"And then when that had happened, Walmart systematically shut down all but one of the store that it had opened, so that now there were no shops in the towns, and people had to get in their cars and travel 15 or more miles to go shopping. Hateful people."

Had never heard something like that. In Japan mom and pop stores tend to survive here. I am not sure what it is. One is loyalty, which is highly prized here. Also, a notoriously convoluted supply system, which while making prices higher has also kept big businesses (including Walmart) at a loss how to streamline it for cheaper prices.
We are what we repeatedly do - Aristotle