I am writing in response to Erin Riordan’s letter, “Support LRAA for Livable DC,” which wildlymischaracterizes the effect of the Large Retailer Accountability Act while attacking wages at Walmart. The author fails to mention that the LRAA does not apply to all residents.  Not even close. Workers at places like Starbucks, McDonalds, Exxon, Giant, Applebee’s, Safeway, Nike, Banana Republic, Five Guys, and the Apple Store, and hundreds more businesses like them aren’t covered by the LRAA. The legislation does not create a level playing field and imposes arbitrary costs on only a handful of businesses in D.C. That’s bad public policy.  And that’s been the refrain from the editorial boards of The Washington Post, the Washington Times, The Financial Times, Chicago Tribune and The Wall Street Journal, as well as residents, small business owners and business groups. Regarding wages and opportunities at Walmart, the facts tell a different story than the rhetoric put forth by Ms. Riordan. Walmart’s wages meet or exceed our competitors’, including unionized grocers currently doing business in the city.  The majority of our workforce is full-time and in Virginia, and our average full-time wage is $12.39/hour. Nationwide, our associates are 1.3 million strong, and they achieve incredible things every single day — for our customers and in their own lives.   We provide a range of jobs, from people starting out stocking shelves to Ph.D.’s in engineering and finance.  We provide education assistance and skill training and, most of all, a chance to move up in the ranks. About 75 percent of our store management teams across the country started as hourly associates, and their average pay is between $50,000 and $170,000 a year. Our highest earning store manager last year earned more than $250,000. We promoted more than 160,000 people last year to positions with more responsibility and higher pay and every worker, part-time or full-time, has a quarterly cash bonus opportunity based on store performance. We are proud of what our workers achieve and the opportunities we provide. Steven Restivo is senior director of communications at Walmart. 

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