Here is an excellent opinion written by Thomas Pellechia of the Start Gazette. The article may be found here
For some, Wal-Mart signals the end of an era
September 2, 2007
What is it about Wal-Mart that brings out such controversy?
What is it about so-called superstores or box stores that makes many people want to tear out their hair and the hearts of others?
There’s a lot of talk in Bath about too much traffic, environmental disaster, a threat to small businesses and probably the collapse of civilization, too.
To say that massive stores offering low, low prices (often with low-quality products to match) threaten civilization may be overstating the case.
But consider this: Isn’t it a civilized thing to be able to walk into a local shop, know the proprietor, talk to him or her and feel enriched after leaving the place?
Isn’t it fabulous to spend a few minutes in the local hardware store figuring out with the proprietor what you need for your particular problem?
Didn’t it used to be wonderful to smell the flowers in a florist’s shop and to know and trust the local pharmacist?
Wasn’t it fabulous to select your cut of meat at the butcher’s counter and to converse with your tailor?
The shopping life used to be these things, but unless you live in a major — and old — city like New York, it is no longer that way.
Maybe the loss of communal living is why the Wal-Marts of the world stir such visceral enmity.