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Wal-Mart Gets Some Love From New Study

Wal-Mart gets its knocks for undue dominance of the retail world and for generally being a lousy neighbor—driving down wages, driving up traffic, and pinning mom & pops against the ropes. There's ample evidence to support the retailer's boorishness. To be fair, however, there's also new evidence that points to the appreciation of home values within the Wal-Mart orbit. The study, by a pair of business profs, observed a 2-3% spike in home values within a half-mile of a Wal-Mart and a 1-2% bump for homes within a mile of a store. Because home values reflect the positive and negative of their environs, this can be read as homeowners valuing budget shopping and convenience more than they loath traffic congestion and crime (Wal-Marts are known to bring their fair share). The rigorous multi-year study will almost certainly become fodder in Wal-Mart's rebuttal of grassroots opposition. [Trib]