After a Wal-Mart Supercenter opens in Pullman, what will happen to other neighborhood businesses? There is plenty of evidence from all over the country. This from the June 23 Washington Post :
Wal-Mart opened its store in Landover Hills -- the first inside the Beltway -- in a storm of controversy last year bred in part by its reputation for running small businesses like Ramdass's out of the rural towns and suburbs that for decades were the retailer's breeding ground. There was concern that the so-called Wal-Mart effect would be replicated, if not magnified, once it moved into more urban areas, such as Landover Hills.Despite much union-inspired fear-mongering to the contrary, existing local businesses routinely manage to maintain their status quo antebellum or even increase their sales when Wal-Mart comes to town.
No comprehensive study has been done on Wal-Mart's impact on this stretch of Annapolis Road, the heart of this redeveloping neighborhood. But local proprietors and community leaders say the fears have not panned out. Some say the dour economy is a bigger threat than Wal-Mart. Other store owners credit Wal-Mart for boosting their sales, through both its proximity and community outreach programs.
A study conducted by two Economics professors at West Virginia University, Russell S. Sobel and Andrea M. Dean, titled "Has Wal-Mart Buried Mom and Pop?: The Impact of Wal-Mart on Self Employment and Small Establishments in the United States" 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.As Landover pharamcist Anthony Ramdass states in the Post article,"Wal-Mart was just the big gorilla coming into the community. I think it's perception more than reality."
That statement sums up the intellectual bankruptcy and futility of the anti-Wal-Mart movement.
Monday: The first of several case studies from around Washington state
Technorati Tags: wal-mart walmart