PUERTO RICA: Controversial retail expansion plans
In an effort to protect local retailers, Puerto Rican authorities have traditionally limited the size of hypermarkets built there. In an apparent change of policy, building authorities recently granted a permit for the construction of a Wal-Mart Super Center at Cayey Plaza. The store will measure. 181,770 square feet and will be the largest of its kind in the area. It will contain a full food market, in addition to offering the wide range of personal and household items normally offered by that chain. The Puerto Rican retailers association and its attorney maintain that the Super Center will substantially reduce sales of small to medium size food and general retail stores in the area. In late September, retailers threatened legal action, arguing that the store far exceeds the average size of such establishments there, which runs to about 100,000 square feet. They maintain that the approved plan for Cayey Plaza measures 250,200 square feet, but the addition will bring its total size to nearly 492,000 square feet. The attorney for the retailers association maintains that approval of the expansion was illegal because the local citizens and the municipality of Cayay were not consulted.SOURCE: includes information from the article "Polemic por Wal-Mart Cayey", El Nuevo Dia (20 September, 2000).
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