How many Wal-Marts do we need?

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, has proposed building a 207,205-square-foot “supercenter” on Kathleeen Road at I-4, but the company will have to allay the concerns of city planning officials on traffic and zoning issues.– Lakeland Ledger

Seriously, I live just off downtown Lakeland and there are seven Wal-Marts within 15 miles of my house. Five of them are “Super Stores.” They’re building another at the Polk Parkway and Lakeland Highlands Road.

On average, entry by either a Kmart or a Wal-Mart store displaces forty to fifty
percent of the small discount firms. — What Happens When Wal-Mart Comes to Town: An
Empirical Analysis of the Discount Retailing Industry by Panle Jia

I’d be interested to hear from Wal-Mart fans. Do you believe we need that many this close to town? Do you shop at only Superstores?

I remember when Wal-Mart campaigned that it was a Buy American kind of store. Well, Sam Walton is dead. Here’s what I read now:

According to Ted Fishman, author of the newly published China, Inc., “…there’s a Chinese component in virtually every aisle you walk there in Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart is the conduit for all of the output of the Chinese economy directly into American lives.” Fishman also notes, “…70 percent of the things sold in Wal-Mart stores have a Chinese component to them.” And a stock analyst for Gladstone Capital notes that figure is even higher, saying, “They have about 70 percent of their products coming from China, not including the food products.” The “Buy American” program has virtually vanished, as “its shelves bear little trace of the ‘Buy American’ philosophy of its founder,” notes the Washington Post. [CNN, 2/16/05; NPR, 2/12/05; Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 3/27/05; Gladstone Capital Quarterly Shareholders Call, 2/10/05; Washington Post, 10/29/03] — Walmartwatch.com

I’m obviously pro-local ownership of businesses. I’m also pro-growth and responsible corporations. I just would like to know where Wal-Mart stands.

Update: Jan 18, 2007: Wal-Mart canceled a meeting with the city about the new store: “The city has not rescheduled the meeting. Earlier city officials told The Ledger the property was not zoned for a supercenter and that they had concern the roads could handle the increased traffic”

4 thoughts on “How many Wal-Marts do we need?

  1. I believe the Lakeland Highlands and Polk Parkway construction is a new Sam’s Club.

  2. I believe the Lakeland Highlands and Polk Parkway construction is a new Sam’s Club.

  3. Oh. Thought it was another Wal-Mart. Make that seven..maybe eight..Wal-Mart’s and a Sam’s Club all withing 15 miles.

    It still doesn’t make sense.

  4. Oh. Thought it was another Wal-Mart. Make that seven..maybe eight..Wal-Mart’s and a Sam’s Club all withing 15 miles.

    It still doesn’t make sense.

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