by Josh Navarro
ANDREWS - Some residents are fighting to get Wal-Mart to come to town. But others think the retail giant will eat the small town and destroy their local mom-and-pop shops.
"Make it more variety of places to shop. I would really think the people would like it here instead of having to drive all the way to Hobbs or to Midland or Odessa," Wal-Mart supporter, Martin Couch, said.
Couch says he grew up in a small town like Andrews in East Texas. He says while growing up, his family had to drive 32 miles just to get to a Wal-Mart. He says till this day his parents still do. The big blue box store doesn't exist in this town. Now as an Andrews resident, Couch wants to change that.
"Why do we have to drive that far. I mean Andrews is big enough for a Wal-Mart. If Seminole can get one, so can we," Couch said.
Talks of bringing a big box store to the small rural town can create quite a stir, especially from the mom and pop stores. However Couch says those types of shops already have a well built client base.
"Customers are going to keep coming back to that mom and pop shops for one thing. The one thing that mom and pop shop can do that Wal-Mart can't do and that's one on one. When you have that one and one relationship with a customer, you're going to keep that customer," Couch said.
Couch is supporting an online petition found on Facebook to bring Wal-Mart to Andrews. So far it has garnered over 600 signatures. He says Wal-Mart doesn't have a requirement of signatures for it to consider opening a store but they do look at the population numbers.
"We can put one on the new loop, that's coming out on the outer loop," Couch said.