Wal-Mart doesn’t “put mom-and-pop stores out of business,” as so many often lament. Ever and always people bemoan the prospect of a new Wal-Mart opening in town, as if the retailer is going to forcefully drive out their smaller competitors. Political economy aside, this is not at all the case.
Rather than Wal-Mart, or any other large business, it is the market that puts the smaller businesses out. We see this process happen by the countless voluntary choices made by individual customers who shift their purchases to Wal-Mart, and away from the smaller and inferior (as revealed by consumer preferences) stores.
There are plenty of other reasons to dislike Wal-Mart, such as its support of increases to the minimum wage, advocating fascism in the health care industry, and use of property stolen under “eminent domain,” but the fact that so many smaller businesses can’t compete with Wal-Mart isn’t a good reason in itself to hate the retailer.