Saturday, June 2, 2012

Just What Is a Mom & Pop Store?

Walmart has just achieved another milestone in its bid to open a second store in Florence. Since no graves have been found outside the historic Coffee Cemetery, we may assume the new big box store is now a done deal.

We were a little amused by one proponent's assertion that the new Walmart won't put any local enterprises out of business--he would always shop Big Star and Fred's. While it's true that many national and regional chains are franchised, most are not. Fred's certainly isn't, at least in the Shoals. Let's look at a few.

Fred's Dollar Stores - Home office in Memphis, Tennessee. 670 stores nationally, plus 24 franchises.

Dollar General Stores - Home office in Goodlettesville, Tennessee. 10,000 stores in 40 states.

Family Dollar Stores - Home office in Charlotte, North Carolina. 6,800 stores in 44 states.

Jack's Hamburgers - Home office in Birmingham, Alabama. 100s of stores in four states.

Rick's Barbecue - Home office in Leoma, Tennessee. Seven stores in two states, plus franchises.

So, are Family Dollar Stores local? Charlotte is not exactly a day trip from the Shoals. How about Rick's? They're close to home, but most of the tax dollars produced by these stores go to Tennessee.

It would be great to be able to shop only Mom & Pop stores; unfortunately, that's no longer possible for every purchase. Does that mean we welcome a new Walmart? No, it doesn't, but we do realize things change. Just look around for a video store. How many do you see? That's okay. Payday loan stores soon filled the buildings left vacant...



  1. If you want a camera and photography shop where do you have to go? The closest one is in Huntsville or else you order on line. Who put all ours out of business?

  2. The dollar stores have helped keep me out of WalMart. And the stores listed above aren't mom and pop killers like Walmart either.
    I too saw that comment and am continued to be amazed by such thinking, or lack of it. We need jobs they say. True we do. But the area needs more than part time and minimum wage jobs.