Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, August 28, 2006

Debunking the Wal-Mart Myths #4: Wal-Mart Threatens Main Street Businesses

Wal-Mart Myth #3 debunked by Steven Peterson, U of I Research Economist, at the Moscow Chamber of Commerce luncheon last Wednesday.

Charge #4: Wal-Mart Threatens Main Street Businesses

A super Wal-Mart will not harm main street. In fact, it might help small firms.

  • Wal-Mart has been in Moscow for about 14 years.

  • Prior to Wal-Mart, Kmart was in Moscow beginning in 1976.

  • The “shake-out” among the competitors of Wal-Mart took place long ago.

  • A Wal-Mart super center will bring addition product line competition to only tires and groceries and will not threaten main street businesses.

  • The increase consumer traffic in town from Wal-mart may actually help small firms.

  • I would add the following to Professor Peterson's study. Two Economics professors at West Virginia University, Russell S. Sobel and Andrea M. Dean, recently conducted a scientific study titled "Has Wal-Mart Buried Mom and Pop?: The Impact of Wal-Mart on Self Employment and Small Establishments in the United States." The study can be found here.

    Sobel and Dean concluded:
    ...that the process of creative destruction unleashed by Wal-Mart has had no statistically significant long-run impact on the overall size and profitability of the small business sector in the United States.
    Technorati Tags:

    No comments: