University News
For Immediate Release: 
May 05 2005

Concord Alumnus Studies “Wal-Mart Effect”: Paper Accepted at Science Institute

Athens, W.Va. – The Southeast Decision Sciences Institute recently accepted an article entitled “Wal-Mart Stores and Their Effect on Southern West Virginia’s Economy: 1995-2001” for presentation at the 2005 meeting in Raleigh, N.C.

Bryan Grose, Concord University alumnus, and his faculty mentor, Dr. Chris Ziemnowicz of the Concord business division conducted this study in conjunction with the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (otherwise known as the McNair Scholars Program). The research conducted by Bryan Grose, who is from Lansing, W.Va., examined the effects that Wal-Mart retail stores have had on the business environment and local communities. Contrary to Sam Walton’s initial strategy of opening stores in small towns, the case of West Virginia shows that the company entered markets with already existing Kmart outlets. Moreover, this study shows that Wal-Mart’s contributions to a community are more complex, and indeed much lower, than they appear. According to Dr. Ziemnowicz, “Wal-Mart stores have a considerable impact on business patterns locally (particularly employment). Although Wal-Mart stores tend to increase the number of part-time workers, the resulting outcomes are not necessarily positive.” In short, it is easy to overestimate the true benefit of a Wal-Mart store on jobs and other business operations within a local economy. Competition and change provides gains to the economy as a whole, but there are winners and losers.

The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO Program that prepares disadvantaged college students for doctoral study. Participating Scholars have an opportunity to gain hands-on research experience, visit graduate schools, and receive individualized assistance with the graduate school application process. The Concord McNair Scholars Program serves students from Bluefield State College and West Virginia State University in addition to students from its host institution.

For more information on the Concord University McNair Scholars Program please contact Dr. Rod Klein at 1-304-384-5153 or visit the McNair website by logging on to www.concord.edu, then click on “Current Students,” and “McNair Scholars.”

-CU-

PO BOX 1000, VERMILLION ST., ATHENS, WV 24712.