What To Do When A Giant Moves In Next Door

We’ve just wrapped up our seminar focused on helping businesses in the St-Pierre-Jolys area prepare for the arrival of Walmart in Steinbach. We were expecting about 8-10 people, and actually had 15-18 people attend. What follows is:

You can also see and download the PowerPoint used in the workshop by clicking here. For more information on this workshop, or to have it repeated in your community, contact Bruce Duggan, the Director of the Buller Centre.


  • Wednesday, September 12, 2012
  • 8:00am – 10:30am


  • Providence University College
  • Reimer Student Life Centre
  • 10 College Crescent
  • Otterburne, Manitoba R0A 1G0


  • $30/person for Chamber members
  • $40/person for non-members



  • Full breakfast (included in workshop fee)
  • Workshop
  • Handout
  • Informal networking

There will be time after the workshop for one-on-one discussions for individual business owners.


  • The fundamentals of strategy—defining, creating, and keeping a competitive advantage.
  • How these fundamentals can apply to your specific business.
  • How they can help your business thrive despite the arrival of Walmart—or any other competitor


Bruce Duggan is the Director of Providence’s Buller Centre for Business. For the past seven years, he has taught in Providence University College’s Business Administration program, specializing in the areas of strategy and business ethics. Last fall, he co-presented a workshop on small business strategy with the Business Development Bank of Canada for the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce. He received his MBA from the Asper School of Business in 2003 and has run his own small business, Boke Consulting, for the past 15 years.

Background Materials

There is a significant amount of research available that attempts to figure out the effect of the arrival of a Walmart on a “host” town and the businesses that are already there. The research also attempts to understand the effect on outlying communities—other towns and smaller communities within driving distance of the new Walmart. Some of these are particularly useful because they concentrate on rural and semi-rural communities, in markets much like our own.

There are at least eight well-researched documents available online that collect data on these effects.

North & South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Montana




US overall

Chicago west side

Washington DC

Other articles do a fairly good job summarizing data from other sources. These include:

North Carolina

We can use this information to build a prediction about the likely effect of Walmart’s arrival in Steinbach, both on businesses in Steinbach, and on businesses in communities throughout southeast Manitoba. Of course, a prediction is always uncertain. Just because something has happened elsewhere, doesn’t mean it will happen here. But an educated guess is almost always better than an uneducated one.