Walmart Buying Target Distribution Centre in Cornwall Ontario – Thumbs Down by Jamie Gilcig – MAY 8, 2015

Jamie & FitzyCORNWALL Ontario – There are some excited and joyous about Wal-Mart taking over the old Target warehouse facility.  There’s talk of a few hundred more jobs.

More jobs of course is never a bad thing, but sadly to this writer this is not good news.

Competition for positions is good for the residents of a community like Cornwall.

When Target came to town Benson’s was hit hard as people fled to better paying jobs.  That’s what happens when the new guy shows up.  Wal-Mart/SCM was hit too.

For generations Cornwall was a closed shop.  Factory owners didn’t want new businesses setting up as they wanted to keep their work force humble and paid as little as possible.

Wal-Mart didn’t get to be one of the biggest companies on the planet by accident.   By purchasing this facility they not only pick up a fairly new facility for pennies on the dollar, they also close it off from a competitor picking it up, such as the rumors that were rampant for awhile.    That means they keep their workforce humble and it makes it harder for another distribution centre to move in without having to build from scratch.

With the prospect of Loblaws coming to Cornwall growing dimmer by the day sadly this Wal-Mart expansion is not good news.  It will help a few hundred with some employment, but it will close the doors for easy turn key access to a competitive and different employer, or unionized one.

That’s never a good thing.

The Eleven Points facility is now off the market and one less chip to attract new companies to our city.   Wal-Mart is closer to having a closed shop in Cornwall.   And that means a challenge for more employees in this city to earn a living wage which is what we need to up our local economy that is struggling, especially in the Downtown/Le Village core.

This writer also wonders about any possible back door incentives given to the giant such as the corporate welfare given to Smart Centre’s to build their new shop that is messing up the traffic on Cumberland ( we need a new stop sign on 4th BTW Norm and Council).

What do you think Cornwall?  You can post your comment below.


  1. Aren’t you one of those complaining about min wage going up?

    There was no real offer or interest in the Target distribution so the sooner it was taken over the better.

    The odds of a company buying this place and pay its employees 30$/hr are about absolute zero.

    Not sure what you would have in mind for this massive 170 acre site, but seriously, only a mega company like Walmart would be able to use it.

  2. Author

    Jerry I’d like to see people’s actual wages go up; not the artificial line that penalizes those on fixed incomes.

  3. Jobs, at any time are good. Yes, they are minimum wage jobs. But it’s better than having the old Target distribution centre sit empty, don’t you think?

    Back door incentives / corporate welfare?? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….it happens everywhere. Corporate welfare is everywhere, not just Cornwall. According to other media reports Cornwall had very little say in this deal. I don’t see Cornwall offering Walmart any “deals” to buy the old Target distribution centre. If they did it’ll appear on the agenda of an upcoming city council meeting real soon. The ones with the final say on this potential deal are the bankruptcy courts, NOT the city of Cornwall. If they allow the deal to go through it will. I can’t see why they wouldn’t. It gives target’s creditors some money duly owed.

  4. Author

    Hugger it’s simple. Say a company like an Amazon or Loblaws decided that Cornwall was a good location for them. Having a turnkey facility ready to go surely would help that decision. Competition for labour is the best way to raise wages and create more employment. What Wallyworld has done, and kudos for their own best interest as they are a private entity, is make it less attractive for competition to join the party here in Cornwall.

    Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture. Sometimes you have to wait for the right solution when you have bigger assets at play.

  5. Perhaps. But Loblaws has already said that the old Target Distribution centre would not fit their needs. They need large portions of the distribution centre to be refrigerated. They’ve said it would cost more to retro-fit the Target distribution centre than to build a new one suited to their needs. Now, Amazon, on the other hand, old Target Distribution centre would probably be a perfect fit for. The other potential companies knew the old Target Distribution centre was on the market. They were just asleep at the wheel. They had just as much notice as Walmart that the distribution centre would be available. In business you do what is necessary to grab an advantage. Walmart did that.

  6. Author

    Hugger ultimately we have no control over private industry. Walmart has every right to purchase the facility and it’s smart for them to do so. It’s just not something that ultimately will help Cornwall in the big picture. That’s the beauty of writing an editorial. The editor gets to stake their ground and put out their position and why.

  7. I agree with your statement of May 9, 2015 at 9:16 am. But at least with Walmart in there the old Target distribution centre won’t sit empty.

    Now Walmart what are you going to do with your old store?

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  9. Yesterday my daughter treated me to an ice cream sundae because I won the bet about Wal Mart or Canadian Tire taking over the Target Store at Billings Bridge and the one at Bayshore. Everyone thought that I was nuts or some prophet here in my household and I proved myself to be right. All we have today are minimum wages but a lot better than nothing at all.

  10. People please do your research. Walmart at their distribution centres does not pay minimum wage. They offer $20 +, depending on the job plus benefits.

  11. Hugger if you go and read the freeloader of what Hugo wrote it is like he is fed up of corporations like Target and Wal Mart and it’s like he is threatening Wally World already before they even have a chance to get their toes wet in Cornwall. Yes the warehouse does pay good wages and the sheeple of Cornwall complain all the time. Let them try working for 11 hours a week and getting minimum wage and being treated like dirt by the lowest common denominator of a society and see how they would react. My daughter is thinking about going back to college and she has learned a valuable lesson. I don’t know when she is going back but it will be soon.

  12. “Say a company like an Amazon or Loblaws decided that Cornwall was a good location for them.”

    I don’t understand your argument. Did these companies actually try and purchase this 170 acre complex and the city turned them down?

    Why are you so against this Walmart move? Do you know something the rest of us don’t?

  13. Author

    Jerry I have nothing against Wal-Mart. I am Pro Cornwall. There is a big difference and I think this deal is bad in the big picture for Cornwall for the reasons stated in the editorial.

  14. But Jules, I thought you didn’t read the CSF? Hugo, in his editorial, told Wal-Mart to live up to what they’ve said, 1000 new jobs for Cornwall at the second distribution centre.

    I sort of agree with what Admin said in his editorial. But all the companies had the same notice about the old Target distribution centre becoming available. The old Target distribution centre is not a viable option for Loblaws. The other companies weren’t as quite ready to jump at the chance to use it as Wal-Mart was. And if they fulfill their commitment to 1,000 jobs (net gain of about 650 jobs) then good for them.

  15. Hugger I go on the freeloader once in a blue moon (very rare) and seaway rag once in a blue moon. One day I went on the seaway rag and noticed that someone was using my name. About Hugo he wasn’t encouraging Wally World to stay. People who work in the warehouses make good money. My daughter is going to go back to college since this job is dead end and she hates the living hell out of it but for now it is a little something that is temporary. Cornwall should be very grateful to have that warehouse job and earn good money. I was wondering what was going to become of Target’s warehouse and went on to check it out and good news but Hugo made it sound like a dog biting the hand that fed it.

  16. Actually Jules, Hugo thinks this move is a good thing. You have his article mixed up with this article which Jamie gives Walmart a thumbs down since he expects this massive distribution complex to be bought by some other company (still unclear why Loblaws or Amazon would be much better than Walmart but oh well)

    All Hugo said was he hopes that this purchase means Walmart will be committed to hiring and retaining the 1000 people and not leave in a year like Target did.

  17. Author

    Yes Jerry, competition for a labour force is a good thing. It’s good for the local economy and some companies, not singling anyone out, would be forced to care more for their workers. What Walmart did was great for Walmart. In the big picture not as great for Cornwall.

  18. I still need you to explain how this is not good for Cornwall. You claim it would be better for others to come but lets pretend Loblaws did buy it and brought 1000 jobs to Cornwall, would it be better than Walmart?

    Or are you just complaining because you think this massive site with a central automation complex should be shared between (possibly even competing) companies and have more variety in the industrial park?

    If so, then I don’t think you understand the logistics of that complex and how it cannot possibly be run by simultaneous companies. This complex was made for one function, to service orders from a single point for a single client.

    It would take a complete re-design for it to accommodate more than one company receiving, processing and shipping their goods.

    This was designed for a single company that handles massive amounts of merchandise and only a few companies in Canada would even be able to take advantage of this state of the art processing facility .

    But again, it cannot be used by more than one company due to the automation and design.

  19. Just to add I know you claim to hate corporate welfare, but Cornwall has massive unemployment and one of the highest rate of social assistance in Canada.

    So if the city can even cut corporate tax rate a few % points lower than other communities, the long term effects (hundreds of locals off social assistance), are much much more beneficial and cheaper than to have these companies pass up on the offer.

    The cost for social assistance for 1000 people (including home and food allowance) can easily run over a 1 million dollars per month, and even though this cost is mostly covered by the provincial government, having these people employed, benefits the community tremendously compared to welfare.

    Only good can come out of this deal for everyone in the community. It will put close to 3/4 million dollars in our local economy per week! ( if the average salary will be 16$/hr, but which I hope will be more)

  20. Author

    Yes Gerry and another company coming in to the facility instead of Walmart would have created competition for the best workers which would have improved salaries, and thus our local economy.

    Please note that your email bounced which means no more posts until you rectify that.

  21. Admin how do $20.00 per hour jobs discourage other companies from locating in Cornwall? Outside of unions associated with the three levels of government what unions representing workers of Ontario are currently increasing their membership? Manufacturing is history in Ontario. The economic environment is not favourable to this sector and that leaves distribution networks and service related industries.

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