We have a great Ace store in our area also and I always make it a point to go there if I need to buy something they carry. They are a little more expensive but the service and knowledge level is superb and it’s important that we make sure places like this survive.
In addition to the Home Depot, etc., I suspect Wal-Mart will be around for a while. Over the years I have seen them move into small cities, drastically cut prices and within a short period of time all the other little mom and pop places had to close. I really missed our small local drugstore with its soda fountain and jars full of penny and nickle candy, the butcher who knew exactly how each patron liked their cuts of meat, the baker who always had a cookie for any child coming in with their mom. It really was a reflection of what life was all about in days gone by. But all of that is gone now.
Our local drug store with a small toy section for the kids and a soda fountain lasted until about 1990 or so. Now our town and the adjoining towns have two Walgreens and two CVS, all within about a mile of each other. The old way of life was so pleasant. Luckily our downtown is quaint, still vibrant, and the city has done a good job keeping most franchises out.
Funny thing. There are two nearby “cities” (both county seats) on the interstate 16 miles apart. The first city was Walmart’s first choice, but the local business community didn’t want the competition. The second city welcomed Walmart. The first city has steadily lost population and jobs, and its downtown is basically empty. The second city is steady/growing, has plenty of local businesses (including a great hardware store) and its optometrists chased the Walmart optometrist department out of business.