Northwest Arkansas is dotted with memorials to the intense fighting that took place between Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War. Another sort of battle is playing out today in the grocery aisles of the region's biggest independent retailer, Harps Food Stores, and Wal-Mart Stores. Harps is not unlike other independents that compete with the Bentonville-based retailer, but with one big difference: In northwest Arkansas, Wal-Mart brings to bear not only economic prowess but ...

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