Local activists and union groups have been the public face of much of the resistance. But in scores of cases, large supermarket chains including Supervalu Inc.,Safeway Inc. and Ahold NV have retained Saint Consulting to block Wal-Mart, according to hundreds of pages of Saint documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and interviews with former employees....
In Mundelein, where Supervalu wanted to protect its Jewel-Osco stores from Wal-Mart, Saint first focused on a vote on the 100-acre development by the city's Plan Commission, scheduled for May 2007, Saint documents indicate. Saint's Chicago-based regional director, Jay Vincent, who drives a Honda CRV with the license plates BLKOPS 1, assigned the job to a project manager, Saint documents indicate. That manager, who is a baseball fan, borrowed an alias for each of his assignments from a major leaguer. For the Mundelein job, he took the name of a former catcher for the Minnesota Twins, Greg Olson.
"For this project, delay is a substantial weapon," the project manager wrote in a report. He sent a flyer to neighbors of the proposed development that outlined purported evils of a neighborhood Wal-Mart, including increased police calls and more traffic. The flyer listed his alias and an email address, according to several residents.
The article doesn't mention whether the competition was actively involved in the campaign to stop WalMart from building a store in a depressed South Side neighborhood. Perhaps with many of the Chicago aldermen already in the pockets of organized labor, the help of competitors wasn't needed to kill the badly needed project.