My experience living in Albert Lea has been great! I love that the town is small enough that we're able to know a lot of the people, but big enough that there's stuff to do. I would like to see better shopping opportunities for teenagers in Albert Lea; our mall doesn't have the best stores.
There are a variety of small businesses here, but there are nation wide companies also located here as well. In my opinion I think that most people shop in stores with a brand name like, Walmart or Hyvee.