Here’s why: The data used for most studies was taken from county tax and corporate records, and analyzed only businesses that were in direct competition with Wal-Mart in a particular county. If I were an independent grocer, or owned a pharmacy or garden center/nursery, I’d certainly be concerned about a Wal-Mart moving into my neighborhood. I’d also be concerned if my new neighbor was a Home Depot, Walgreens or Kroger. No matter what your “line,” the big guys always trample the little guys. David beats Goliath only in the Bible. In commerce, Goliath wins every time.
What Wal-Mart detractors don’t account for is that the storefronts vacated by competition from Wally World eventually fill up with a more diverse selection of shops. Researchers Sobel and Dean of the University of West Virginia Department of Economics studied the long-term effect of a Wal-Mart Supercenter opening in Morgantown, West Virginia. They found that “a shop that was once a women’s clothing store has now turned into a high-end restaurant. A former record and Compact Disc store has been converted into an ice cream parlor.
Other vacated stores have been filled by a coffee shop, an indoor rock climbing facility, an art gallery, a candle shop, a collectible comic book store, a dinner theatre, an antique mall and a new law firm.” When a Wal-Mart arrives, business communities become more diverse and vibrant.