There are three steps in this process for the residents and none of them will be very satisfactory. First, the townspeople realize they have nothing left to go to - because in many cases, after fighting a losing battle against the giant retailer, the smaller stores have often closed. Secondly, the senior citizens and those on fixed incomes will now struggle to find a place to get their prescriptions and the things they became accustomed to over the last 10 years or so. And third, they have to find a way to get to their new shopping destination. Many communities are organizing weekly bus trips to the next Walmart, 40 minutes away, which only serves to create even more distance between spending and local infrastructure......it's a horrible cycle and we are going to see it over and over again.
January 2016: Wal-Mart: It Came, It Conquered, Now It's Packing Up and Leaving
Let's recap. Many Walmarts rode into small cities/larger towns with the promise of jobs, tax benefits, generously funded often by the rural communities themselves. Absorbing the cost of a new road, access lanes, traffic signals and more isn't cheap but giddy over the prospect of a Super-center, leaders and officials across the country choose to help the giant grow. Once open, Walmart proceeded to tantalize customers with their low prices. Sadly many locals chose the glamor of the mega-store over the longtime independents, who were unable to offer competitive pricing, and ultimately often closed. Following the loss of in some places, almost ALL other retail outlets, Walmart basically ran the local economy - until that store shut down - leaving an entire zip code scrambling for options. Anyone wonder how many below income areas and towns might be affected? Because you don't see the closings in let's say, Northern Virginia, where there is an Awful-mart every 10 minutes.....nope, you see these closings happening in places where people have come to depend upon them BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING LEFT IN TOWN.
See this post from the American Independent Business Alliance on Facebook in February 2016: What happens to a tiny town when Walmart disappears? "Now that Walmart’s leaving, too, as one of 154 U.S. stores the company closed in January, the town might be snuffed out for good."
This post offers a real-life look at what I believe took place over and over again across rural America:
I guess it's throwing stones to say that the local towns and cities which oohed and aaahed over the arrival of the Evil Empire are NOW seeing a predicament far worse than what they had. I'm sure they know that NOW, when their schools can't be upgraded, the tax revenue is dropping through the floor and the jobs are gone in their vacant towns......