Small-town budgets hurting from loss of mini Walmarts
The Associated Press - January 20, 2018 2:52 pm
LUTHER, Okla. (AP) – Arkansas-based Walmart’s closing of its Express stores in small towns across the Midwest and South has affected basic government services from police protection to parks.
Luther, Oklahoma had to postpone the purchase of two new police cars. In Nettleton, Mississippi, plans to improve sewer and water services and city parks were shelved.
Losses were somewhat offset when Dollar General purchased and re-opened the stores, but the Dollar General stores are generating less revenue without the pharmacies Walmart offered that help attract customers.
Walmart spokeswoman Anne Hatfield says the stores were closed because customers wanted more than the 12,000-square-foot buildings could offer and were driving farther to Walmart Supercenters, which offer a wider variety of products and services than the Walmart Express stores.