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Thread: The impact of Wal Mart on small businesses

  1. #1

    The impact of Wal Mart on small businesses

    I'm from the UK and Wal Mart has just bought up one of our grocery stores to become the largest convenience trader in the UK. If anybody has any info on how Wal Mart affects small businesses in the USA I would be grateful for some help - this is my dissertation topic!

  2. #2

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    There has been considerable research on Wal-Mart impacts in some US states, including Iowa, but I away from my clipping file. Hopefully another reader will be able to provide citations. I do know that impacts vary considerably with the local economic role and local business community's response.

  3. #3
    A couple of sources from the National Trust for Historic Preservation should help. Specifically, the work of Constance Beamont. Look up that organization for two books, "Smart States, Smart Communities," and "How Superstore Sprawl Can Harm Communities."

    My recollection of the literature I've read on the topic is that, from a market analysis perspective, most smaller local businesses are adversely affected when WalMart comes to town (dahh...), and I think the economic reasons for that are obvious. What is more important to planners is how to save the downtown businesses; it appears the way for them to stay in business is to find and serve "niche" markets. Small businesses cannot beat the big box at their own games, so they have to do things differently. The alternative, not to allow WalMart in the community at all, has its own problems, of course. Jerry Weitz

  4. #4
    I need to find some resources, online or otherwise, that would allow me to articulate an educated argument against a big box grocery store development in my primarily residential, urban neighborhood. I'm particularly concerned with the scale of the planned construction vis a vis other buildings in the neighborhood. Anybody have any idea where I might find articles, essays, guidelines on those topics?

    Thanks,
    Everett Volk

    PS Please feel free to email me at eevolk@yahoo.com

  5. #5
    When planners talk about Wal-Mart and other "Big Box" users, they talk about the need to save the small businesses? Why? Why do they need to be saved? To have the downtown Main Street USA pedestrian friendly ambiance, to preserve yesteryear? WHat a crock. The small businesses that are there now probably put some other business out of business over the years and they now need planners to save the day. Lets all feel warm and fuzzy about small business/main street USA, while at the same time knowing that most of us don't shop there because they don't have the selection, parking , price or conveniences that the big box uses have.

  6. #6
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Moderator note:
    Just a note -- if this turns into a "Wal Mart good / Wal Mart evil" debate, it's gonna' be moved into Polemic.

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