During the bubble, when they tried to go up-scale, the cashiers were pretty and the store was full.People were spending money and Walmart wanted it. Upscale sells, as Target knows.The pretty girls are gone now, and the lot is mostly empty in the evening.Indiana is still reeling from the auto problems and the overall poor economy. It will take 3-5 years to get near normal again. Walmart depends on volume, so that is a problem for them. That may be a summer thing--and things pick up again after school starts. If the pattern continues through Thanksgiving, that is bad for them. Then again, it may be just that one Walmart. Also depends on competition.I say that because the mall lot (an SPG mall) is mostly full, and there are lots of aggressive drivers on the road.Remember what Walmart sells--stuff for families. That is where the $$$ is. They can NOT manage (or tolerate) a lot of competition between products they carry. Their philosophy is "buy the ONE item is in the category becaue that is the only one we offer or don't buy". And teens are VERY fashion/style conscious--so they will shop anywhere BUT Walmart (because they get choices).I've also noticed that the rents are up at the faux-gated apartment complex on the way there.That may be due to the economy. Lots of houses foreclosed means many more renters that before. If they take Section 8 housing vouchers, then they raised the rent in order to collect more from the govt due to the relative shortage of apts.
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