As Walmart open in small towns, change the retail culture and then leave, what are these small towns to do?. NewGeography executive editor Joel Kotkin reports on the future of retail in these towns and the alternatives to shopping at a chain store like Walmart.

One of the biggest and most obvious alternatives is e-commerce, which has continued to grow as stores such as Walmart have seen flagging sales. Another interesting alternative, is a change in brick and mortar shopping, which is evolving in new ways to serve new demographics:

At the same time suburbs and even smaller towns are becoming more diverse, and one of the chief causes of this diversity is the spread of millennials, with their own specific needs, into the peripheral areas surrounding core cities. This movement, once dismissed as inconceivable by some urbanists, is becoming more evident as census data show.

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