ITT Tech Institute
ENG 1320: Grammar and Comp
Mega Retailers vs. Moms and Pops
Do mega retailers have a major impact on small town businesses? When global giants such as Wal-Mart or Lowes move into a town, are the smaller and family owned businesses forced out of business? These are a few questions many people have asked. Research has been conducted to evaluate these large retailers impact on communities across America. Wal-Mart, one of the biggest corporate giants, has “over 67 billion in annual sales, and more than 2,000 stores”, continues their push on rural communities, opening stores “almost every other day” across the United States. (Norman, 1994, pg 418) Are these mega retailers a convenience that most people want or is it important that we keep our rural communities to preserve small town living. Either way, if someone was to look at the situation, there would be many pros and cons for each side of the argument. First, let me begin with the positive impacts large corporations have on a community. Mega retailers help cities grow by providing jobs, with competitive wages and benefits, such as health insurance or retirement plans. They increase commercial and residential land values in local communities. Large retailers provide revenue to local governments through taxes. “Super centers not only brings lower prices” to local communities “but through competition reduce prices of competing stores” as well. (Harris, 2006, p 1311) This helps with the cost of living in an area. Rural communities tend to have higher prices on merchandise than metropolitan areas. Everywhere you look, whether it is in a major metropolitan area or small town community, you see global giants of industry, from commercial to fast food. These retailers are shaping how business is done in today’s society. As cities around the world grow, a company’s success or failure will be determined by how they can adapt to changes in the market locally, nationally and globally. Trying to stop these retail giants would mean fighting against local governments looking to increase small town’s revenue. Small businesses and local owned chains many find it hard to compete in the same market, forcing them to close their doors and go out of business. In the financial market, loans are still being granted to these mega corporations while local business owners are finding it difficult to find financial support from banks and credit agencies. “Lenders are seeing more risk in the economy-whether justified or not-and are building a greater premium into their pricing.” (Knell, 2009, p 42) By doing this, it almost eliminates any new growth of local family owned businesses. Customer service becomes impacted and most likely, you wouldn’t receive the same service from these corporate giants as you would with a locally owned mom and pops store. As David W. Boyd wrote, “One of the frequently lamented consequences of this migration to larger retail outlets is the loss off personal service offered by the friendly and informative salesperson found in small retail establishments.” (Boyd, Mar97, p223) Mega retailors set precedence on economic growth rather than excellent service from experts in their fields or work. Are these one-stop convenient stores taking away our historic and local mom and pop’s shops that once filled our downtown areas? These big box retailers are clearing out small town businesses. Store fronts that lined our local downtowns throughout America, are closing their doors. “President Clinton’s former secretary of labor, Robert B. Reich, wrote in a 2005 New York Times op-ed that Wal-Mart turns ‘main streets into ghost towns by sucking business away from small retailers.’ “(Dean, A. & Sobel, R., Regulation Spring, 2008) Driving through my local downtown I can see what he meant. Everywhere you look, there are empty store fronts either being remodeled, in hopes of new businesses to come, or...