Below, I present a few screenshots of Wal-Mart store locations in five “rurban” US cities. An ellipse represents a privately owned small business (to the best of my knowledge) and a “star” represents a business that directly competes with Wal-Mart. I do not know who came there first, Wal-Mart or the small business but I do think the Exhibits below make a small point about a symbiotic relationship between Wal-Mart and small businesses. In addition to the privately owned small businesses, please also check out the franchisee stores in the vicinity (also run by locals).
Exhibit 1: Weatherford, Texas
Exhibit 2: Lubbock, Texas
Exhibit 3: Midland, Texas
Exhibit 4: Gainesville, Florida
Exhibit 5: Mobile, Alabama
Update: September 17, 2012
Since I have been asked to produce “before” and “after” images for the five locations presented above, I have embedded clips showing the same. As you will notice, at 4 of the 5 locations, tiny buildings sprung up around Wal-Mart.
Even if Wal-Mart was to cause replacement of grocery stores with say boutiques,it should be seen as a glass of orange juice being replaced by a glass of pineapple juice. It’s an Utopian expectation to believe that we can benefit everyone without hurting anyone. Here are the five videos:
Weatherford, Texas: Weatherford (short)
Lubbock, Texas: Lubbock
Midland, Texas: Midland
Gainesville, Florida: Gainesville
Mobile, Alabama: Mobile