Wal-Mart Opinions In the Town

Wal-Mart has finally found a loophole to sneak their way into Corvallis. With the current Corvallis zoning laws limiting the size of big box retailers, it made it easy for our town to remain Wal-Mart free as their super centers are much larger in square footage. However, following their new grocery promotion endeavor we have all seen on those pesky commercials, Wal-Mart is coming to Corvallis with the intent of a store that acts like another Safeway, Market of Choice, or Winco. Thinking about the repercussions this could have on local grocery stores and Corvallis citizens, we hit the streets to see what people had to say about the Wal-Mart arrival.

Cindee Lolik, the general manager for First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op in Corvallis, stated that “I don’t think Wal-Mart coming will have an impact on the co-op because our customers normally stay away from large chain stores.” She does however think it will have a negative impact on the already busy traffic on Ninth Street.

David Nove, a local student and National Guard Soldier, said “I hope that local businesses can still succeed, but I am happy because of their large selection and cheap prices.”

Corvallis’ Grocery Outlet Bargain Market owner Terry Neuman stated “we welcome them. It’s free enterprise. This is what America’s all about. We’ve been here 25 years in the community. We have a very loyal customer base, and we’re a family-owned operation. We are very involved in the community. We have very competitive prices, and I think we’ll compete very well head to head with them.”

Mariko Harris, a local student and resident, stated “I think that, overall, Wal-Mart coming is a negative aspect to our community because it does not benefit the Corvallis lifestyle. I would not shop there, because I have other grocery stores that I support more, such as Market of Choice. I also think that as a corporation they are making a bad decision by bringing in an unnecessary grocery store when Corvallis has so many as it is. I think that, as a business standpoint, they would do better by bringing a clothing store or household store because Corvallis has fewer of those and that type of store would appeal to the student population more so than would another grocery store.”

Gabe Acock, an Oregon State University Student of public health says he thought it was a conflict of interest; “there are too many similar businesses in the same area.”

Shivangi Agrawal, another student of Oregon State University, said “it’s a great thing for students because it is always hard to afford expensive groceries.” She also mentioned that she would go to the Albany Wal-Mart once a month for groceries and she will now have a more local option.

Evan Murry, a local Corvallis resident, stated “it’s not a good idea because there are too many grocery stores.” He also said that he would continue to shop at his normal stores for groceries and that the new coming Wal-Mart would not change that.

The following are statements from Corvallis residents that wanted to remain anonymous.

“I am against it because it takes away from local grocers and I support the local movement.”

“Corvallis residents tend to be loyal to the local stores and Wal-Mart won’t change that.”

“Corvallis has character like other college towns do. Wal-Mart won’t change anything in a small town.”

The survey of our town has shown that we all have mixed feelings. College students tend to be more receptive to the upcoming Wal-Mart as it provides a cheaper alternative for them. Other grocery stores don’t seem to feel any major threat, because they have widespread customer loyalty. It seems that we are a neutral town as far as opinion goes about the new addition.

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13 thoughts on “Wal-Mart Opinions In the Town

    1. Here’s the key statement:

      “College students tend to be more receptive to the upcoming Wal-Mart as it provides a cheaper alternative for them.”

      The student population in the mid 2000’s was somewhere around 20,000 students, then in 2008-09 it jumped up to 22,000 and again up to 25,000 this year. The university has released statements that growth is expected to continue, but more rapidly, predicting 28,000 this fall and 30,000 by the next year. With a population of 55,000 people, permanent residents are becoming less of a majority of the Corvallis Public. More students means more parking, and more parking means those zoning laws are soon to change to fit the University’s needs, as it acts as a star that the rest of the city orbits around. This not only affects laws if they decide to vote in local elections, it also affects the consumer power of the Corvallis dollar. If a majority of the students that come and go spend their money at Wal-Mart instead of the other options all over town, it is inevitable that they will all lose business, whether or not they are able to “compete” with Wal-Mart’s prices. While the “Corvallis Community” may not welcome Wal-Mart with open arms and continue to shop local and carry on the culture of Corvallis, random students that come and go every term do not share the same sentiment, nor do they care about any sort of “local movement.”

      If you do some research, you will notice that this “Neighborhood Market” idea is something Wal-Mart has recently started doing all over the country, and the interesting thing is that the target markets are “Liberal” urban communities and cities where zoning laws were specifically designed to keep them out. Places like Portland and Chicago suburbs are becoming home to these “Neighborhood Markets,” not small towns in Mississippi. In essence, it is the opposition to Wal-Mart that has them looking to build here in the first place.

  1. A business needs shoppers, so if a business is to survive then they need a supportive Community. If Wal-Mart is to survive, which I believe it will, then its survival will truly show what type of Community Corvallis is.

    I believe Corvallis has painted this Local Community based picture, but the picture is a wolf dressed in sheep clothing. Look at First Alternative Co-op. Alternative is in their name, but if look under the covers, you notice nothing different from other major chains. The Co-ops pricing far beats or matches other major chains. And their top 1% employees are paid nicely, especially the new GM from the East Coast.

    All Grocery stores have four walls and isles, and offer similar products. I say let’s see what type of Community Corvallis has, and allow Wal-Mart to do business. If Corvallis is truly a Local Community based City, then Wal-Mart will fail.

  2. Walmart is building a Monopoly and their competition will fail as Walmart has the buying power no other Grocery chain has. Shop Winco,Safeway ,Market of Choice anywhere but Walmart. Albertsons is already leaving Corvallis WHOS NEXT? Thanks Corvallis City Government.

    1. Wal-Mart only offers products for sale, so is it Wal-Mart creating the Monopoly? If no one came through Wal-Mart’s doors and purchase goods, Wal-Mart wouldn’t be a Monopoly and probably wouldn’t even exist as a chain. It is the Corvallis Community, which will make Wal-Mart or break it.

      I believe Wal-Mart is needed. It isn’t because Wal-Mart offers something I think is needed. My thoughts extend beyond the basics of power and corruption; basically it comes as simple as our needs. Wal-Mart has come to be dominant, and their dominance comes, not from simply being, but from the people of Corvallis. It is the Corvallis people wanting things. The Community based stores offer similar items; their pricing, however, reflect the owners 2,000+ square foot home and their new Hybrid.

      Wal-Mart is needed in keeping First Alternative Co-op and others in checks. Co-op pricing is through the roof, and basically they offer nothing new. The Co-op prides over their work with the Community, but that isn’t anything new. Other major chains are doing similar Community based advertising. I guess the only difference, I see, is the Co-op is small relative to other major chains, yet you will pay similar when you shop the Co-op.

      The Co-op once was a good place until profit and motive came to dominant. Instead of focusing on something (Wal-mart) that probably wouldn’t exist, focus on the Community local offerings, and insist that they change. Keeping Wal-mart out of Corvallis, Co-op and others needs a new direction. Especially the Farmers Market!

      1. Competition is a good thing but in Walmarts case with thieir massive buying power no other stores can compete,Walmart could sell lots of items for Zero profit or at a Loss and still survive. Many stores will suffer and may have to close or layoffs and part time workers will result. Walmart is getting so big in this Country with nearly 4000 stores 450 Billion in yearly gross sales Worldwide. Walmart is now going into the stand alone Grocery Store format with nearly 200 stores already. The Federal FairTrade Comission shoud take a close look at Walmart. When Walmarts competition is eliminated prices will soar! It is now time for the people to have a public vote if Walmart is a GOOD ADDITION to their city or town and then it would be as the People Want.

        1. With Wal-Mart’s massive buying power, there must be massive purchasing power. The Community is purchasing, mostly because of the low pricing Wal-Mart offers. Is this wrong?

          The Co-op’s high pricing isn’t because they don’t have the purchasing power as Wal-Mart. I believe Co-op has a 114% markup on goods! And, maybe it would be good looking at the expected salaries.

          A person against Wal-Mart is a person supporting high food cost for those who can’t afford Co-op’s high prices. The Co-op should be worried about Wal-Mart. They will lose some people, and this is what is sad.

          I would like to see the local small community based store survive, but they are digging their own grave offering a $2.00 apple. Not just the Co-op, Farmer’s Market, etc. expect charging the consumer a high price.

          I know Wal-Mart’s will be successful, and it’s not because of their low pricing. It is because the local small community based stores rationalize they need charging extreme pricing.

          1. Thank You for your comments! The Co-Op is not the only store in town remember Winco , Safeway ,Grocery Outlet ,Fred Meyer ,Market of Choice ,Trader Joes and more ..Albertsons for a few more months as they are leaving Corvallis, who else will leave when Wal-Mart enters Corvallis and kills of the competition,

          2. Again, it is not Win-Mart that kills local competition. It is the people who shop Wal-Mart.

            Again, Wal-Mart would not exist, if no one shopped at Wal-Mart.

            If the community is a strong advocate for local business Wal-Mart wouldn’t be successful. If the community isn’t community supportive then Wal-Mart would be successful.

            Let’s spend our energy on making local businesses accountable, and quite blaming others. Make our local businesses smarter, which I see they have come to be very comfortable.

            When there is noticeable people shopping Wal-Mart, it isn’t Wal-Mart, it is much more buried within the local community. Look around before narrowing your focus on Wal-Mart. I am not supportive of Wal-Mart, yet I am feeling more abuse from arrogant local businesses with their price gouging. It would be this arrogance that will make Wal-Mart successful.

            I wouldn’t consider, Winco , Safeway , Grocery Outlet , Fred Meyer ,Market of Choice ,Trader Joes and Albertsons local businesses. In Santa Fe, NM, Market of Choice came and purchased Alfalfas, which was a local business. Within the year, Market of Choice closed Alfalfa’s doors a sad lose for the community.

  3. Everone should read Daily Finance article of August 2 2012 Wal-Mart rolls into battle against big three Grocery Chains ,can be found on line. Its not only the so Called Big Three that will lose but also local Food Stores as well!! Local and current Big Box Food stores of Corvallis are Preperty tax payers and pay Employment taxes , Social Security taxes along with their Employies who pay taxes.Yes Wal-MART is needed bu not in Grocery , We do not need one company to control the retail Grocery Business ,low prices will vanish.

    1. In Corvallis there already exists a Monopoly. This is why the Co-op can charge extreme prices. Don’t be scared or insinuate that Wal-Mart can do bad. Wal-Mart can exist only if the community allows it; by the Communities participation.

      Everyone writes about Wal-Mart the Store, but, when Wal-Mart opens their doors to the Community, I haven’t read read reasons why the Community shops at Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart is as bad as many write, then why does the Community shop?

      I will say the Community shops at Wal-Mart, because of this Local Monopoly existing in Corvallis. The $2.00 apple.

    2. I pulled this from your article: Daily Finance. Example why people shop at Wal-Mart and why local store don’t get it. Local store will say they need to charge higher prices, but do they?


      When times get tough, even Walmart’s (WMT) “everyday low prices” aren’t all that alluring to shoppers — except in one segment of its business: food.

      For its core customers, like everyone else, food is a budget item that can only be reduced, never eliminated — and for them, it’s a major one. Walmart’s CEO recently confirmed that, for its customers, “food is consistently the top monthly expense outside of housing and vehicle payments.”

      So it’s little wonder Walmart is seeing so much growth in groceries — and why it continues to add food to its general merchandise stores.

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