I heard a rumor that Walmart is being kept out of L.A. on purpose. Is this just a conspiracy theory?

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It’s not a rumor; it’s city ordinance No. 176166. The 2004 rule prohibits superstores in vast parts of the city. Five Walmarts were constructed in L.A. before the law took effect and in areas outside the no-behemoth zone. The company has plans for ministores small enough to escape the ban. The world’s most profitable corporation is often opposed by labor unions and people who object to its crushing impact on local businesses. But then there’s my mother, who says, “Walmart is cheap, and they sell fabrics by the yard. Besides, they have old people working there.” C’est la vie, Mom.