Our Opinion: Wal-Mart news good for city

Published 5:45 am Monday, February 5, 2007

By Staff
Brewton residents have long anticipated news that Wal-Mart would build a Supercenter in the city.
The retail giant finally announced last week its plans to build a store more than twice as big as the current store.
That news - including the promise of up to 125 additional jobs - is certainly good for our community and our economy, although it's hard not to view the change without some concern for other local businesses.
While we hope that local shoppers will continue to patronize all of our local shops and grocery stores, we have to consider what Wal-Mart's decision to build a Supercenter here says about our community.
Wal-Mart officials said they don't choose to build on the promise of growth - they expand when the market demands it. That means our city is already a retail center drawing shoppers from around the area, and it can only grow now that we are a year and a half away from having a Supercenter.
How many people in our area likely travel out of town - to Pensacola, Andalusia, Bay Minette or other communities - to shop at a Wal-Mart Supercenter?
Those sales tax proceeds should stay in our community. A new Supercenter will not only keep those shoppers in Brewton, it could also help pull new shoppers to town - and that will boost the sales tax numbers that help fund our local services and schools.
Those new shoppers are also likely to be drawn to our existing stores and shops - and the hometown service those stores are famous for will keep drawing them back.

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