Becoming a conglomerate doesn't insulate a company from market fluctuations.
From what I read in this discussion, most of you seem to have a limited view of the market. Frost is on point - smaller retailers, be they local, regional, or national, may not have a lot of market share, but they do provide other options.
Regarding consumer choice, clickman is correct when some forget that choosing to purchase nothing is an option. A company can price and market however they choose, I make the final decision about whether to buy or not. Unless the demand curve for a product is very inelastic**, companies are affected by consumer choice. (**If you don't know what that means, you need to review some basic economics texts before trying to discuss markets.)
I am also confused about the allegation of government instituting policies to limit consumer choice.