Affairs & Government Relations, sent Patch the following statement Wednesay afternoon: 

"This action has nothing to do with providing the community with more affordable grocery options and everything to do with a competitor's desire to preserve market share. We are eager to move forward and serve our customers in Connecticut."

jack farrell January 30, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Cohen and family are 100% right for appealing the very stupid decision by the PZC to allow WALMART the right to build on the K-MART SITE. A traffic problem already exists in that area. Also the fact that the Cohen family and SHOP- RITE have been very loyal to Manchester residents for almost fifty years,,, does the PZC think for one moment that the WALMART at the mall will stay open.
also January 30, 2013 at 05:45 PM
I do not want to C SHoRite leaving because of a WalMart. Yes SR has been very good to its' customers and to Manchester itself.
Edward Firestone January 30, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Jack you said it all. We have a locally owned, community oriented business that will be dramatically affected by the opening of another Walmart. The people of Manchester have to stand behind the Cohen family and encourage the PZC to reverse their decision.
Joe January 30, 2013 at 06:00 PM
You go Wallmart !!!!!
john a January 30, 2013 at 06:02 PM
what it boils down to is nobody wants walmart in their town , doesnt make sense to build another store in a town that all-ready has a walmart , walmart tried to build in vernon but it got shot down by towns people , people dont like their labor practices & the fact that moneys leave the state i guess
Jason field January 30, 2013 at 07:28 PM
City of village charm? ? ..we will be a two walmart town?! ..what a distinction!
Catherine Girard January 30, 2013 at 07:39 PM
Hurray, Shoprite! Tell Wally's World to stay in that filthy pit they let that store become up at the mall. Shoprite doesn't need or deserve this soul-less monster, and the town certainly doesn't need another Broad Street Parkade ghost town blight up near the mall. The reason WW is trying to get out of its location is that the mall has already filed for bankruptcy and WW wants to get out. They created that mess, let them stay there. The last thing we want is for that monster to come in and destroy Shoprite, which it has every aim of doing. Vernon didn't want it, S. Windsor, didn't want it, and neither do we. WW is doing this in other towns: building the new mega store and leaving a hulking empty mess in its wake. We don't need another dirtbag owner like we had with the Parkade, and we certainly don't want to have to buy out the place just because the owner is politically connected with the town andno one wants to serve him with a bight notice and take the place by eminent domain, which is exactly what happened with the Broad Street Parkade. Shame on Manchester's town leaders, again!
Thomas Rich January 30, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Having worked for the Cohen's and for the long abandoned K-Mart, I have literally seen both sides of the street. K-Mart closed and left our town when Walmart squeezed them out years ago. The Cohen's on the other hand, have been building a successful family owned, community oriented franchise for years. Working for them, you felt like family. They have even expanded to East Hartford to fill the hole when another faceless corporate conglomerate (Shaw's) pulled out of the state. This is the thanks Manchester gives them for their service. The PZC should be ashamed of themselves for even considering this proposal as it is a slap in the face to any local business.
Jim Houck January 30, 2013 at 08:21 PM
simple..we already have one walmart and a sams club . Two walmarts and a sams club...not a good thing. Walmart is a very savy company. The new walmart would be easier to get to being right off the highway. That means the one at the mall would close. The traffic currently on Spencer is difficult to navigate..Add a Walmart and it would be a nightmare until it forced Shoprite to close. And what business would ever want to move into that area with a Walmart across the street. I see no advantage in adding another Walmart or even if it was the first one to the location on Spencer street....see a lot of advantage in keeping Shoprite. We need to tell the Walton Family one of their low wage super stores is enough for one town.
Zach D January 30, 2013 at 09:08 PM
What a terrible decision by the PZD, we need more small businesses in Manchester not more Wal-Mart's. Traffic over there is absoultey a mess, trust me I live up the street I face it every day, and now the lot on the corner is for sale for commerical property as well. We do NOT NEED OR WANT ANOTHER WAL-MART!!! This side of town is a great undevloped part of Manchester's history, and most people would like to keep it undeveloped & open. Listen to the people & not the pocketbooks PZD
Collecticut January 30, 2013 at 10:26 PM
If everyone hates walmart, why do so many people shop their? The same people that wrote bad things about walmart are probably shopping at a walmart right now.
Catherine Girard January 30, 2013 at 10:36 PM
No, Collecticut, we do not shop there.
James Bond January 31, 2013 at 03:08 AM
Collecticut, some of us have higher standards than China-Mart.
Joel Mrosek January 31, 2013 at 03:59 AM
One item of Manchester pride is the President of WalMart North America is a 1977 MHS grad. Yes, hard work and a good education can bring a brilliant guy to the top, even from Manchester.
Collecticut January 31, 2013 at 01:23 PM
I worked at Walmart for seven years including four-year leave of absence while I was in the military. Walmart treated me with respect, paid me decent, and promoted me three times. When I got back from OEF, they even offered me an Assistant Manager position. I left the company because I wanted to do something else. I shop there all the time, although I will admit that the Manchester store is below standards. If ShopRite is such a good store, they will put Walmart out of business. Let’s wait and see where Manchester residents really want to shop. Actions speak louder than words.
Christina Witham January 31, 2013 at 02:06 PM
I have worked for Shoprite now for 3 years. Shoprite has treated me with respect also. I have also been promoted. When I had a death in the family two of my bosses came to the service. My co-workers showed up. The owners sent me something. We have many loyal customers who have shopped there for years. We know them by name. We know there families. I guess what Im trying to say is I believe in my store and small family businesses. You get the personal touch. The owners of my store, the Cohens, also support MANY local charities. They are always giving. They are also always supporting the families who wrok for them. One of my co-workers just lost everything in a fire. The Cohens were there the next day to give them something to help them out. Say what you want about the "big stores". Ill take the smaller store, my store any day.
philip Fleury January 31, 2013 at 05:12 PM
They could not get into East Hartford so they got as close as they could
Christina A. January 31, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Any suggestions for what else could go there?
Jon Crickmore February 01, 2013 at 12:52 AM
Manchester want's more money to spend. They will approve it and once they do the other dump of a Walmart will close it's doors and leave yet another vacant building in town.
Bigman_CT February 02, 2013 at 04:46 PM
I agree with collecticut 100%... I have gotten poor service from shoprite personally and I know plenty that work there and hate it as well as my wife who worked there for 4 years which she refers to as miserable... Regardless Walmart has variety from groceries to electronics to auto supplies its just more convenient... Which you should get from a convenient store... And either way if ShopRite has been holding it down for so long then let then continue to, no worries... That's the way the word works in all aspects.. Bigger and better things always come around an we just have to get with the times!!!
Bigman_CT February 02, 2013 at 04:48 PM
I think ShopRite is too crowded.. The prices are great but the quality and service is just lacking...
hector estremera February 05, 2013 at 12:52 AM
I agree bigman. there is a newer shoprite on the glastonbury line and i drive all the way to the other side of town to shop there. the shoprite on spencer street has had a massive decline in customer service over the last few years and it has beome quite apparent as of late that the company is letting service slide, ive had several cashiers stand and talk to other employees while i bag my groceries simply waiting for me to pay, stock people tell me they "have no idea where that is bro" and three specific cashiers who convieniently always need to suck thier teeth and scoff when someone pulls out an ebt card. im happy to see walmart come to my neck of the woods and i wouldnt miss that shoprite for a second, i support the cohens, theyre good people, but buisness is buisness and that spencer street store has been on its way out. and like collecticut said, if shoprite has the support of its customers theyll have nothing to worry about. but they dont have the support of most of thier customers, most of them will go to walmart. thats the great thing about this democratic country we live in its not about what the few overprivelaged well educated well informed people want, its about everyone else. you all make valid points for why walmart is bad, unfortunatley not enough people care, because the fact of the matter is we live in a fast paced and incredibly selfish society and if you cant keep up you get left behind.
hector estremera February 05, 2013 at 12:54 AM
yes Cathrine, WE do. YOU dont.
hector estremera February 05, 2013 at 12:55 AM
and others have just higher horses
kassey February 06, 2013 at 01:24 AM
I WOULD RATHER HAVE A WALMART THAN A SHOPRITE HONESTLY
Christina A. February 08, 2013 at 04:16 PM
what about ocean state? I'm surprised they didn't file an appeal, b/c they actually sell similar items...
Brian Hurlburt February 10, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Wal-Mart is comprised of the few over educated and privileged. Wal-Mart is the reason why so many of their customers must us welfare cards. Cheaper and quicker is not sustainable, and as a result, our economy is its current state. The privileged few, such as Wa-Mart, are deciding that more cheap products are good for their revenue stream, and their customers are buying it. More than likely without the knowledge that for every two jobs created by Wal-Mart, three are lost. We haven't even touched on the blight that will be created with this new Wal-Mart, and the fact that years from now, Manchester will be buying up more blighted property. So much for long term vision and planning.
James Bond February 10, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Watch the video,"Is Wal-Mart good for Our Country?" Very well done.Make your own judgements from there.
James Bond February 10, 2013 at 03:58 PM
To those who have posted about the poor service from Shop Right,I agree,but it doesn't end there.Many places have poor service.It seems to be a sign of the times.Don't except it, call a manager and demand that you be treated correctly.Many of the employees who work for these places were never taught or trained how to act towards a customer.They were never raised with the lessons of treating people with respect,thus they act the way they do.Most of what they've learned comes from the T.V. and they program to the lowest standards of our society.
Ricman March 08, 2013 at 05:27 AM
Where do you shop? What other department stores are left around here? Target? Oh yeah, they came in AFTER Walmart. I guess we could wait for another department store to come around but I am not aware of any. Bradlees, Caldor, Ames, all ran themselves into the ground. There is a need to for this type of store and right now, Walmart is the only game in town.

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