Beginning humbly enough in Arkansas in 1962, this map demonstrates the Walmart-ification of our country up until 2006. Created by Excel guru Daniel Ferry, it only goes through 2006 and things have only become worse. For a very similar map that shows Walmart’s growth through 2010 - that year it hit 4,393 stores in the U.S., check out Nathan Yau’s version.
When big box stores (I’ll leave it to you to decide just WHICH big-box stores) come to town, they almost always shut down all the mom-and-pop stores in the area they open in. And it’s a pretty simple formula:
1) Move in.
2) Open doors with lower prices than anyone else.
3) Get employees on welfare and Medicaid because you don’t want to pay well or provide medical insurance.
4) Force smaller shops out of business.
5) Raise prices, because now you’re the only game in town.
6) Rinse, repeat 15 miles down the road. I’ve heard some say, “capitalism works this way, and great for the owners of [INSERT_BIG_BOX_STORE_HERE] that they’re able to do so well because at least they create jobs.” To them I say, “At what price?