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All Walmarts Not Created Equal: Study Finds Stores in White, Rich Neighborhoods are Better

A recent study from Columbia University Assistant Professor of Sociology Andy Reich states that Walmarts in white communities are better.

The study, entitled “Walmart’s Consumer Redlining,” was published in May. But now it has picked up traction for its startling stats.

According to North Carolina’s WFMY, Reich collected data from more than 35,000 Yelp reviews reporting conditions of 2,800 stores between 2004-15.

“People used words like ‘unorganized’, ‘nasty’ and ‘worst’ to describe stores in communities of color,” Reich tells reporters in a Skype interview.

Then, he used those keywords, paired them with the reviewers’ race and the neighborhood in which they live.

Subsequently, he concluded that Walmarts in Black and brown neighborhoods were poorly stocked, had longer lines, and had worse service.

“Walmart is in the business of making money. So when it goes into a wealthier, whiter neighborhood, where it does have to compete with more retailers, it’s forced to make more investments in staffing.”

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