TRIKONE
Wal-Mart and Small Businesses
This article originally appeared in centreright.in. CRI content has now been subsumed in swarajyamag.com. The views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of swarajyamag.com

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