The EDA Center | at the University of Minnesota  
Research Publications

Listed below are various publications from the EDA Center at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Publications listed come from projects EDA Center faculty and staff have completed, works published in magazines/journals and technical assistance requests. Technical assistance requests are typically planning, research or technical projects that have a direct or indirect impact on job creation, business development or capital investment. All requests are reviewed by EDA Center staff, as well as the EDA Center Advisory Board; and those requests selected comprise our annual work plan. For more information regarding the EDA Center's RFA process click here.


Room for More: A study of Minnesota retail and service businesses that open or expand after the opening of Walmart Supercenters
Completed October 2014
Local EDA/Organization: U of M Extension Center for Community Vitality
EDA Center Faculty/Staff: Bruce Schwartau U of M Extension Educator
Project Description: The first Walmart Supercenter, with a larger footprint that includes space for groceries, opened in Greater Minnesota in 2000. The University of Minnesota Extension community economics educators conducted Small Store Success Strategies workshops in several communities to help prepare existing retailers to coexist with the new competitor. Workshop information was developed by researching the business practices of 27 retailers considered successful by chamber of commerce directors in three Minnesota cities that already had Walmart stores. Customer surveys also provided feedback on which customer service and business practices were more important to them. This study does not intend to address the broad question of whether a supercenter is “good for communities”; rather, it is designed to understand retail and service business successes in 13 Greater Minnesota cities after the arrival of a Walmart Supercenter. The study also considers a snapshot in time of other businesses currently open in 2014 that either launched or expanded since a supercenter opened. It addresses the questions of what types of businesses have opened or expanded since the arrival of a Walmart Supercenter, as well as how the presence of Walmart affected the local retail and service business climate. The findings here offer guidance for communities and entrepreneurs interested in new retail businesses and business expansions.
EDA Center Involvement:
Download Report (1123KB PDF)

This document was prepared by the University of Minnesota, Crookston under award number 06-66-05709 from the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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