Toys ‘R Us started its going out of business sale recently. Of course, we don’t have a Toys ‘R Us in Robeson County. We don’t have any toy store. We no longer have a record store or a book store or an electronics store. This loss of stores isn’t restricted to Robeson County; it is happening nationwide.

I was dean of the School of Business at UNC Pembroke when Walmart opened a supercenter in Pembroke. There was great concern at the time that Walmart would put small companies in Pembroke out of business. The faculty of the Business School was ready to assist any company that felt threatened by Walmart. Fortunately, the business mix in Pembroke mostly differed from Walmart’s. One business that had some overlap was True Value Hardware, which took the bold step of greatly expanding in the face of Walmart opening and they appear to have done well since then.

Full Story