Further, Stone found that the stores that bore the brunt of Wal-Mart’s competition were in towns with populations of less than 5,000 within 20 miles of a Wal-Mart. [Jackson Citizen-Patriot, 7/11/08]
- Iowa State University and Mississippi State University professors found grocery stores in Mississippi saw sales decline anywhere from 10 to 20% when a Wal-Mart moved in: stores in multiple other categories saw sales declines as well.
- University of California, 1999, studied grocery stores in California and found “The full economic impact of those lost wages and benefits throughout southern California could approach $2.8 billion per year.”
- A 2005 report from the AFL-CIO finds that as Wal-Mart’s increasing reliance on imported goods has meant fewer jobs in communities around the country.
There's a bit of a "duh" factor in these results, but it does open a conversation we should have as a state, as localities and as a nation: is the much-touted tax revenue from building a Wal-Mart Supercenter worth bankrupting local merchants and vacating historic downtowns?
My personal preference is to avoid Wal-Mart like the plague, given their low labor and environmental standards, not to mention the overwhelming dearth of American-made goods.