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My mom's business is flourishing by providing a service Wal-Mart can not touch

By Rita Marley-McKenzie
Posted Friday, December 23, 2011

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Siler City, NC - I have finally caught up on several chatlists and sifted through all the comments about the new Wal-Mart coming to Northeast Chatham.

Well, I'm a Siler City gal, and my mom is a small business owner. Her fabric store has been in business since 1988. When we learned Wal-Mart was coming to Siler City, at first, she panicked. She thought, OMG, I'll lose all my business. Then, she took a step back and evaluated her business versus Wal-Mart. Then, she thought of ways she and Wal-Mart could actually complement each other.

She took inventory of what products Wal-Mart sells and phased out those products. She started stocking more specialized products. And you know what, her business survived and is flourishing. She provides a service Wal-Mart can't touch. She even has customers from large cities with all types of amenities travel to little ol' Siler City just to shop at her store.

Much like my mother's business, the small businesses in Chatham that are surviving and thriving are those who have researched the local markets and provide products and services to meet the need of the consumer base. So, instead of whining and crying of how Wal-Mart will drive out small business, start thinking of ways Wal-Mart and small businesses can complement each other.There's room in the market for both big box and mom & pop businesses.

On a personal note, I remember pre-Siler City Wal-Mart days when our weekend outings were to either Asheboro or Sanford just so we could go shopping at Wal-Mart and get all the household things we needed. We'd spent two or three 3 hours just browsing the aisles-for enjoyment. Now, Wal-Mart is maybe two miles from my house at the most, and to go there is a chore. I try to avoid it if at all possible. I try to shop at the smaller stores just so I can get in & get out.

It's funny how proximity changes perspective, isn't it?

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My mom's business is flourishing by providing a service Wal-Mart can not touch

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