Walmart Creeps On In

Walmart has been trying to get into Eureka, California's pants for years.  First it made overt attempts to move in by the bay.  Citizens, as to be expected, spoke out against it and eventually halted the retail giant's tumorous growth.  You had to be daft not to think it would try again ... and try it did.  Now it is coming to the Bayshore Mall, where it doesn't have to go through zoning issues and whatnot.  Instead, it just enters the cavity Gottschalk's left behind.  You can imagine the reaction.

The pros are: more variety, more jobs, more income, better prices, on more place to safely wear your pjs in public without the threat of ridicule.  The cons: what happens to local stores, the homogenization of America, what happens when the local stores close, the jobs created won't be very good.


I've written about local businesses versus corporations before.  I'm not going to get back into it here as my thoughts on the matter have not changed.  Eureka likes to think it's pretty elitist, but a quick look around shows that there is really nothing substantial there.  Eureka also likes to support local businesses no matter how crappy the service, how high the prices and how little variety there is.  That is fine.  Walmart will change none of that, though it may force a few businesses to change how they operate or face going under.  The end result is still the same, though: If you don't like shopping there, don't go.  Enough people don't go and the store will be forced to shut down.  My guess is -- that won't happen.  As much as people like local stores, there is a certain primal consumer draw to cheap condoms.

I've never stepped foot in Walmart and probably never will.  It's not that I'm anti-box stores.  A big business is just as greedy as a small one.  It's that I don't feel the need to and based on the people I've encountered who love that place ... well, I wouldn't want to be around them when they see a sale sign on some four-year-old Will Ferrell movie.  I sense a trough-like mentality among the faithful, and that always scares me.

Welcome to Eureka, Walmart.  Remember, we've got a lot of activists here, so check your locks and make sure you've got plenty of store security.  As for the consumers who have been masturbating daily since the corporate giant's arrival was concerned -- more power to you.  The lesson to be learned here is that if you pray hard enough your dreams, no matter how small they are, may one day come true.

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