Ashland reacts to Walmart 10 years later

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

ASHLAND, VA (WWBT) – The controversy is still on-going over a new Walmart in Powhatan County. Supervisors gave it the green light, last night. Opinions among neighbors are still mixed, but they might change over time.

About a decade ago, a similar fight was brewing in the town of Ashland. Folks were so upset about the idea of a Walmart, they were even featured on a national PBS program called "Store Wars." Now all these years later, it doesn't seem very controversial anymore.

"I think if you polled a lot of Ashland natives, they would agree that Walmart has had a positive impact on the community," said Jamall Minor.

Minor, an alum of Patrick Henry High School, remembers opening day when demonstrators tried to block folks from getting in,  but says the controversy has died down over the years.

Vedys Mills agrees. She and her husband have opened a small business since Walmart came to Ashland.

"I'm for growth, Walmart I don't think hurt me. I think it helped. The more people that come in, the better," she said.

"I'm sure it's hurt some of the other grocery stores and whatnot, but in all, I think it's been very positive for Ashland," Mills said.

Time will tell if Powhatan County will have the same feelings, but right now there's still division.  Walmart executives said you'll see a store up in Powhatan County by next year.

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