HR&A Advisors’ Economic Impact Study Results Prove Walmart Provides Jobs, Saves Families Money, and Contributes to Local Communities
Washington, D.C., March 5, 2015 – Walmart Supercenters in Washington, DC have been proven to economically benefit the city and its residents, according to a new economic impact report. The study was conducted by HR&A Advisors, Inc. and found that Walmart’s two current DC locations not only create jobs and save families in the District money, but also greatly contribute to the city’s charitable organizations working to better the lives of those in DC. Key findings include:
- Major Job Generation: Walmart currently employs 700 people at their two open DC locations; 65% of those 700 associates are Washington, DC residents. 810 total jobs (direct employment by Walmart plus multiplier jobs) are supported by Walmart’s first two stores and the construction of all 3 locations (including Fort Totten which is currently under construction) will support a total of 680 (direct and multiplier) jobs over the construction period.
- Saving DC Families Money: Walmart can save a DC family of four approximately $1,300 per year, 18% of the average DC household’s annual grocery store bill.
- Increasing Access to Healthy Food: Each Walmart is located in a USDA identified food desert, where healthy food options make up less than 10% of local retail offerings. Grocery sales make up 41% of Walmart’s total sales.
- Investing in the Community: Through 2014, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have awarded $14 million to more than 200 not-for-profit organizations in DC. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s charitable contributions have supported 185 jobs, $16.5 million in total compensation and $197,000 in tax revenue.
Additional economic benefits analyzed/found by HR&A Advisors include the fact that Walmart is helping to offset the retail spending that leaks out of Washington, DC. The District loses approximately $3 billion in retail spending each year to neighboring areas due to a lack of shopping opportunities within the city. The shortfall in spending is seen across all major Walmart merchandise categories. Walmart’s DC locations also generate approximately $6.4 million in annual tax revenues to the District of Columbia. That number is equivalent to salaries for nearly 120 teachers, refurbishments of 6 playgrounds or debt service on bonds for the construction of 6 new or significantly modernized community centers.
HR&A Advisors also found that Walmart enhances economic development in the neighborhoods in which the stores are located. New housing and new retail establishments have opened within or adjacent to the two existing Walmarts, as the stores serve as development anchors and bring a range of businesses which co-locate around the stores.
“Having done studies across the country there are many varying degrees of impact and measurements for success,” said Candace Damon, Vice Chairman, HR&A Advisors, Inc. “Walmart’s impact on the District of Columbia has been significant to date and includes a myriad of benefits from job creation, both construction and store employment, tax revenue generation, charitable giving, serving as a neighborhood anchor and cost savings to residents. Our expectation is that as Walmart’s presence in DC grows, so will the positive impact that it will have on the community.”
“Our goal when opening stores in Washington, DC was to contribute to the community through creating jobs, improving access to healthy and affordable groceries, and investing in local not-for-profits that are making a difference,” said Nina Albert, Director of Community Affairs, Walmart. “I think we have exceeded our expectations, as demonstrated by the results of HR&A’s study. We are very proud of the fact that we have made a positive impact in the city. We look forward to expanding our presence in DC and continuing to help to the region and its residents save money and live better.”
HR&A Advisors, Inc. is an industry-leading real estate, economic development and energy efficiency consulting firm. HR&A has provided strategic advisory services for some of the most complex mixed-use, neighborhood, downtown, campus, and regional development projects across North America and abroad for over thirty years. The firm began working with Walmart in June 2014 to conduct the economic impact study of their two DC stores.
Click the image below for the Executive Summary.
Click the image below to read the full study.
By: HR&A Advisors, Inc.
Washington, DC has long lacked sufficient retail options for its diverse and growing base of residents. For years, District residents have had to travel to surrounding jurisdictions to shop for basic goods, costing the District lost sales taxes and undercutting the City’s efforts to support more vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods. Unmet retail potential in Washington, DC is estimated at over $3 billion per year based on 2013 data. Walmart’s arrival in the Washington, DC market in late 2013 is stemming that negative trend.
HR&A’s recent economic impact report demonstrates that the Walmart Supercenters in Washington, DC economically benefit the District and its residents. Walmart’s two current locations create jobs and save families that shop at Walmart money. Walmart also contributes generously to the city’s charitable organizations working to better the lives of those in DC.
We found that Walmart currently employs 700 people at its two open locations; of those 700 employees, 65% are DC residents. DC residents who shop at Walmart are also benefiting from savings in their annual grocery store bill. HR&A found that Walmart can save a DC family of four approximately $1,300 per year. In addition, Walmart is helping to increase access to healthy food; each Walmart in or planned for the District is located in a USDA-identified food desert where healthy food shopping options make up less than 10% of neighborhood retail offerings.
Additional findings include:
HR&A Advisors, Inc. is an industry-leading real estate, economic development and energy efficiency consulting firm. The firm has provided strategic advisory services for some of the most complex mixed-use, neighborhood, downtown, campus, and regional development projects across North America and abroad for over thirty years. The firm began working with Walmart in June 2014 to conduct the economic impact study of its two DC stores.
On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, Community of Hope and Walmart volunteers invited families currently living in Girard Street
Apartments, located in Washington DC, to a holiday celebration in one of the complex’s common areas. During the celebration, Walmart volunteers along with Community of Hope staff distributed gift cards provided by Walmart. Keeping in the holiday spirit, candy canes and holiday-themed cookies were passed out by staff and volunteers to residents while holiday music was being played in the background.
by: Jeffrey Dorfman – Contributor
originally posted on Forbes
December 11, 2014
Walmart is the employer that unions and many workers-rights advocates love to hate. Yet, when Walmart opens up new stores, they typically receive thousands of applicants competing for the few hundred jobs available. If Walmart is as horrible employer as often claimed, why do so many people want to work there? The answer is that the thousands who want to work at Walmart know more about working at Walmart than those continually protesting against it.
Many misconceptions about Walmart’s pay and benefits are based on data that people have inferred from partial information that is available publicly, not from a full and complete picture of their compensation package. (Full disclosure: I received funding from the National Retail Federation Foundation to study wages in the retail industry. As part of that study, I received data from Walmart on their pay practices. However, Walmart had no role in the writing of this column.)
Here are the facts about working at Walmart. The average hourly associate has a total compensation package of $14.50 per hour. Full-time hourly associates make an average of $12.94 per hour in wages. On top of the pay, hourly associates receive quarterly bonuses based on store performance that average $580 per year. Employees are eligible for health insurance and, if they choose to sign up for it, Walmart pays 75 percent of the premium cost.
Hourly associates all can contribute to a 401(k) retirement plan and Walmart matches employee contributions for the first 6 percent of each employee’s pay. Employees can also buy company stock and Walmart will match those purchases with shares equal to 15 percent of those purchased by the employees. Finally, employees all receive an employee discount of 10 percent off on purchases at Walmart.
All of these benefits together can add up to the equivalent of $4.50 per hour, meaning that an average full-time hourly associate could have total compensation of about $17.40 per hour or about $35,000 per year.
In addition to these figures, it is worth noting that annual raises for hourly associates have averaged more than 3 percent per year over the past eight years which includes the recent recession when raises for most workers have been few and far between. About 160,000 associates get promoted each year with 7,000 hourly associates entering management ranks annually. More than three-quarters of all Walmart store managers started as hourly associates.
Does all this make Walmart a worker’s paradise? That depends on how much you are making in your current job (if you have one) and what benefits come with that current job position. A significant number of workers make less than $15 per hour in total compensation, so there are lots of people who would see Walmart’s pay package as a step up. The enormous number of applications Walmart receives for each new store opening seems to indicate that is true: lots of people want to work at Walmart.
Given all this, why are so many people so deeply invested in fighting Walmart store openings and complaining about their pay policies? Several reasons seem to be in play. First, much of the protesting is organized by unions who are actually much more interested in gaining the opportunity to collect union dues from Walmart’s workers than they are in raising the wages of the people working at Walmart. Second, many people honestly complain about pay at Walmart because they have been misled about what Walmart really pays. They assume almost all the associates are making minimum wage or slightly above it. Hopefully, these people will read this column and adjust their behavior to reflect the truth about what Walmart pays.
In an economy where millions of people are still unemployed or underemployed, demonizing any employer is probably a bad idea. It gets much worse when the demonizing is based on lies and distortions. The data show that Walmart offers attractive pay and benefits to its employees. People who find those offers unsatisfactory should find another place to work rather than spending their energy complaining about jobs that hundreds of thousands of people find rewarding.
On Thursday, December 11, 2014, Walmart partnered with the Metropolitan Police Department as they kicked off their annual Shop with a Cop event. That morning at the Walmart Georgia Avenue store, approximately 100 pre-selected unserved children (ages 5 to 17) partnered with a Metropolitan Police Department officer to shop for toys, clothes and gifts that will be sure to brighten the kid’s faces on Christmas morning. This event is made possible through a $10,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to the Washington DC Police Foundation.
Walmart H Street Hosts Annual Shop with a Jock Event Featuring DeJuan Blair of the Washington Wizards
On Thursday, December 11, 2014, Walmart partnered the Washington Wizards and Capitals as they hosted their annual Shop with a Jock event at the Walmart H Street store. That afternoon, Washington Wizards Power Forward DeJuan Blair shopped around the store for holiday gifts for needy children throughout the DMV, gearing up for the Washington Wizards annual Toyland Toy Drive.
This year, the Washington Wizards and Capitals teamed up with The Salvation Army for their annual Toyland Toy Drive. DeJuan Blair and the Wizards hosted their Toyland Drive on Friday, December 12th during the Wizards vs. Clippers game; and Tom Wilson and the Capitals hosted their Toyland Drive on Saturday, December 13th during the Capitals vs. Lightening game.
On Sunday, December 7, 2014, Girls on the Run DC – is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams – hosted its annual DC 5K at Anacostia Park, where more than 1,700 girls, their families, community participants and supporters attended the event. Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser also made an appearance at the event and gave an inspirational speech in order to pump up all the participants before the start of the 5K.
Through its $25,000 grant to Girls on the Run – DC, Walmart will continue its commitment to empower women, starting at a young age. The contribution will provide scholarships for 135 at-risk girls in DC to participate in the program, which teaches young girls critical life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running.
On Thursday, December 4, 2014, associates and managers at Walmart’s Georgia Avenue and H Street locations celebrated the stores’ one year anniversary and recognized associates who have been there for a year as well as those who have been promoted. The DC Chamber of Commerce’s President & CEO Harry Wingo was in attendance at the Georgia Avenue location to present the associates with the DC Chamber’s Business of the Year Award, which Walmart received in October.
On Thursday, November 27, 2014, Food & Friends prepared and delivered 3,500 complete holiday dinners to children and adults in the DC region facing HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses. Food & Friends staff, Walmart representatives, and community volunteers helped prepare 9,800 pounds of turkey, 975 pounds of cornbread stuffing, 1,050 pounds of roasted potatoes and 6,240 dinner rolls which were delivered the week of Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving morning. Each Thanksgiving delivery fed four people, which gave clients the opportunity to host dinner for friends and family.
In the prior fiscal year, Walmart donated more than 20,000 meals in Washington, DC. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have provided over $182,300 in grants to Food & Friends. With Walmart’s support, Food & Friends provides fresh meals, groceries, nutrition and friendship to more than 2,800 people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses in Washington DC. In addition, Walmart’s grant provided over 190,000 low-fat and diabetic home-delivered meals to people with critical illness in the DC area.
On Friday, November 27, the Walmart H Street store hosted a Media Day allowing local media members to gather on-camera interviews and customer interviews as well as b-roll and photos. A Walmart spokesperson was available that morning to reveal insider details on how the world’s largest retailer was ramping up for Black Friday – the biggest retail event of the year.