Is there a such thing as the “Walmart Effect”? What are your thoughts?

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This is an interesting article about the “Walmart Effect” on small businesses. What are your thoughts?

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The Myth of the Walmart Effect

Everybody knows that when Walmart comes in, local small businesses get wiped out. But as is often the case, everybody is wrong.

Recent research shows that while some small businesses do suffer when the Bentonville behemoth builds nearby, others prosper. And when you dig into it, you find that it may not be Walmart that is hurting small retailers and small communities. It may be that they're hurting themselves, by blindly accepting the what-everybody-knows myth of the Walmart effect.

The research in question appeared in 2009 in Economic Geography, a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. The three researchers hailed from the University of Florida, the University of Toronto and Princeton University — all reputable institutions far removed from Bentonville, Arkansas. Before sharing the details of the results, however, let's discuss the weaknesses in the study.