It's one of the traditional moans here in the UK: that supermarkets just suck the life out of a community. One day there's a nice little High Street, the butcher, the baker, the ironmonger, all ready with a cheery greeting and loal prices for local people, next there's a supermarket and nothing is left but a howling economic wasteland.
That no one ever gets forced into a supermarket seems to get missed in this story: as does the obvious point that if the inhabitants of this Barsetshire town really did value the cheery greeting and the local prices the opening of a supermarket wouldn't change their behaviour, would it? It would be the supermarket that went bust, not the local traders.
But, in an attempt to prod people a little into thinking about what it would be like with no such national chains of supermarkets, why not look at somewhere that doesn't have such? Detroit perhaps?