Funny thing is: When Walmart hits a town, suddenly a lot of businesses, especially ma and pas, get shut down real quick like. And yes, the veil has been getting lifted on WalMart's behind the scenes activities.
They remind of the Borg in Star Trek. They're so big and they seem unstoppable. "Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated." :p
Let me tell you all a little story.
As you can see by my location, I live in what probably would be described as a medium sized town. Population is somehwhere around 250,000 thereabouts.
One thing I do miss about my former home was that I had a Best Buy, Circuit City, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and any other big chain you want to name within five minutes of where I lived. (That's about the only good thing I have to say about my former home.)
Now, you have Walmart and Super Walmart and Sam's Club. Period. There's a regular Walmart on the west side of town where I live, and the Super is on the east side of town. Kmart is about dead thanks to them, there is no Target, no Best Buy, no CC, etc. The closest BB and CC, and BN and Borders are 45 minutes away in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Wal Mart owns this town outright, and I don't like that. I don't like any one company having such command like that. The ma and pa businesses are being killed off left and right, and there is no competition against Wal Mart nearby. That sucks for the economy.
I have written every major company and begged them to come closer to our area and I am going to continue to do so. I don't want ANY one company to have that kind of command like that. It's wrong and it hurts the economy. That's nothing personal against WM per se.
WM has a little bit of everything, but not enough. I have become a real great Amazon customer since moving here! Their good about having latest releases of DVDs and CDs, but there's no backlog, so if you want to go deeper, you have to go to the Internet or drive to Fort Wayne if you live where I am at. That stinks.
Sanyo has made a genius move here. They will establish themselves as THE entry level HDTV thanks to the alliance with Walmart. Awesome move for them. Pity Zenith and some others don't get the idea and make simillar alliances. Sanyo is going to ultimately own my town in terms of the HD market thanks to this setup. Amazing marketing decision!
I so wish a Best Buy would move into town. That would shake things up mightily. We NEED a Best Buy here!
Just a FWIW anecdote for perspective. :p