Letter: We must be vigilant to keep Walmart at bay
January 6, 2015
To the Editor:
Thank you Mr. Hall for your letter about Walmart. I wholeheartedly agree, and I hope that Walmart is not thinking of coming to our county and more importantly that local leaders are not thinking of encouraging a store to locate here.
I grew up in a very small farming community in Illinois. Of course, it was perhaps inevitable that the local downtown in the nearest small city would eventually lose its lady's dress shops, shoe stores, drugstore, etc. But it happened quickly and radically when Walmart showed up.
I remember the Kroger store and the K-Mart both struggling to stay open for a few years. They couldn't because Walmart came in and slashed prices of milk and other staples so deeply that customers turned away from the smaller stores in droves. Now 20 years later the downtown is all but gone. There's a bank and a lawyer's office, a tattoo parlor, one jewelry store and a florist. The town citizens even have a page on Facebook, trying to save the little city. But the Walmart parking lot alone is full.
I'm not saying all of this is the fault of Walmart; there are other economic and regional factors, but I do remember what the company did to purposefully try to run supermarkets out of business.
As a local retiree I understand that I'm not as concerned about prices as a family with children in the house. But we have Safeway and City Market, Ace Hardware, stores that support our communities in many ways. And the number of small businesses and markets are too numerous to mention. They all attempt to provide quality products and great customer service. Why would anyone want to jeopardize the success of the stores that currently serve us so well?
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Well, I'm hoping it's just a rumor and that Walmart doesn't want us. However, I think Mr. Hall is right. We have to be vigilant and resist this corporation at every turn.
Linda H. Spaet