January 27, 2016

Pulling the plug

A friend suggested a while back that I blog about how Wal-Mart is pulling out of many communities, after driving local businesses out as well. Bloomberg Business has an interesting article on just that.

What's really sad is that a Wal-Mart is closing in one place where it's truly needed: Kimball WV in the state's poorest county of McDowell, which is known among other things for its food deserts. The Spousal Unit and I often rant about the retail giant, but we agree that the Kimball one gets a pass. Too bad they're pulling the plug. A lot of things just won't be available there in a place where travel is hard and people don't have much to spend.

Due to a decades-long decline in coal employment, McDowell has hit hard already. It really didn't need another hit. Wal-Mart no doubt killed local businesses. I'm not sure what will take its place.

1 comment:

Susan J. said...

Thanks Rick - subsequent commentary and interviews from the business podcasts to which I am addicted are connecting the dots between WalMart's announcement a month or two back (?) about raising the minimum wage they pay their "associates."

The implication seems to be that they can have any two of these, but not all 3:
* higher than prevailing wage for comparable jobs in the community
* lower than prevailing prices for comparable merchandise in the community
* keeping open marginally profitable stores

Or rather, that having both of the first two implies the store will not be profitable, and therefore should close.

I mentioned the wage raise to a friend or two yesterday, and watched the recollection of that previous news bit slowly creep into their awareness.

>> sigh <<

Susan J.
former employee of a KMart store opened up across the road from a Walmart in NW Arkansas in 1979 or 1980... back before Walmart was much known outside of Arkansas... when Sam Walton was still in charge...