The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice


Small communities, like Cibolo, Texas, can counter Walmart’s retail offensive by turning to the law. After achieving global retail superiority, Walmart now looks to dominate the retail market of small towns across America. An average of 1.5 new Walmart stores open every day. Annually, the retail giant earns gross revenue totaling $483 billion, rivaling the gross domestic product of many countries. Communities can defend against Walmart’s invasion of neighborhoods and their abundant resources by careful application of legal intelligence. Legal intelligence is the collection, processing, integration, analysis, and interpretation of relevant legal practice or history to produce usable information aimed at achieving an objective. Intelligence differs from information because intelligence allows the user to predict an adverse party’s strategy. By applying the legal intelligence principles, research shows that Walmart won 71.8% of cases where communities legally challenged the opening of a new store. However, deeper analysis reveals that local government’s support for opening a new store is the deciding factor in Walmart succeeding at court. Hence, communities must prevent local government from supporting Walmart to successfully challenge the opening of a new store in their neighborhood. When Walmart decided to open a new retail superstore in the city of Cibolo, the community employed this strategy with great effect. When constituents were unable to persuade the local government to abandon their support of Walmart, the community filed a petition requiring a special election as well as a popular vote to approve local ordinances preventing Walmart’s sale of alcohol and firearms. Voters ousted five of the eight members of the local government from office and won the approval of the local ordinances. The community’s use of legal intelligence forced the local government to reckon with local concerns of an invading Walmart and kept Walmart at bay.

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