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October 24th, 2006

Wal-Mart Revisited

This may be a loaded question but, I’m curious what everyone’s opinions on Wal-Mart are.

I’ve felt pretty strongly that given their business practices – both towards consumers and other companies – I would feel dirty shopping there. Wal-Mart has been making a lot of plays for my business (not mine specifically but… you know… people like me) and it’s been curious.

They’re still paying their workers like crap. That’s almost a given with them at any point. They’re making inroads into poor Chicago neighborhoods, setting up green stores (!) They’re also expanding their organic food selection… although the jury is still out on how this is going to be executed. They’re even looking to cut down on waste by trimming down product packaging.

These are good steps, admittedly. But are they good enough for me to ignore everything else? Not really.

The last time I shopped at Wal-Mart was when I was on a business trip to Utah (yeah!), it was 9:30pm, and everything else was closed. Those are about the only conditions that are ideal for some Wal-Mart shoppin’.

Posted in Consumer Commentary

COD October 24, 2006, 12:27 pm

We do our grocery shopping there. Personally, I hate the stores and it ruins my mood for the day anytime the wife drags me there. They are typically crowded, the lines are slow, and they are always out of 2 or 3 things on our list. However, the combination of Walmart and BJ’s Wholesale Club easily saves us $25 a week on groceries.

I should note that my hatred has nothing to do with the popular political themes of low pay etc. The new suburban Chicago store was over run with applicants, in a time when unemployment is at historical lows. Educated middle class white folks might thing the working conditions there suck, but apparently there are a lot of people that disagree with that assessment. Come to think of it, when was the last time you saw any WalMart holding a job fair or otherwise showing any sign of extra effort to recruit workers? Retail places around here are desperate for help. WalMart seems to have no problems.

Terry M. October 24, 2006, 1:26 pm

I go to Wal-Mart 3 or 4 times a year. I like shopping there because they have the self-checkout so I don’t have to deal with any people.

charlotte October 24, 2006, 7:29 pm

I wholeheartedly agree with loretta, ferosticize being one of my all-time favorite words.

Aanen October 24, 2006, 7:30 pm

I go there for the flavored water but that’s about it. The one near where my grandmother lived is about the only place to work and shop.

Marjorie October 24, 2006, 7:34 pm

Well, quite frankly I tend to disagree with everyone. For poor people, WalMart is ideal!

I’ve felt pretty strongly that given their business practices – both towards consumers and other companies – I would feel dirty shopping there

Now does that mean that you are calling us “poor people” dirty? Most dirty people are stupid, how would I have gone to Harvard Law and become a judge had I not been smart? Answer that one for me while you are shopping at your high end stores.

Also, I feel that this may not be the best Ping you have out there. This site is one of my personal favorites but as a former judge who was fired because of a mistake I made in one of my cases, I would have to say that it will offend some of the people that may have been in my cases.

Paul October 24, 2006, 7:39 pm

“Now does that mean that you are calling us “poor people” dirty? Most dirty people are stupid, how would I have gone to Harvard Law and become a judge had I not been smart?”

Oh, please. Stop reading into something that isn’t there.

“This site is one of my personal favorites but as a former judge who was fired because of a mistake I made in one of my cases, I would have to say that it will offend some of the people that may have been in my cases.”

Only if they project their personal shortcomings into the use of a common, normal word.

Ryan October 24, 2006, 7:44 pm

Yeah, where’s the problem? “Dirty” is referring to the company and their politics, not the people who shop there.

Ilana October 24, 2006, 7:45 pm

I do all my shopping at Wall-mart. It is such a convienent store, I started to work there! I make a great earning, but I wont tell you because my forefathers have warned me that it is very rude to talk about income.Anyway, I love the diverse staff of my neighborhood Wall-mart, and I agree with all of the prices. So much so, in fact, that after 10 loyal years of working at Wall-mart, I was appointed to Secretary to the Head Evaluator of the Price Decision Devision of Wall-mart, International, or PDD of the WMI, as me and my coleagues like to call it.

Marjorie October 24, 2006, 7:52 pm

Paul, I understand that you are trying to “school” me, but it definitely is not going to happen anytime soon. I am of great intelligence and if you say you are too then why are’t you winning the medical nobel prize or something of that sort? Because I was nominated a many years back for that, and I dont think that you will be anytime soon.

Paul October 24, 2006, 7:55 pm

“I am of great intelligence and if you say you are too then why are’t you winning the medical nobel prize or something of that sort?”

Great intelligence? Not with a sentence like that.

Ryan October 24, 2006, 7:56 pm

*sniff* *sniff* Troll!

Greg October 24, 2006, 8:41 pm

Some of history’s greatest psychopaths were super intelligent. Do your self-proclamations of great intelligence make you feel better about yourself? Who gives a crap, we’re talking about Wal*Mart.

This company is the personification of Darwin’s Theory in business; survival of the fittest. They are ruthless, cut throat, and vicious with pricing and vendor deals. It will keep them in business for a long time. It’s hard to fault them, though, for the little things like organic foods, expanded selection and green stores. Me, I’m indifferent on the topic. I will shop there if need be but generally won’t because of other options available.

Merle October 24, 2006, 10:42 pm

I stay away from Walmart, partially because of the wages and hiring policy, but mostly because they are so blatant about enforcing particular religious views. I have been in one in the last five years, and was pretty embarassed about that, but I was in the middle of nowhere and needed some portable snackfood.

And it really bites, because they *are* less expensive than many places. At work, people will talk about how cheap things are, mention the Walmart price, and I realize that I am paying a whole lot more elsewhere. But I would rather not support them, market leaders or not.

saywhat October 24, 2006, 10:43 pm

wal mart is dirty, overcrowded, and un-organized.
shop at kmart.

Matt October 25, 2006, 1:20 am

Intelligence doesn’t mean a thing when you are a douchebag on two legs!

jk October 25, 2006, 5:02 am

Hmmm, heated Ping today!

I am sure they vary from town to town, just like any retailer. I don’t shop there often, but the one near my house has very nice employees.

Their calcium chews don’t stick to your teeth like Viactiv.

I didn’t know the Ping had this many lurkers.

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