Retail in Asia

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Wal-Mart wins key zoning approval in US

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has won a key zoning approval to build a second store in the US city of Chicago, a potentially significant political breakthrough that could pave the way for the world’s largest retailer to finally penetrate more of the biggest cities in its home country.

For six years, Wal-Mart has clashed with Chicago’s community leaders, organised labour and its Democratic Party allies on expanding in the nation’s third largest city. Wal-Mart also has been stymied in attempts to build stores in New York, Los Angeles and other big cities.

But the Chicago Federation of Labor said on Thursday it was lifting opposition to a new Wal-Mart superstore on the city’s South Side, saying the retailer had agreed to pay workers USD8.75 an hour initially, or 50 cents above the city’s minimum, with a raise of 40-60 cents an hour after one year.