More words than anyone would care to contemplate have been written about the Wal-Mart effect, specifically the discounter's ability to drain shoppers' dollars from conventional supermarkets. That phenomenon, of course, is driven by the large price spread that exists between the discounter and conventional stores. But there's more to it than that. Wal-Mart prices animate buying decisions of a far larger shopper demographic than that which must count pennies. Here's an example: It was ...

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