Walmart is an issue I'm torn over. On one hand, their convenience is very attractive, make one stop and get everything from a haircut and lunch to groceries and clothes all while getting an eye exam and changing your oil. On the other hand, they are the absolute death of "Mom and Pop" businesses everywhere.
A short time back I was working on a project and needed a few odd nuts and bolts, specialty type fasteners, that I knew my local small town hardware store had in stock. I decided to stop off on my way to work and pick up what I needed and go into work a few minutees late. As I sat there at 7:30, waiting for someone to open the door, I looked at the sign only to see they didn't open until 8:30 A.M.! I was somewhat shocked. I mean, if you think about it, most people who need hardware are on their way to work in the mornings and at work a long time before these folks opened up. If they were in the retail clothing business or appliances I could understand it, but hardware is for people who are generally at work early with no time to run around in the middle of the day. Combine this with nearly getting locked up inside the store if you're there at 5:00 P.M. and it makes it hard to do business with them.
The whole point to this rant is, I hear a lot of business owners complain about Walmart hurting their business but these same business owners don't try to help themself in a lot of cases by working with their customers and meeting their needs. The bottom line was, I decided, that if they didn't need my business enough to be open early or late enough for me to shop with them, I'd do business with the "Big Box" store too. Walmart, Lowes and Target do hurt small business but we're not living in Norman Rockwell's America anymore either, times change. I don't know the solution but it's not as simpleas running the "Big Boxes" out of town.