Opinion

Walmart expansion a win all around for SK

The long-overdue deal announced last week between Walmart and those living in homes adjacent to the company’s Port Orchard store is a victory for everyone except those who harbor irrational hatred for the mega-retailer.

Which means it’s a good thing for everyone whose opinion should matter.

For Walmart, the settlement represents an opportunity to more than double the size of its current operations in order to serve what it sees as a potentially underserved market.

For the store’s neighbors, it means larger noise-buffering berms, limits on overnight deliveries and lower parking lot light poles than the company might have been able to insist on had it applied the full weight of its legal resources rather than seeking an amicable, out-of-court solution.

And for the community, it means the addition of 50 to 100 new jobs, not to mention the opportunity to buy groceries from a chain whose calling card is offering the widest possible selection for the lowest possible price.

Almost certainly the advent of a Walmart food center will cut into the profit margins of Port Orchard’s existing grocery stores, and from their point of view, this may not be welcome news.

But competition is the foundation of a free-market economy and, in the long run, it benefits everyone when efficiency and innovation are encouraged.

Lastly, Walmart’s expansion figures to clear a huge obstacle from the path of the city’s annexing the Bethel Corridor — a move that would add comparatively little to the city’s overhead costs but would yield a sizeable sum in property taxes from Wal-Mart and its commercial neighbors.

Again, there’s so much to like about this development and so little not to like that we’ll even resist the temptation to point fingers at those who held it up for this long.

Full speed ahead, Walmart.

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