Everyone by now is familiar with many of the problems caused by a major retailer when it opens up yet another store in the area. There is an appropriate way of dealing with this situation, which is by requiring the major retailer to make customized Representations and Warranties to the community in effect agreeing that certain suspected practices by the retailer will not occur. The small businesses in the community should assist in drafting the document, as part of any community opposition to another store in the area. The business group will urge the town to require the major retailer to sign the document (hopefully as drafted by the small businesses in the area) as a condition to getting any zoning variances, approvals or other licenses that may be needed for the retailer to open up the proposed new store in the area. See pages 147-148 and Appendix C of my book, Saving Main Street and Its Retailers, which material provides a list of items needed in any Representations and Warranties to be required of a major retailer. Suggested Representations and Warranties from book Saving Main Street
If the retailer fails to live up to its Representations and Warranties, the community will have comparatively simple lawsuits for breach of contract and fraud and misrepresentation, easily handled by a local lawyer (and not requiring an antitrust and civil rights specialist). If Wal-Mart or the other major retailer refuses to sign the proposed document, the town or village could go into court for an injunction prohibiting the major retailer from doing anything more in furtherance of opening up the proposed new store, on the grounds that the major retailer was refusing to give assurances to the community (through the Representations and Warranties) probably because it knew that it could not live up to the terms of the document. This would be an additional basis for getting a preliminary injunction against the major retailer, in addition to the antitrust basis for seeking an injunction.