Commercial Development: Towns Before and After Wal-Mart by Luke Jones Posted 7/2/2012 12:00 am Updated 4 years ago As recently as 50 years ago, downtown was still America's commercial center. A variety of factors moved the center to orbital suburbia. One of those factors was Wal-Mart. Want the Full Article? Get Unlimited Archive Access for $19.95 per Year Readers must pay to access stories older than 15 days. Purchase Now Already have archive access? Login to view this article.