Study shows Wal-Mart’s Negative Impact on Small Business. Kenneth Stone, an emeritus professor of economics at Iowa State University, first coined the term “Wal-Mart phenomenon” in his 1995 study, “Competing with the Discount Mass Merchants.” Stone found that when Wal-Mart came to a town, stores selling different products than Wal-Mart were fine, but those selling the same products struggled. Further, Stone found that the stores that bore the brunt of Wal-Mart’s competition were in towns with populations of less than 5,000 within 20 miles of a Wal-Mart. [Jackson Citizen-Patriot, 7/11/08]

  • Iowa State University and Mississippi State University professors found grocery stores in Mississippi saw sales decline anywhere from 10 to 20% when a Wal-Mart moved in: stores in multiple other categories saw sales declines as well.
  • University of California, 1999, studied grocery stores in California and found “The full economic impact of those lost wages and benefits throughout southern California could approach $2.8 billion per year.”
  • A 2005 report from the AFL-CIO finds that as Wal-Mart’s increasing reliance on imported goods has meant fewer jobs in communities around the country.
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