Usually Walmart hunts down, destroys and devours one industry at a time. They did a pretty good job on the toy market a few years ago, putting Toysrus in intensive care, and killing off FAO Scwartz and KB Toys.
This year they seem to be taking a scattershot approach, blasting everything in sight, and you'd better try to stay out of their crosshairs. So far, the potential victims are games, toys, DVD's and books, among others.
Ironically, the damage to the specialty market has been so widespread and deep, that any Mom and Pops still surviving has probably figured out how to avoid being eaten. Like the big dinosaurs stomping around the Jurassic, little critters can hide in the rocks.
You know the old cartoon on one fish eating a smaller fish eating a smaller fish eating a smaller fish eating....you know? Retail has probably always been like that.
The big danger to specialty stores a decade ago or two were the 'category' killers.
Toysrus; Best Buy; Bed, Bath and Beyond, Barnes and Nobles; etc. etc.
Now they are being cobbled up by the huge megachains -- Walmart and Target, but especially Walmart. Already the second and third largest stores in each of the category killers have been laid out for the vultures; Circuit City: Bed, Bath and Beyond; Office Depot; Borders (and Waldenbooks); and the aforementioned KB Toys.
We're all going to end up working for Walmart.
But only for awhile.
Because while Walmart is busy swallowing up it's weaker brethren, behind it looms the biggest fish of all -- the internet.
Us minnows are watching all this with big, Disyneyesqe eyes from the coral reefs.
2 days ago