The city of Coalinga – has a message for mega-retailer Wal-Mart: “We want u here.”
Using the hastag #coalingawalmart, the city – and its mayor, police department and many of its citizens – have taken to social media in an effort to get Wal-Mart to open a store in town.
The social media push started earlier this month as a proactive way of dealing with the loss of Kmart. The store was one of 100 affected by retailer’s most recent round of closures. The idea is to let Wal-Mart know just how important (and accepted) the store would be to the town.
The city’s mayor, Nathan Vosburg, said as much in a post to the company via Facebook:
“Since the crash in 2008 many of our mom and pops have went under with the owners getting state jobs. People are now traveling 50 miles to go shopping,” he wrote.
“I took an informal poll awhile back asking what would our citizens like to see come in, and the winner by far was #CoalingaWalmart.”
The closest Walmart store is in Hanford, some 40-plus miles away.
In a Facebook post earlier this week, the city was still urging residents and those in the surrounding area to keep spreading the #coalingawalmart message. The post ended with some potential positive news: “Our Economic Development Coordinator, Edith Sanchez, will be meeting with Walmart representatives next week.”