Wednesday, March 14, 2007

should we shop at walmart?

Today was the grand opening of a wal mart supercenter. it is 1.6 miles away on the other side of rt 146 so while it is close, it doesn't feel like it is in our neighborhood. there has been some development along the highway and none of it has affected life here at all even though it is pretty close. here's a picture:

Walmart as a retail space is impressive, but the true genius is in their incredibly sophisticated distribution model. Most of the items are never owned by Walmart until right at the point of sale. Their distribution resources are managed at an efficinecy rate upwards of 95% and the capital acquisition arm of their buisness alone would make the fortune 500. They hope to open 300+ stores this year, nearly one per day. Another supercenter opened today abotu 25 miles from here.

But I'm afraid that the damage that they do to local business is undeniable. I'd love to see whitinsville develop into a nice little town with a few shops and restaurants but walmart and the inevitable tgifriday's that will follow will keep people from ever getting to whitinsville at all. Their low prices are good, my elderly neighbors on a fixed income deserve a break and the convenience is there but I'll feel guilty every time I shop there.

The ride to work today was great, and short sleeves (65 degrees) on the way home. It all changes tonight: rain and even snow from now until Saturday morning. Good thing I was born in March or otherwise it would be my least favorite month.

The moon over some farm on the sutton/oxford line on the way to work.

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