Walmart was the "final blow" for Cornelius' Grande Foods


For years, neither Evans nor the store's co-owners, Lyle Blow and Larry Hering, took a salary. They believed, as city leaders had suggested, that Walmart would bring more traffic to Cornelius when it opened in mid-August. That traffic would mean more business.

But the traffic never came, Evans said. In fact, Walmart's first two business days were the worst in Grande Foods' history.

"With everything going on, it was a perfect storm," Evans said.

The city doesn't have official traffic figures, said Richard Meyer, the city's development and operations director, but he agreed that business and city leaders had hoped the big box store would bring more traffic to Cornelius.

"Maybe sometimes we just hope for too much," Meyer said.

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