updated 3/15/2007 1:15:33 PM ET 2007-03-15T17:15:33

Is Wal-Mart a friend or foe to a local neighborhood?

Some people responding to our recent article about communities opposing Wal-Mart development said they would — or are — fighting the retailer's presence in their backyards. But others said they wished there was a Wal-Mart closer by.

Here are a few excerpts:

Give neighborhoods choice
Wal-Mart should not be allowed into any neighborhood that chooses not to have one. They do not offer the savings they claim to offer. They are no longer customer- or neighbor-friendly.

Welcome Wal-Mart
Perhaps small-town America needs to become bigger-town America.  I would relish a Wal-Mart in my backyard.  It would provide jobs and low-priced goods.
-A is A

I'd rather move
Wal-Mart is trying to build yet another Supercenter in my area. I can say if they succeed in building the one close to me, I will put my house up for sale and get out. We have three Supercenters within 10 miles and do not need it. We live in a small residential area, and I moved there for the mom-and-pop-type stores and less traffic.

No opposition in suburban Philly
Personally, I would love to see a (Wal-Mart Supercenter) come to my area. I have access to two regular Wal-Marts reasonably close by, and I hate them because they simply don’t have the selection. The closest (Supercenter) is 45 miles away. I am lucky, I guess, that in my area — suburban Philadelphia — we don’t really have issues where people don’t want to see them sprout up.
-19061 is home

We need jobs, bargains
Many of us want one in our area. Although I keep hearing about how poor the pay is, I live in the country, and not only do we need more jobs, but Wal-Mart pays better than almost anyone else.  Also, there are many things that a lot of people could not afford to buy if it weren't for Wal-Mart.
-fire the repubs

Too many in Texas
When I lived in Massachusetts, it was a 20- to 30-mile drive to a Wal-Mart.  I loved to go to the store and just window shop for craft ideas or whatever. Now, I live outside Dallas, Texas, and we have over 10 (!) Wal-Mart stores in a 10-mile radius of our town.  That to me is ridiculous and abusive of the other businesses in the area.

Better than local stores
Wal-Mart may have low wages and benefits, but they still pay a whole lot better than the "mom & pop" businesses in our town that paid their employees minimum wage and no (benefits) whatsoever at the time Wal-Mart arrived.  Plus, the prices in the small local stores were so darn high.

Lost Wal-Mart fight
I was part of a fight to keep Wal-Mart out of my home town in Baxter, Minnesota. They tore down over 30 acres of forest land to put up their new store (less than a mile away from their old store). The Supercenter is less than 100 yards away from (my) boyhood home, and citizens did everything to keep them from building a new store, to no avail.

Misses Wal-Mart
My husband and I just recently moved to the Chicago area from Reno, Nev. I have found it very difficult to find a grocery store that I can afford on my budget. The one and only thing I truly miss about Reno is the four Wal-Mart Supercenters I had to chose from. So yes,I would love to have a Wal-Mart Supercenter near my home.

Don't need another one
They want to build one by my house and I already have three within five miles.  We do not need another in Avondale, Ariz.!
-Gary M

Wal-Mart forces others out
Wal-Marts are showing up on every corner and that is not a good thing.  I come from very rural Minnesota where the only shopping is at a Wal-Mart unless you want to drive 45 minutes away to a small mall.  The reason ... is because Wal-Mart has forced the other hometown (“mom and pop”) stores to close.

Wal-Mart wanted
I live in a town here in southern Illinois that has more cows than people. The nearest Wal-Mart is 25 miles away. ... Wal-Mart tried to put a store out by the interstate three years ago, (but) the city council bumped it right out. The so-called mom-and-pop stores are nearly non-exsistent anymore, and the ones that are here are so overpriced that Wal-Mart is a relief, financialy. I'll drive the 50 miles to get whatever it is that I need.

Don't shop at Wal-Mart
If you don’t want a Wal-Mart in your backyard, don’t shop in one in someone else’s backyard.  The only way Wal-Mart will stop building more and more stores is if they do not have the business that will support more stores.

Use land for parks, not stores
I don't want another Wal-Mart in my city of Aurora, Colo. We have three within a 10-mile radius of each other. All this has done is add to the traffic and congestion as well as consume land that could've been made into a public park — so families could do something really strange, like have picnics, bike and walk.

Wal-Mart welcome in my backyard
I would love to have a Wal-Mart in my backyard, and it should be my right to sell my yard to them.  If you don't want it there, then you buy the land.  ... If you like mom-and-pop shops, then shop at them and keep them open.  If you think Wal-Mart doesn't pay enough, then don't work there.

One is OK, not five
I don't have an issue with Wal-Mart building a store for a community, but five Supercenters in my area of 200,000 people is a little much — no, it is too much.  One or even two would have been sufficient.
-Rob Balch

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