Mt. Iron to get Wal-Mart Super Center

The Iron Range city of Mountain Iron is getting a Super Wal-Mart, according to the Mesabi Daily News.

I’d argue this has more effect on the local economy that the re-routing of Highway 53. The first Super Wal-Mart on the Iron Range was in Hibbing. It was a huge success for Wal-Mart, posting big numbers during its first several years. And while the locals argue whether it was a good thing or a bad thing, the number of businesses that closed afterward is staggering.

Grand Rapids opened a Super Wal-Mart next, a few years ago. While Grand Rapids has a stronger retail economy to start than Hibbing did, and already had a Wal-Mart, you can already see the effects of the Super Center on the far south side of town. Strip malls moved down there. Businesses fled the downtown mall to move there. And here and there, small shops are closing.

So now this is going to happen on the east Range. I’m not here to moralize about Wal-Mart. I go in there sometimes, too. But this is what happens.

In 2008 I wrote about a Hibbing Wal-Mart kerfuffle. It’s pretty much the same now.


  1. I could never get the contentious issue surrounding Wal-Mart. Is it the low prices? Can’t be – it leaves more money in peoples pockets. Is it the jobs they provide? Can’t be – jobs are good. It must be the on-line pictures supposedly taken there & circulated. That’s the only possible moral issue…which does have merit.

  2. Whenever it’s practical I make it a point to buy gasoline in Hibbing or Cloquet. I don’t buy it at Walmart, because I equate that place with bottomless sorrow. [Your own experience may differ!] But I get my gas cheaper in part because there’s a Walmart nearby. I suppose that makes me a hypocrite or an opportunist, but to some degree we’re all that way, especially when money is involved.

  3. Flesh out your “bottomless sorrow” comment cjh. You’re validating my contentiousness comment. I don’t get it. They’re by far the largest employer, over 2 million U.S. citizens, plus they provide products people want at competitive prices, yet..they’re vilified. Why?? Who wants companies that provide no jobs at high prices?

  4. Boohoo on small shops loosing jobs. Mabe if they didnt. Have high prices then. Mabe they be a walmart as well. Mt.iron has potential to be the place to be. But the hwy issue I do agree is dumb. Build a bridge! You can still have the hwy. Plus puts workers on a job with the mental we make. Much less the road construction guys take forever and do less work. Is pointless

  5. Melaura Lee Priest says

    You are missing one big point, WalMart has the lowest prices because the pay the least. The community supports the WalMart employees with rental assistance and food stamps. They will work an employee 30+ hours a week but not allow them to be full time, thereby avoiding benefits. So having a WalMart is a double edged sword, better prices, more working poor.

  6. There’s hope for the human race. No one is forcing anyone to become a Walmart employee. However 2 million plus people have voluntarily applied for work, got hired and went to work for them. God bless ‘em.

    Those who’re employed there but don’t like the wages or working hours can always quit and apply at Glik’s or ACE.

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