Heights Walmart - from a marketing point of view

August 25, 2010 First off, I am not pro-Walmart nor am I anti-Walmart. As an observer of human behavior for marketing reasons, I am captivated by the contrasts that we display when it comes to deciding what is good and what is not. When we measure the size of our city, big is a good thing. When we count companies, Houston boasts of our number of Fortune 500 companies with a home base in Houston. We count theater seats and boast. And let's not forget big hair. Big is good in so many ways. Then I watch the battle over a Walmart being built in the Heights and suddenly small is the answer. Possible business being lost at mom&pop stores is lamented (would they be mom&pop if they had good marketing?). Traffic snarls are worried over. Small seems the answer. And that is what intrigues me. We are debating about traffic in a neighborhood bounded on all four (4!)  sides by major interstate highway systems. We are debating mom & pop businesses in a city and state that celebrate our largeness. Heck, even Houston's population ranks very high in the nation on waist-line size. So, what is it about a Walmart store that gets some people riled up? What part of our psyche says Walmart and its low cost goods are bad? What has the Walmart marketing and public relations department failed to do that they hit this problem every time? Is it simply the American pre-occupation with the underdog? Back to my opening, I am neither for or against, it simply intrigues me. Why all the ruckus?

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