Voters in Inglewood, a suburb of Los Angeles, California, have rejected by a two-to-one margin a ballot measure that would have allowed US retail giant Wal-Mart to build a supercenter there.

Elected officials in the area had fought to stop Wal-Mart from building the shopping centre even though the company said it would bring 1,200 jobs to the area.

“This was a major victory,” Jerome Horton, a state assemblyman who represents Inglewood, was quoted by Reuters as saying. “This was a test site for Wal-Mart. This would have set a national precedent and developers all over the nation were watching to see whether or not a developer could exempt themselves from complying with local laws. This was a much bigger issue than just jobs.”

Many of those who oppose the supercenter said it could have put local stores, and even other supermarkets, out of business and it would have paid lower wages to its employees.

The company has faced opposition in many towns in California, where Wal-Mart plans to open several new supercenters, but has successfully fought such opposition in some places, including Contra Costa and Calexico.

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Wal-Mart reportedly spent a million dollars on the Inglewood measure, after the Inglewood City Council effectively blocked its entrance into the area, reported Agence France Presse. The chain had to gather around 10,000 signatures to put the plans to a vote.