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“Is Wal-Mart Heading for Disaster?”
Will Yelm’s retail decline follow Wal-Mart’s?

“Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) was once the shining example of how to run a growing U.S. retail chain efficiently and profitably. Sam Walton built stores in cities and towns neglected by big-box stores, and once the company built the scale needed, it was able to squeeze suppliers to provide better prices and different products than its competitors. Combine that with a superior inventory management and distribution system, and you have a market-crushing company that beat Kmart, Target (NYSE: TGT ) , and others to dominate discount stores.

This strategy worked for more than four decades, but nothing works forever, and cracks have recently formed in Wal-Mart’s foundation. Cost-conscious consumers have gone online, and consumers who have the ability and the cash to shop at brick-and-mortar stores are looking for more than just low prices. Target has taken design to the masses in everything from clothing to kitchenware, targeting a higher end of the market than Wal-Mart and gaining shares in the process. That focus has resulted in not only higher margins than Wal-Mart but also stronger growth in the U.S.

Target isn’t the only one slowly eating away at Wal-Mart’s retail lead.

Costco (NASDAQ: COST) is outperforming Sam’s Club by most measures, despite a bigger footprint.
Then there’s Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) , which is taking share from everyone and is the new elephant in the room.
[Costco & Amazon are two Puget Sound-based powerhouses!],” quoting Travis Hoium, in The Motley Fool.
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Editor’s Note:
In the last decade, the City of Yelm has put so much effort into attracting multinational, corporate retail chains here and rely on sales from Wal-Mart, in particular, to point to Yelm’s “healthy economy.”
In doing so, small, locally owned businesses have been abandoned here, the very bedrock of this town, i.e. Yelm True Value Hardware’s recent closing and a whole host of others.
Now, Yelm’s venerable Gordon’s Garden Center is for sale, too!

Posted by Steve on October 14, 2013 at 5:59 am | Permalink

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