Ru­ral Amer­i­cans weren’t too happy when Wal­mart rolled into town. Now it’s leav­ing them in the lurch

It’s clos­ing more than 100 small stores, leav­ing towns in the lurch “We had a phar­macy and a per­fectly sat­is­fac­tory gro­cery”

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - Conntents -

The Town ’n Coun­try gro­cery in Ori­en­tal, N.C., a lo­cal fix­ture for 44 years, closed its doors in Oc­to­ber, un­able to com­pete with a Wal­mart Ex­press. Three months later—and less than two years af­ter the Wal­mart ar­rived—the retail gi­ant is pulling out, leav­ing Ori­en­tal with no gro­cery store and no phar­macy.

Mom-and-pop stores have steadily dis­ap­peared from many small com­mu­ni­ties across Amer­ica over the past three decades as Wal­mart Stores me­thod­i­cally ex­panded. Now many of the Wal­marts are dis­ap­pear­ing, too, as part of the gi­ant chain’s plan to shut­ter 269 out­lets world­wide, leav­ing some towns with no gro­cery stores at all.

“I was dev­as­tated when I found out,” says Barb Ven­turi, mayor pro tem for Ori­en­tal, a re­tire­ment and sum­mer va­ca­tion town along the in­ter­coastal wa­ter­way with a pop­u­la­tion of about 900. Be­fore the big re­tailer’s ar­rival,

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