The news broke in my hometown today that our Walmart is closing at the end of the month. I admit, the news comes as sort of a shock to me. I don’t know their business model, but I know they have one priority: to make a profit. So I guess they were not making a profit in Winnsboro, or at least not enough of one.
It is extremely ironic, because just a few weeks ago, a friend and I were discussing the effects of Walmart on small towns like ours. I have shopped there many times, and I like the convenience it offers. However the question remains: in the long-term, is Walmart good for small towns? I don’t think it is. When Walmart comes into a small town, what happens to local business? What happens to main street? In Winnsboro, main street has become a ghost town with the exception of a few local businesses like Price’s Drugstore.
While my heart goes out to those folks losing their jobs, deep down inside, I think this could be one of the best things to happen in a long time. With no big-box store to visit, I sincerely hope locals will step up and fill the gap and create new jobs for some of those now unemployed. I am excited for all those local businesses who have just been getting by all these years. Now is their chance to shine. But a warning to them: don’t price-gouge folks and don’t take unfair advantage of your neighbors. I am willing to pay a little more at a local business because I know the money stays here, but I am not willing to pay a lot more. A final thought: money spent with locals, stays local. Let’s bring business back to Winnsboro.
I am just a simple guy, but that’s the way I see it. It’s time to go check the cows.