BEARDEN, Ark. (KTHV) - Everywhere you look in small-town America, you can see what happens over the years to Main Street when a big box store like Walmart comes to town.
“When the first store opened, the grocery store closed and we're what was left,” said Randy Lindsey, co-owner of Bottom Dollar Mercantile.
Bearden has a big timber mill in the middle of its tiny downtown. It has no stoplights left. But it does have a place where you can get pretty much anything.
“We've got kitchen appliances. Over here we got the automotive section. We got a little bit of clothing. Dollar toys. You got to have dollar toys. Kitchen sink faucets,” said Randy as he took us on a tour.
Randy Lindsey and his wife Janice own the Bottom Dollar Mercantile in Bearden. It’s lodged between Fordyce and Camden, and the store has a loyal following among the 700 or so people nearby.
“There are hardware parts, there's all the stuff you would get at a convenience store, it's a grocery store. It's kind of all in one,” explained Melissa Dunn, a customer at the mercantile.
But loyalty will only get you so far, with two corporate dollar store chains just down the street. So, the Lindsey’s double down on the effort.
Randy cuts deals with the few wholesalers that will work with him. He drives 100 miles to the nearest Sam's Club to stock his shelves. He's a stock boy, truck driver, and even the butcher.
“There's not a butcher, it's me. Just a one-horse show,” said Randy.