On any given week, an estimated 100 million people shop at Walmart, or about a third of the American population. That number is set to tick upward with the advent of Franklin's Walmart Super Center. Like children waiting for Christmas morning, the anticipation continues to rise. For others, the outlook is more of a Walmart Scrooge, with a bah humbug point of view. For some, Walmart is too big/successful to patronize - the evil empire of retail. With annual gross revenue over $400 billion which exceeds many nations GDP, it's understandable why Walmart is despised by some as the Goliath among the David-sized competitors.
There has never been a time when it's been easy for the smalltime operator. The failure rate for new small businesses has always been high, even before Walmart arrived on the scene. The last century saw the emergence of the supermarket and the shopping mall as well as the critics who opposed their existence. These entities created a paradigm shift in the market place.