The Spread of Wal*Mart

Flowing Data has a map showing the spread of Wal*Mart stores from 1964 to the present (but only in the United States). You can zoom in or out while the video runs. The burst of new locations at the very end is for proposed sites. Link -via the Presurfer

Walmart is a disease.

The town I grew up in had a thriving, fun, adventurous downtown area 20 years ago. Then walmart came. The downtown area is laughable now. Candy stores - gone. Toy/gift stores- gone. Florist shops - gone. Clothing stores -gone. hardware shop - gone. Mom n pop groceries - gone. Sports shops/athletic shops - gone. music stores - vanished. All that manages to stay afloat downtown is a dotting of hair salons, money lenders, morgage brokers, banks, insurance companies, and buisnesses that get a majority of customers from the internet. Who wants to have a day out, and go downtown for that?? nooobody.

If you live in a small town, and don't have a walmart yet... DON'T DO IT! protest, write letters to the city, vote against it, do whatever you can.

Once walmart is in, everyone shops there for "convienience" whether prices are cheaper or not, and the life is drained of a town. Once the damage is done, you have no choice BUT to go to walmart because all the other buisnesses are no longer there.

Walmart is a virus, its a disease that attacks and destroys small towns. I wish there was some way to topple the damn company. Its pure evil.
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It's capitalism folks. If the customers weren't there shopping, those stores wouldn't exist. If the people didn't want it, it wouldn't exist. But the people do want it of their own volition. If you don't like that fact, you either have an inflated ego and think that wall-mart customers are less intelligent than you...or you don't like capitalism.....or you're a blindfolded passenger on a bandwagon :)
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All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

@notfromconcentrate, compare the shoppers at a Walmart to the shoppers at Target. Night and day.
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What can ya do?? They still have the best prices anywhere. When people have a limited income they are going to go to the store that gives them the most for their money. However, I do agree that there doesn't necessarily have to be one every 5 miles.
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CS, if you want to see what happens when a company reaches that threshold take a look at Starbucks. They were on the same course, but now are starting to cutback. I think Mcdonalds has as well (we had 3 in our town at one point).

I wonder though, if that animation took into effect stores that relocated or closed.
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It is interesting to watch the growth early on. It shows how they build a foundation to expand on. They grew a lot like the old A&P supermarkets did. I wonder if old Sam copied them?
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It makes you think - how many small town stores did they put out of business to sell their sweatshop merchadise? I also agree with Observant Dan, it is like a disease spreading that kills local economy.
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When people say 'It's capitalism people,get a clue!' might as well say 'It's cancer people, get a clue!' ... because unrestrained growth- for the sake of growth- is the ideology of the cancer cell too.
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Jay: There is a key difference between Cancer and Wall-Mart. Cancer is an invasive disease that kills people. Wall-Mart is a store. But then I suppose you were just being Also, while it is a shame that Wall-Mart DOES drive the fabled "mom and pop" stores out of business,the boutique shop population has skyrocketed in the past twenty or so years. Mom and pop may be forced to diversify or move on to something else. I notice no one sheds the same crocodile tears when Small farms and natural resource based economies are decimated by the environmental lobby that bases it's arguments on highly suspect scientific findings and outright lies. Of course, simple government expansion is to blame for this imposed poverty in many rural areas of the U.S. Hey! maybe government regulation is a cancer! It certainly drives many more small businesses to extinction than Wall-Mart does.
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True that notfromconcentrate.

Penn & Teller took on Wal-Mart Haters in Season 5 of Penn & Teller's Bullsh!t!

Southpark had fun with it too. I think that Reason Magazine had an article on it as well.

People who hate Wal-Mart and shop at target are stupid as well. If you can't stand Capitalism and you favor government regulation, then please by all means learn to speak and read in Spanish. Cuba and Venezuela are not too far away.
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wow. just wow. DAMN i hate wal mart.

you know that the ONLY reason anyone can give me for shopping at wal-mart is that they have the cheapest prices? give me another reason to go there and i might.

i DON'T shop at wal-mart because of their cheap prices. because it's the principle behind WHY their prices are so cheap. because they have devalued absolutely everything we know to be a rare commodity. because they have instilled their belief that anything can be replaced instead of updated or fixed. because their new motto (save money, live better) is manipulative and degrading.

and the only choice we have is to shop or not shop there. oh capitalism... i learned in my marketing class last year that the only reason wal-mart cannot be considered a monopoly (and therefore be somewhat regulated) is because they technically still have a fair-share of competition. ironic thing though- their competition is f-ing Target. and Kmart. and the rest of the giant multi-billion-dollar companies. ah yes... the free economy... sniff it while it still exists.
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