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Old 06-24-2008, 06:30 PM
 
3 posts, read 23,356 times
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In our Local Government and Planning class at the Univeristy of Alabama at Birmingham, we watched a video that chronicled the local battle between the small town of Ashland and Wal-Mart. The video ended right after the Town Council ultimately voted "YES" to allow Wal-Mart to build a store in the town.

I am curious as to the fall-out from this decision. Did the local business owners end up having to close? If so, how many? The video spent a lot of time highlighting the local coffee shop and the town grocery store. Were residents less oppositional about the issue once the store was opened?

Any insight would be very helpful!

Thank you!
Wes Taylor
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
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Here's a link to what was probably the coffee house in the film:
Ashland Coffee and Tea
There is contact info there, which may be a particularly good source of info.

This *might have been the town grocery store referenced - Cross Bros.
Here's a recent Richmond Times-Dispatch article highlighting the store:
Grocery has family-style approach - News - inRich.com (http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2008-04-28-0128.html - broken link)

I remember that the battle between the townsfolk and Wal-mart was quite fierce, but that the town council eventually gave in. For a little context, Ashland is a town in Richmond's suburbs (15 miles from downtown) which has in places retained its small railroad town charm. However, it's just north of Richmond's beltway (I-295) and to the immediate south of town is substantial suburban growth. I think it's very important for Ashland to retain its character by not being runover by bland suburban strip mall development, but it's all around really (to be fair there are still large portions of Hanover County which are generally rural).

I think "The Center of the Universe" has retained many of its independent small businesses in spite of Wal-mart's et al.

Still, I'm sure someone from Ashland or the surrounding area in Hanover could provide much more insight.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:37 AM
 
3 posts, read 23,356 times
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Thanks for the info!

Both the Coffee Shop and the Grocery were featured prominately in the video (which is available here: http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/store.html.

I'm interested to find out more about the repercussions that were discussed in the video. Is there anyone out there that could post about some of the hot issues were most debated in the film?

1. Traffic congestion around the site
2. Aesthetics of the building - The video related that Wal-Mart offered to change the paint color and overall look of the site to make it fit in more with Ashland's small town feel.
3. Road construction/improvement around the site

Any info would be most appreciated! Most of my classmates all had the same question after the video ended... "WHAT HAPPENED AFTERWARDS??"
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:36 AM
 
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couldn't tell you myself, but I too watch this movie ("Store Wars"? I believe..), and it was very, very good...
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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You're right. It was extremely interesting. If anyone is interested in following our online class discussion about the issue in Ashland, feel free to visit our blog at: Store Wars Class Discussion Blog. We're doing a pretty good job of tracking down some of the details following Wal-Mart's entry to the market.
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:34 AM
Status: "Free at last.." (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Where my bills arrive
15,360 posts, read 13,822,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UAB_MPA View Post
Thanks for the info!

Both the Coffee Shop and the Grocery were featured prominately in the video (which is available here: http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/store.html.

I'm interested to find out more about the repercussions that were discussed in the video. Is there anyone out there that could post about some of the hot issues were most debated in the film?

1. Traffic congestion around the site
2. Aesthetics of the building - The video related that Wal-Mart offered to change the paint color and overall look of the site to make it fit in more with Ashland's small town feel.
3. Road construction/improvement around the site

Any info would be most appreciated! Most of my classmates all had the same question after the video ended... "WHAT HAPPENED AFTERWARDS??"
I work in the town and for the most part nothing changed. The area that Walmart developed was well clear of the historic downtown area. Road improvement made not only benifitted Wally World but the whole town. The new traffic flow off interstate 95 is definetly safer. Ashland wants to further development and this shopping center was just the first piece.

Cross brothers grocery who seem to lead the charge is still there. I often wondered if they fought as hard when the 3 other supermarkets (2 of which still exist) came to town. Those that shop at this type of store will continue to do so even when a big discounter arrives. Ashland Coffee & Tea is also the same as always.

Ashland historic area is quaint but nothing unique. There are a few eateries, wine shop, library and pet shop. The building architecture ranges from late 19th century to monolithic blocks of brick. Some stores change tenenants every 6 months. The railroad is the main attraction. Ashland appears drawn between the old timers who want to change nothing and the younger people who want some ammenities.
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:29 PM
 
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They often locate the supercenters on the interstate well outside the historic downtown. They can then pull in the traffic from the tourists, the travelers on the interstate, and the regular shoppers from surrounding towns before they come into town.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:19 AM
 
1 posts, read 6,699 times
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I had no idea about the Store Wars but my fiance wants to move there ad i was told to make sure they had a Walmart atleast know how close the closest one is. I not only got that from this I got some REAL information about the place. Something I would have never got otherwise. Before i go what was funny was I didnt have any idea how it was going to come to an end. Thanks to you all that have posted above me!
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:22 AM
 
1,290 posts, read 2,447,816 times
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The yankee is right. Wal Mart is far from 'downtown' and traffic around it flows better than it does through town. Considering the main drag shuts down at about 5-6 pm, it's cool having someplace to run for those late night snacks, diapers, and hair care products. Since then, Ashland even has a Starbucks, and the dude running the coffee house wasn't even really worried about them.
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