Bentonville, AR ..... it happens to be the tenth largest city in the state of Arkansas, but for most of us in our chosen profession the name likely evokes different associations.
I was just looking at some google streetviews of Bentonville, AR and must confess I was a little surprised at what I found.
Here, see for yourself and take a short drive down S Walton Blvd....
Make no mistake about who the largest employer in town happens to be, but look at all the other local businesses and small regional chain stores (e.g. Main Street catering, Farmer's Exchange, EZ Mart, Bentonville Butcher & Deli, Diamond Foods, Hanks Furniture warehouse, numerous auto parts stores....) selling the very same products you find in Walmart stores and doing so under the very belly of the Beast.
When Wallyworld applied for a rezoning and site plan review in my community, many local merchants and frenzied citizen groups were up in arms that they would destroy locally-owned businesses. As it happens, they didn't. Many of you may have first hand experiences with the torch and pitchfork groups yourself. I suppose Wallyworld may have wreaked some havoc on the smallest communities, but are they really the monsters they've been made out to be in terms of their community-wide economic impacts?
moved from the FAC