Hide the children. Wal-Mart is coming.

Oh, mama. Can it get any worse than this? The buzz in the community where I live is that a Super Wal-Mart is coming. Super.

The Akron Beacon Journal mentioned this last week — although admitting it is still in the rumor stage. But it is likely. I live in a suburb of Akron, Copley. And Copley is adjacent to Montrose — which is basically these days a parking lot of cars inching toward either Akron or Medina. When we moved here 15 some years ago, this was a scenic rural community. So it goes. Long gone are the small businesses that add character to a community.

But the public relations point is this. Why does Wal-Mart have such a bad reputation? Very few of us really embrace change. Yet in my ethics class at Kent State, I ask students early in the semester what company they consider to be unethical. Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart. Not even a close second. And this “reputation” makes it very difficult for the locals to get enthusiastic about a Super Wal-Mart down the street, in what was previously a pristine environment. Better we would get a Super Starbucks. Just kidding.

So who knows what will happen. A Wal-Mart spokesman says the company has not bought any property as yet. But the Beacon Journal indicated that property could be acquired by third parties.

Alert the poets.

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4 responses to “Hide the children. Wal-Mart is coming.

  1. What land are they looking at exactly? This news makes me want to throw something sharp. And furthermore, there are only 13,800 people living in the entire township, with a good chunk of the people working on their own farms. Why do they need a Super Wal-Mart? I say you round up a sort of A Team of former condo Kaisers (who, like you, have little else to do with your time!), and get yourself to that zoning meeting with “We Don’t Want Your Cheap Plastic Crap That Will Destroy Our Community By Systematically Destroying Our Small Business And Our Environment” signs). In all seriousness though, I’m leaving it up to you to get yourself to the planning board meeting and make an impassioned speech. More and more small communities are saying “no” and it sometimes works. Alert the poets indeed.

  2. The rumor is that Wal-Mart is looking at land near Cleveland-Massillon Road and Rothrock Road, somewhere around Best Buy, etc.

    Condo Kaisers! I like that.

  3. I agree with Jessica…When I was in high school, I remember Wal-Mart tried to move in a few towns over in Irwin, PA. The townspeople picketed the area the company wanted to buy and there was a lot of riot at the townhall meetings. The ‘We’ the people actually won that battle! However, Wal-Mart abandoned the land which they started building on. To this day, there’s a road up a lonely hill that leads to nothing. But the brightside, no Wal-Mart.

  4. Missy,

    Thanks for your comment. There’s hope! I think it is interesting how much opposition there is to Wal-Mart these days. So we’ll see. The amazing thing about this is that there is already a Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club close by.

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