Worry less about Walmart

Thursday, March 22, 2018

It is sad to see what’s happening to small town retail business; also concerning to see a similar fate befalling malls, although some would debate that opinion. The comments by local people concerning the Atlantic Monthly article point to a major factor accounting for the plight of Greenfield and other comparable communities — online shopping — being the largest contributing factor without a doubt and as some local people noted there will have to be innovative and creative programs which will hopefully mitigate somewhat the impact of online commerce. But, in many respects Greenfield has to assume some ownership for its plight when we consider our long-standing neighbors, Northampton, Brattleboro and Shelburne Falls.

Over a span of many decades, these communities adapted and changed and are now prospering. Walmart is a close neighbor in two cases and it doesn’t seem to matter. And, in other cases, chamber of commerce efforts in other communities stimulated growth instead of apparently stifling it here in years past. Under new direction, hopefully more creative options and directions will be undertaken. Greenfield needs to worry less about Walmart and more about providing reasons for businesses and industries to come, not avoid, this special community.

Francis D. Kelly

South Orleans