According to The Times, Wal-Mart saw a 5.1 percent increase in sales in February-this at a time when almost all other retailers are tanking. If not for the big blue box store's numbers, total retail sales would have gone down 4.1 percent (as it stands, they increased by 0.7 percent). I guess this means we should be thankful for Wal-Mart?This topic has generated some heated commentary on our site in the past, but it might be worth revisiting today. I'm wondering whether the recession justifies shopping at Wal-Mart (especially when more mom and pop shops than ever are folding). Part of me thinks we should try to help small businesses during times like these. Then again, maybe shopping at Wal-Mart is the smart way to get by (and not that bad in the first place). What do you think?Photo via Flickr user Brave New Films.