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Wal Mart

             I live in Mentor, Ohio, a suburb about thirty-five miles east of Cleveland. It used to be all greenhouses, until a few decades ago when it began the process of commercialization, along with other neighboring cities. Big-name stores moved into town, slowly at first. After awhile, along came a shopping mall and stores such as K-Mart. These businesses really began to change the community for the better. As the area became more developed, more people moved there. Eventually Wal-Mart made its way into town. The onset of competition forced K-mart to relocate (less than a mile down the road from the original site, across the street from where the Wal-Mart was being built) and upgrade to a Super K-Mart Center. The difference between K-Mart and Super K-Mart is that Super K-Mart has everything that regular K-Mart has, but it is now also equipped with a complete grocery section. This enables customers to do all of their shopping in one location.
             It all started in 1962. The first Wal-Mart Discount City opened that year in Rogers, Arkansas, and the franchise has been growing exponentially ever since. In 1980 there were 276 stores, and in the year 2000, there are more than 3,400 Wal-Marts in every state of the USA and a handful of foreign countries. These countries include Germany, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and Korea, to name a few. Wal-Mart has aspirations to be globally recognized like McDonald's and Coca-Cola. .
             For five years, the state of Vermont waged a war against Wal-Mart, refusing to let any of these super stores inside state boundaries. Eventually Wal-Mart won the battle and the first store opened in Bennington, Vermont. Instead of expected protests, Wal-Mart's business was booming. During the first week, the store had almost 1.5 times as many transactions as people live in the town. According to "Shopping With the Enemy", town life will never be the same because "people crave the low prices, large selection and convenient parking," offered by discount stores (146).

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