Synopsis by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
Store Wars follows the controversy that erupts in Ashland, VA, when Wal-Mart decides to open a new store in the town. To many of the town's citizens, a new store means jobs, cheaper one-stop shopping, and a broadened tax base. To others, it means part-time jobs with no health insurance, the bankruptcy of long-time local businesses, and the dissolution of a small community. Citizens line up on both sides of the issue: A group called the Pink Flamingos begins a grassroots effort to stop the mega-store, while the town council leans toward accepting Wal-Mart's second, more generous, offer. In the midst of the controversy, an election unseats many of the current town council members. The members will nonetheless cast the deciding vote during a lame duck session, leaving longtime neighbors and friends embittered. Store Wars offers a measured account of a conflict that has replayed in hundreds of small towns throughout the United States.
business, community, consumerism, dissolution, job, protester, retail, shopping, small-town