• Image by mjb84 via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

From a few blocks away, they looked like protestors. I saw the tall signs and expected the normal jeering crowds that have trailed Walmart and its myriad of labor abuse allegations everywhere the behemoth chain goes.

But as I got closer, I noticed the new, sparse logo. These were Walmart workers. A half-dozen young employees decked in bright neon green, some with looming store flags hitched to backpacks, were passing out apples to pedestrians. On the opening morning of Walmart’s first downtown Chicago site, this cadre was circling the store manager, who biked around the cooler with orange juice and fruit cups.