US retail giant Wal-Mart has announced its intention to go forward with a referendum petition in Inglewood, California.

The petition is in response to a recently adopted ordinance by the Inglewood City Council that prohibits any retail store over 155,000 square feet that sells over 20,000 non-taxable items such as food.

The referendum will allow Inglewood voters to decide whether the city government should control residents’ shopping choices.

“While we have no immediate plans to sell groceries in our proposed Inglewood store, Wal-Mart staunchly opposes any attempt by local government to restrict the amount of grocery items large retail stores may carry,” said Robert S. McAdam, Wal-Mart’s vice president for state and local government affairs. “To limit what a retailer may carry is to limit consumer choice.”

A public opinion survey recently conducted in Inglewood by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates on behalf of The Homestretch at Hollywood Park – a proposed retail development in Inglewood – revealed that 77% of those surveyed supported the sale of groceries at Wal-Mart. 71% of those surveyed said they would support repealing the city’s recently adopted grocery restriction.

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“In every jurisdiction where Wal-Mart has challenged grocery restriction ordinances, we have prevailed,” said McAdam. “In addition to pursuing the ballot referendum, we are currently exploring legal remedies and may also seek relief in court.”