E-Mail Forum
The Big Box Retain Store Debate
May 11, 2001

Big box stores are an institution in the American landscape. In California, due to our state tax structure, big box stores and the sales taxes they generate are the engines that drive municipal finances. I think we all appreciate the low prices that big box stores offer, however recent data indicates that those price advantages tend to disappear once the big boxes are established and the local competition has been driven away. It is also widely accepted that 80% of the profits of the big boxes leave the communities in which they are located. You may be interested in the following television documentary about the ultimate big box store, Wal-Mart:

STORE WARS: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town will air nationwide on PBS on Thursday, June 7 at 10:00 pm. (check local listings)

STORE WARS follows the one-year conflict that polarizes Ashland, Virginia, population 7,200, when Wal-Mart decides it wants to build a megastore on the edge of town. The ensuing debate pits neighbor against neighbor in a battle as protracted and bitter as those fought in the Old West between ranchers and farmers over land-use issues. The struggle between conflicting versions of the American dream has on one side those who want to preserve their seemingly idyllic small-town way of life versus those who believe in the positive economic benefits Wal-Mart promises. STORE WARS is about the right of a community to determine its own future: Which values are most important? Who gets to decide? Presented by ITVS, STORE WARS will be broadcast on PBS on Thursday, June 7 at 10 p.m. (check local listings).

The above information was provided by the Local government Commission, of which the City of Richmond is a member. For further information, contact:

Erin Hauge, Membership Coordinator. 
Local Government Commission 
1414 K Street, Suite 600 
Sacramento, CA 95814 
ph: (916) 448-1198 
fax: (916) 448-8246 
email: members@lgc.org 
web: www.lgc.org  

“Over 20 Years of Building Livable Communities”