Superstores go into a city and take away that culture. Eventually, this will make every city the exact same, taking away fun vacation spots. Superstores such as Wal-Mart don't sell unique to that location items, they sell general items that you can find anywhere at any time. So superstores do hurt main street stores.
It is a fact that cannot be ignored. Large chain stores are able to offer products at such low rates and provide such large selections that local retailers can not compete. The resulting cycle hurts the economy more than people want to admit because they like cheap stuff. Cheap does not equal quality, but greed and immediate satisfaction trumps patience and longevity of the product every time.
Studies have shown small businesses in the local community cant compete with Walmart, with Walmarts attractive prices, and high volume of goods on a continuous basis at one convenient location. Walmart has something no other local businesses have and that's the cheap goods on the international market, passing on the savings in the form of discounts. Often times these small businesses have to close there shop doors or fill for bankruptcy.
In a way, yes they are in fact hurting the business that mom-and-pop shops. But on the flip side of this issue, there is not always going to be a mom-and-pop shop in reach of the surrounding people. That's where superstores come into place. These superstores give people a way of acquiring the goods they need that mom-and-pop shops don't supply.
All big chain stores hurt small local ones. It is more the customers, and not the company, though. People like a large selection and lower prices. Most local stores can't compete unless they have a reputation in the area for being good, a supportive customer base, or offer products that are unique in some way.
I live in a small town that is about 30 minutes from a large city with plenty of shopping choices. Most people make the drive to the bigger city to shop on a regular basis, myself being one of them. My argument is this, if people like me are already driving out of town to shop, and aren't buying from local retailers anyway, having a store like Wal-Mart in my home town will keep more shoppers in town. It certainly will not hurt local business, and just might help by keeping people near home.
All that mom and pop style businesses do when WalMart comes in, is whine about the loss of sales. Do their prices come down? Do they increase their product lines? Do they stay open longer hours? Nope. So I'd say the reality is that those little stores are hurting themselves.