More Walmart

March 10, 2013

From "Scrooge"

"First Collector: At this festive time of year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute.
Ebenezer: Are there no prisons?
First Collector: Plenty of prisons.
Ebenezer: And the union workhouses - are they still in operation?
First Collector: They are. I wish I could say they were not.
Ebenezer: Oh, from what you said at first I was afraid that something had happened to stop them in their useful course. I'm very glad to hear it.
First Collector: I don't think you quite understand us, sir. A few of us are endeavoring to buy the poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth.
Ebenezer: Why?
First Collector: Because it is at Christmastime that want is most keenly felt, and abundance rejoices. Now what can I put you down for?
Ebenezer: Huh! Nothing!
Second Collector: You wish to be anonymous?
Ebenezer: [firmly, but calmly] I wish to be left alone. Since you ask me what I wish sir, that is my answer. I help to support the establishments I have named; those who are badly off must go there.
First Collector: Many can't go there.
Second Collector: And some would rather die. "

From the article...

"This represents the “public face” of Walmart �" leading consumers to believe they are firmly against such exploitation, refusing to “profit” off of forced labor. Their “ALEC face” is entirely different, exposing their public persona as a mask of deceit.

Throughout their membership in ALEC Walmart has helped write and sponsor specific legislation that benefited their bottom line, regardless of the impact upon workers, consumers or voters. Walmart has tried to indicate that they hold a membership in ALEC because through ALEC they have a voice on issues important to their company. In addition they say they don’t always support ALEC’s agenda on social issues. Both assertions are not true. While denying US workers their desire to unionize, and helping ALEC develop their anti-Union model bills; ending collective bargaining and Right to Work �" Walmart readily agreed to unionization of workers in their China outlets in 2006."

"That is the game they chose to play �" and ALEC the team they played for. What some are not aware of is that ALEC wrote important legislation in the mid-1990′s that Walmart also took advantage of. This legislation is titled the Prison Industries Act. Under this legislation (already adopted in more than 30 states nationwide) private companies can have access to prisoners as a labor or workforce (under this model bill, agricultural products and services are exempt from wage requirements).

Paid minimum wage or less, many companies make thousands of products for us as consumers; flooring, produce, processed food products, furniture, office systems, clothing, after market auto parts…the list is endless. It serves as a great way for American corporations to proudly attach labels declaring “Made in USA”. Walmart has tried to hide their use of prison labor for more than two decades by using sub-contractors and cut-outs, while claiming they will not do business with any supplier who uses such labor.

Since 1991 Walmart has been buying produce from a huge farm corporation out of Arizona �" Martori Farms. According to Hoover’s profile of the company, Martori is “a fruit and vegetable grower, packer, shipper, and wholesaler and is the largest commercial agricultural company in Arizona. In 2007 Walmart celebrated their partnership with Martori in an article put out by Walmart Corporate, “16-Year Relationship Between Wal-Mart and Arizona Business Grows, Thrives” where Walmart claimed;"

I remember reading about how traffic tickets can sometimes become huge fines and if not paid can land the ticketed person in jail where the jail owners are independent entities and intent on keeping them full. Guess they make money more ways thanwere discussed in that article.

It gets much more interesting as you read...

Here is a link that might be useful: Walmart & ALEC �

Comments (135)

  • elvis

    Sorry I missed that, Ohio. Guess it was too subtle for this dunderhead. No haste; just didn't pick up on: "......and then you have the first lady singing their praises, while ignoring their practices." as a chiding. My bad.

  • ohiomom

    and also :)Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on Mon, Mar 11, 13 at 10:49

    I agree about the difference between Target and Walfart ... which is why I was disappointed in the first lady's endorsement of them.

    .......don't know what you were expecting Elvis, personal attacks on the first lady? Name calling?? What?

    I have spoken out my displeasure with this administration in the past, and will probably continue to do so.

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  • jodik_gw

    I really wish we had a Costco within driving distance...

  • demifloyd

    Although I don't buy much regularly any longer, count me as a TJ Maxx and Marshalls fan.

    I buy pretty bottled liquid soaps, hand towels, olive oil, terry headwraps and such at these stores, as well as the occasional serving platter or to replace wine glasses, etc. Most of my workout wear comes from Marshall's--Nike, Champion, Danskin all wear for years and are considerably discounted from department store prices.

    Also, TJ Maxx has some nice purses at good discounts.
    Years ago I bought a Christian Dior black crepe pantsuit (an unusual find) at TJ Maxx and finally donated it--I think to Dress for Success, not because it was worn or didn't look great, but because I was tired of wearing it for years and years. It was probably the best money I ever spent. You have to shop regularly at these store, but if you are an eagle eye and beat other shoppers you can find great bargains.

    I agree, though, that these stores can get messy and be an unpleasant shopping experience--usually on weekends, but then I avoid shopping at all on the weekends and try to run those types of errands on weekday mornings, if possible.

    Hands down the best shopping experience in my opinion is Nordstrom. They have a variety of price points and fabulous customer service.

  • elvis

    Ohio: ".......don't know what you were expecting Elvis, personal attacks on the first lady? Name calling?? What?"

    You done? Yes? Great--let's move on.


    I've had good and not-so-good experiences at many stores, as have we all.

    I love a really good thrift shop (charity store); we're lucky to have 3 locally. I've visited thrift stores elsewhere that were pretty bad, and also some that were quite wonderful.

    I really think the location of the store is everything.

  • ohiomom

    You done? Yes? Great--let's move on.


    Demi my daughter likes to catch the sales at Macy's, mama likes TJMax.

  • demifloyd

    Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 16, 13 at 15:33

    Demi my daughter likes to catch the sales at Macy's, mama likes TJMax.


    I don't have a Macy's, except when I go to Dallas, Houston, or Chicago I sometimes stop in. I never did find clothing I liked at Macy's, but they had good white sales, and used to carry narrow shoes, which I no longer wear.

    Nordstrom does carry narrow shoes and their personnel will bring out anything you want, you don't even have to look.

    Just tell them what you can and can't wear, and wait and they take care of it. Love, love Nordstrom. Also, free alterations and live piano music while shopping--can't beat it!

    I like Tuesday Morning, too.
    With deep discounts at these types of stores, Department Store have to step up their game.

  • ohiomom

    We have a Tuesday Morning too .... haven't bought anything there, but I do like to "window shop" :)

  • Lily316

    We have a Macy's two miles from my house, and I have never bought a thing there. However I AM a Maxxinista, and even on Sat. night the store is tidy and clean except for maybe the rug aisle where people pull them down and don't return them as they found them. Bought grandson an Izod button down for $12 and the tag from the company says $67.There is not the great selection as in department stores but real bargains. I need to stay out of the gift department aisles because I can't resist the cool things. Now gardening stuff has taken over and I've bought stuff( I didn't need) for the past few weeks. I need an intervention. Between TJ's and Target, I'm an addict.

  • demifloyd

    Lily, I'm betting you also have a gift closet, too, with such finds.
    (I do).

  • chase_gw

    Target is just opening up here in Canada...not sure what to expect but they are taking over my beloved Zellers so I'm likely to be a harsh critic....

    When in Florida I became a Marshall's and Beall's many bathing suits and sandals does a girl need? Customs just rolled their eyes!

  • Lily316

    I do, Demi. Don't

    Chase, Marshall's and TJ MAXX are the same company and virtually the same store. We have a Marshall's two miles from the TJ's and you'll find much of the same merchandise.Different layout though. I just wish we had a Homegoods store here also run by the same company.

  • demifloyd

    I figured you did.

    Me, too.

    I can't be driving into town every time I need a gift!

    Chase, I'll bet you like Target, too.

    Bealls--used to be good, I haven't been in one in years now.
    Of course what they carry is regional--in Texas there was better merchandise. Probably better in Florida, too.

    The Macy's vs. JCP Martha Stewart saga is the next interesting department store situation to watch for me.

    As to Walmart--I think they'll always have their patrons, as will Costco and others. It's what makes this country great--that we have a choice and are not forced to enter the doors of a business we don't want to patronize.

  • Lily316

    Okay , guess who went to Walmart tonight? As we were eating in a restaurant near Walmart, husband said he needed to run in there and get his gigantic bag of sunflower seed. He wondered why I started laughing. Since we go probably twice a year, I paid close attention to my surroundings. We had to walk it seemed a mile to the garden center to get the seed. I hate the layout of the store. They have many checkout lanes but only two in operation. Lucky we could self scan our one item. I saw no strange looking customers that would make me take a picture with my phone and post on People of Walmart youtube. The one thing I observed, every single person I saw tonight who works there either stocking shelves or just wandering around was obese. There was not a skinny or normal sized Walmart employee I saw in my brief in/out trip. Husband didn't even know about this thread ,but he asked if I ever noticed that most of the cars and trucks in the parking lot are American made which is usually the opposite at places we frequent. .

  • markjames

    The following pics are of one of the local Walmart Supercenters.

    The store is most always clean, well stocked and checkout times are relatively short.

    When I'm shopping for 1 or a few items I'll often check out in automotive, sporting goods, outdoors or electronics to save time.

    The layout of the store is anything but intuitive - even the entrances/exits on two ends of the store are backwards.

    I generally park my vehicles back in automotive so they don't get door dinged.

    You don't see many junkers these days, however there are a lot of careless drivers/parkers in parking lots these days.

  • jomuir

    posted by elvis
    I've been in quite a few Walmarts around the country, and have never seen a dirty, nasty one. I doubt it's the store; it's probably the environment. I find it difficult to believe Target is such a contrast right next door. Doesn't make sense to me. Does that make sense to you?

    It doesn't make sense to me. That's why I always notice it: I do go in Walmart about once a year for something I can't find at Target, my Target isn't a Superstore, and the rest of my shopping is done at the veg/meat market, so occasionally I do have to venture in. And every time I'm surprised by how much worse the store looks than the Target right next door.

    I will concede that when I go to northern Mich. & we go in the Walmart there it's cleaner & neater & less TSA-style security. But the Walmarts in my county are awful, so maybe it's regional. Either way, it still reflects corporate values, they're tolerating lower standards.

  • don_socal

    Has nothing to do with the OP of this thread or the subject that I have attempted to bring it back to a few times. Seems the American public like to be lied to and have their tax dollars support the workers at all the Wallmarts then complain about "entitlements". Keep buying products made by labor that make a dollar a day and making the richest richer. Lipstick on a pig does not make the pig something different.

  • markjames

    Customer service at many local stores varies substantially day to day.

    Much depends on management and especially the workers on the shift.

    Some workers are knowledgeable, helpful, courteous, fast and can multi-task, while others are slow, rude, clueless and make numerous mistakes even when performing a single task.

    When you're a frequent shopper, you get to know which stores are the best, who to ask for help, who the fast cashiers are, which workers and cashiers to avoid etc.

    I've been in longer lines, yet checked out faster than customers in shorter lines as the cashiers/baggers are much faster and make few mistakes.

    We've poached many of our workers from local businesses as we've observed them in action.

  • markjames

    I find it interesting that many locals blame the failure of XYZ stores on Walmart.

    Many downtowns, stores, mom and pops, shopping plazas and strip malls were dead or dying long before Walmart.

    Many tenants left shopping plazas as they lacked large anchor tenants to attract customers.

    Locally, Walmart stores attract customers to many other businesses in the area.

    Former residents that haven't been in the area are often blown away by the commercial growth.

  • david52 Zone 6

    In our local Walmart, those aisles would have a pallet of something at the end of each one, making it far more difficult to navigate with a cart.

    Another thing that just makes me shake my head with big box stores is the timing of their garden stuff. They're filling up with plants now, in mid March, their stuff coming from Georgia or CA or Fl, while nobody around here plants anything out until May at the earliest.

    The best, though, is seeing pallets of agricultural lime - uh, anybody ever look at all the soil tests around here?

  • markjames

    Some of the isles at our Walmart stores are so wide that you could drive a tractor trailer with an oversized load through them.

    Seasonal timing in many stores is poor.

    By July many stores stop re-stocking many camping, fishing and marine supplies although the demand is strong, hence why we do more and more shopping online.

    Many stores are terrible at re-stocking as well. We often see the same vacant spaces for months.

  • jodik_gw

    The sad thing, David, is that many of those plants will die from neglect and/or lack of knowledge way before they're sold/purchased. And quite often, there's no markdown on anything half dead to make it worth your while to take it home and try to salvage it.

  • david52 Zone 6

    I've bought plants from Walmart three times.

    White flies
    checked, but still
    White flies
    white flies.

    I think I've learned my lesson.

  • jillinnj

    how many bathing suits and sandals does a girl need?

    A girl going on a cruise needs A LOT! :-)

    I love Nordstrom's service, and I love their shoes. But, I have a hard time finding clothes there. They have a very nice junior department, but the rest seems stodgy to me. I have on occassion found something there, but not often. The men's department is also good for suits and their service there is just wonderful. Also, the restaurants are good. And, by far the best bathrooms! I always park near Nordstrom for that reason :-)

    In my experience, Macy's has the widest swings in merchandise depending on location. There's one 10 minutes from my house that I don't waste my time in. I never understood because it's in a high income area. They are renovating and enlarging that mall, so I'm hoping it will improve. The one 30 minutes away is great.

    HomeGoods is my favorite. It is very rare that I leave that store empty handed.

  • markjames

    Last summer I shopped at over a dozen local brick and mortars and half a dozen online stores, yet still couldn't get the equipment and tackle I wanted to equip a couple fishing boats.

    I had to settle for alternatives, buy some stuff on Ebay and buy some stuff used.

    Whenever I really like a product, I have to buy huge quantities, buy NOS, or buy used as they stop making it, stop selling it, or change the product to make it suck.

  • Lily316

    The Walmart in the picture has a much nicer facade than the super size one I went to on Saturday night. And despite local protests, we are getting yet another smaller one about two miles from me. I won't shop there either. The entrance to the one I just went to is so dreary and depressing. Can I say again how I HATE Walmart. I just get a feeling of dread and "get me out of here". I never stop and linger. There are pallets every where , no rhyme or reason to the layout.

    Where as going to Target where I also was Saturday is a pleasure. Wide aisles, attractive people, helpful not obese employees, many checkouts open, literate employees. Guy who checked us commented on an obscure author on a book husband was buying telling him to read such and such if he liked this author. Would not happen at Walmart, or at least mine.

    As for the cars. Many pickup trucks at Walmart. Mostly foreign cars at Target (and the gym) , and I counted two trucks.

  • markjames

    The Walmart in the pictures is next to large Price Chopper and Hannaford grocery stores, Walgreens, Advance Auto, Good Will, Lowes, Home Depot, Big Lots, Radio Shack and across the road from Aldi's, Save-A-Lot, Rite-Aid, Target, Khol's, Staples, Tractor Supply, a Boat/RV dealer, a fitness center. There are numerous restaurants and smaller specialty stores on both sides of the road as well.

    They're currently building a TJ Maxx and other businesses as well. Makes you wonder how many businesses the area can support.

    You often see the same people in many of these businesses that you see in Walmart.

    Since many of our stores are so close to one another, it makes shopping at 4/5/6 plus different stores very convenient.

    It's also pretty common to see the same customers in duplicate stores only minutes away since they're relatively close.

    We see many of our customers that live in areas without a Walmart SuperCenter that travel great distances to shop at the SuperCenters for groceries, plus other goods and services.

    In one county where they're building a massive Walmart SuperCenter, most of the residents are very happy as the current Walmart store it's replacing doesn't have groceries, auto service, vision center, in-store restaurants, plus it's not open 24 hours.

    Demand for Walmart was so high in Queensbury that they built a second SuperCenter.

    Speaking of cars vs trucks, it's very regional locally. The further North you go, the more AWD vehicles, SUVs and trucks you'll see.

    It's very seasonal as well as many residents and tourists drive different vehicles in the summer.

  • Ja-Lisa

    All I know is that Wallmarts prices are the only way I can afford to feed my babies and buy the birthday and Christmas gifts, that also goes for my neighbors, My Edward works there during the summers and holidays and is learning a lot of skills and It keeps him off the street and he can buy his gadgets.

  • markjames

    Yesterday I was going to pick up a few dozen items at Hannaford and/or Price Chopper, but ended up walking out of the stores as I could save the people I was shopping for over $40 buying these items at Walmart SuperCenter.

    Between Hannaford and Price Chopper they still didn't have enough of these items in stock. Both stores only had 1 register open, while Walmart had 6 lanes open. I was going to by a couple items at Price Chopper, but after waiting in a line that was barely moving I put down the items and left.

    These stores are only good places to shop for many items when they have sales, however all the items I purchased at Walmart are roughly the same price all the time.

    Many younger residents and residents that haven't lived in the regions very long think that many of the current stores are price gougers, but we tell them they should have seen how bad things were before Walmart, Price Chopper, Hannaford, Aldi's, Save-A-Lot, Dollar General and others came to the area.

    Many of the smaller chain stores, mom and pops and convenience stores took price gouging to a new level, especially during tourist season since there was little, or no competition.

    When there were much fewer convenience stores, dollar stores and drug stores in the poor urban areas, residents would literally pay 3X for many items.

    Now that competition is so brutal, many convenience stores actually have better prices on some grocery items than larger grocery stores.

    Speaking of Walmart and jobs, one of our employee's daughters just got hired at Walmart full time starting @ $9.70 per hour. She was working at Price Chopper, but only making $8.10 per hour and only averaging 2 4-hour shifts per week.

  • don_socal

    "Wal-Mart's loss was a gain for Kohl's Corp. (KSS), Safeway Inc. (SWY), Target Corp. (TGT) and Walgreen Co. (WAG) -- the chains Hancock hit for the items she couldn't find at Wal-Mart.

    "If it's not on the shelf, I can't buy it," she said. "You hate to see a company self-destruct, but there are other places to go."

    It's not as though the merchandise isn't there. It's piling up in aisles and in the back of stores because Wal-Mart doesn't have enough bodies to restock the shelves, according to interviews with store workers. In the past five years, the world's largest retailer added 455 U.S. Wal-Mart stores, a 13 percent increase, according to filings and the company's website. In the same period, its total U.S. workforce, which includes Sam's Club employees, dropped by about 20,000, or 1.4 percent. Wal-Mart employs about 1.4 million U.S. workers.

    Disorganized Stores

    A thinly spread workforce has other consequences: Longer check-out lines, less help with electronics and jewelry and more disorganized stores, according to Hancock, other shoppers and store workers. Last month, Wal-Mart placed last among department and discount stores in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the sixth year in a row the company had either tied or taken the last spot. The dwindling level of customer service comes as Wal-Mart has touted its in-store experience to lure shoppers and counter rival Inc. "

    "White, who has six children, said while long checkout lines irritated him, "the number-one reason we gave up on Wal-Mart was its prolonged, horrible, maddening inability to keep items in stock." "

    Here is a link that might be useful: Customers Flee Wal-Mart Empty Shelves for Target, Costco

  • don_socal

    "NEW YORK -- The world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., says it is likely that it will incur a loss from bribery probes into its operations in Mexico and other countries.

    The company has been dealing with allegations that surfaced last April that it failed to notify law enforcement that company officials authorized millions of dollars in payments in Mexico to speed up getting building permits and gain other favors. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act forbids American companies from bribing foreign officials.

    The company has launched its own investigation and is working with government officials in the U.S. and Mexico. In November, the retailer said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was looking into potential U.S. bribery law violations in Brazil, China and India."

    Here is a link that might be useful: Walmart Likely To Incur A Loss From Bribery Probes: SEC Filing

  • Campanula UK Z8

    Lily - please....shut up. You are sounding weird and obsessive. I rarely agree with Demi but truly, your snobbery knows no bounds. Substitute black for obese - yah just wouldn't dare. Smugness and complacency are not attractive traits.

    Nope, not obese (but we do have a beat-up old pick-up).

  • Lily316

    I have a right to compare our crappy Walmart and it's strange clientele to the classy, clean, and bright Target down the road without being called an elitist. I call them as I see them. It's not weird and obsessive to want to shop at clean functional stores with many open check out lines and attractive employees . And all the employees I saw that night at Walmart were obese. Says a lot about the atmosphere of the store. Call me a snob, but check out this thread because many said the same thing of the comparisons. Maybe other Walmarts are different, but I seriously doubt it.

  • Campanula UK Z8

    Yeah, but Lily, obesity seems like the last taboo where we can really mock the poor (or, to use the hateful parlance in the UK, the chavs). You know, way back in the 1930s, rich people were writing to the Times lamenting the working classes poor choices of diet (white bread, sweet tea and lots of jam) but this is a simplistic argument at best. Nutrition is a class issue, touching on all sorts of things such as education, aspirations, accessibility and mostly, the spiralling cost of good fresh food compared to cheap high calorie processed substitutes.
    I know you don't mean badly, I have read many of your posts, but being just a weeny bit obsessive about obesity definitely comes across as distinctly elitist....and it is never attractive, picking on those who cannot afford or do not aspire to having a nicely middle class organic diet and lifestyle.

  • Lily316

    I'm sorry there is the perception that I am intolerant of obesity. It does sound snobbish, I guess. I know how hard it is for people to give up smoking. I'm sure it's just as difficult to give up unhealthy food if that's what you've eaten all your life. You can exist without cigarettes, you can't live without food. I agree it's NOT easy to have an organic fruit and veggie diet. It's quite expensive and you can buy a lot more prepared food for the same price. I don't know the answer.

  • chase_gw

    From my observation the obesity I see cannot be attributed to poverty, at least not in the sense of trying to eat cheaply.

    The grocery carts of these folk are not filled with inexpensive foods but rather expensive processed foods, chips, sweet cereals, pop, frozen pizzas, ready made lunch "treats" etc.

    The issue I think is much more complicated than ones financial status.

  • Campanula UK Z8

    Absolutely, Chase - it is a complex mish-mash but so is access to education, self-esteem, availability of good food, addictive behaviour.........not to mention the self-serving food processing industry. I think it is fair to say that mocking overweight Walmart shoppers and workers is not doing much to help though.

  • elvis

    I agree, Camp. lily sums up her attitude best, herself:

    •Posted by lily316 z5PA (My Page) on Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 12:19

    "Call me a snob, Demi, but as a regular shopper at Target (every Saturday) if I had a camera with me, there would never have been a instance where there was a person so fat or so disgusting, I'd take a picture. At Walmart you see in the dead of winter these tattooed fat guys in wifebeater shirts with tiny infants out very late on cold nights. Almost child neglect. Plus I'm always worried my car will be keyed, because of the liberal bumper stickers on the Prius."

  • Lily316

    As usual Elvis is here to stir up the pot. Ho hum. Must be a regular at Walmart.

  • markjames

    It's not as though the merchandise isn't there. It's piling up in aisles and in the back of stores because Wal-Mart doesn't have enough bodies to restock the shelves, according to interviews with store workers.

    Two of our relatives - both BIAs (Backroom Inventory Associates) at Walmart stores definitely don't have inventory piling up in the back of either of their stores.

    The transition from suppliers to distribution center, to truck, to backroom to floor/shelf/rack/freezer is quite efficient.

    We buy most of our canned, frozen and dry goods from Walmart Supercenters as they have the greatest quantities, the fastest re-stocking and often the best prices.

    Early in the food stamp cycle, and during tourist season frozen food products are often wiped out at Price Chopper and Hannaford as they don't have the volume or efficiency in their distribution system.

    When we want dozens of a particular product Walmart SuperCenters are often our only choice.

    That said there are major differences in "some" inventory at "some" Walmart stores.

    This is why we order many products via Walmart's online ship-to-store, or ship to home option.

  • markjames

    Plus I'm always worried my car will be keyed, because of the liberal bumper stickers on the Prius."

    The last time I was at Walmart there was a Prius with a sticker on the window - "Nobody Cares About Your Stick Figure Family" with a picture of someone with a chainsaw chasing a stick figure family.

    Anyone with a Prius and liberal bumper/window stickers would have low risk of being keyed at any of the Walmart stores where we shop, however you'd risk door and cart dings and scrapes if they parked too close to the stores.

  • don_socal

    "Walmart's growing control of our food system has been to intensify the rural and urban poverty that drives unhealthy food choices. "

    "Springfield is one of nearly 40 metro areas where Walmart now captures about half or more of consumer spending on groceries, according to Metro Market Studies. Springfield area residents spend just over $1 billion on groceries each year, and one of every two of those dollars flows into a Walmart cash register. "

    "As Springfield goes, so goes the rest of the country, if Walmart has its way. Nationally, the retailer's share of the grocery market now stands at 25 percent. That's up from 4 percent just 16 years ago. Walmart's tightening grip on the food system is unprecedented in U.S. history. Even A&P �" often referred to as the Walmart of its day �" accounted for only about 12 percent of grocery sales at its height in the 1940s. Its market share was kept in check in part by the federal government, which won an antitrust case against A&P in 1946. The contrast to today's casual acceptance of Walmart's market power could not be more stark. "

    "The real effect of Walmart's takeover of our food system has been to intensify the rural and urban poverty that drives unhealthy food choices. Poverty has a strong negative effect on diet, regardless of whether there is a grocery store in the neighborhood or not, a major 15-year study published in 2011 in the Archives of Internal Medicine found. Access to fresh food cannot change the bottom-line reality that cheap, calorie-dense processed foods and fast food are financially logical choices for far too many American households. And their numbers are growing right alongside Walmart. Like Midas in reverse, Walmart extracts wealth and pushes down incomes in every community it touches, from the rural areas that produce food for its shelves to the neighborhoods that host its stores. "

    "Food production workers are being squeezed too. The average slaughterhouse wage has fallen 9 percent since 1999. Forced unpaid labor at food processing plants is on the rise. Last year, a Louisiana seafood plant that supplies Walmart was convicted of forcing employees to work in unsafe conditions for less than minimum wage. Some workers reported peeling and boiling crawfish in shifts that spanned 24 hours. "

    Here is a link that might be useful: Walmart's Death Grip on Groceries Is Making Life Worse for Millions of People

  • jodik_gw

    "A study published in 2008 in the Journal of Urban Economics examined about 3,000 Walmart store openings nationally and found that each store caused a net decline of about 150 jobs (as competing retailers downsized and closed) and lowered total wages paid to retail workers. Other research by the economic consulting firm Civic Economics has found that, when locally owned businesses are replaced by big-box stores, dollars that once circulated in the community, supporting other businesses and jobs, instead leak out. These shifts may explain the findings of another study, published in Social Science Quarterly in 2006, which cut straight to the bottom line: neighborhoods where Walmart opens end up with higher poverty rates and more food-stamp usage than places where the retailer does not expand."

    Again... "neighborhoods where Walmart opens end up with higher poverty rates and more food-stamp usage than places where the retailer does not expand."

    So, big-boxing or super-sizing consumerism can be said to heighten and quicken poverty... not help it in any fashion. What a racket...

  • elvis

    "...neighborhoods where Walmart opens end up with higher poverty rates and more food-stamp usage than places where the retailer does not expand."

    Jodi: "So, big-boxing or super-sizing consumerism can be said to heighten and quicken poverty... not help it in any fashion. What a racket.."

    Not true in this neck of the woods. Walmart does not fill the niche of the small speciality shops, they are unfazed. Lots of jobs are provided, and although not great benefits, the Walmart jobs do have some fringes, unlike the Ma & Pa operations Walmart may (or may not) replace.

    We shopped in the Walmart 25 miles west of us last week and saved a bundle on groceries (we don't buy produce or meat there, except bananas). The store was, as always, spacious, clean, bright, and I didn't notice any offensive-looking fellow consumers there (must be a PA phenom).

    Stopped at the Walmart 25 miles south yesterday to buy some fabric in their sewing department, ditto the store conditions. Also, very friendly and helpful personnel.

    Different region, different perspecrtive. Around here, Walmart is not evil. I wonder who/what entity is behind the anti-Walmart lobby.

  • don_socal

    The ones that read the truth about how they do business and force their underpaid workers to use food stamps, medicare, medicaid and other government help to get by, have any medical insurance or just live a half way decent life. That is besides their practice of forcing their suppliers to go to China for manufacturing and using sweat shop labor. you are paying for much of this through your taxes weather you shop there or not and the money that is spent there goes to their corporate so is not recirculated in the local community. Have you not read any of the links on this thread? Research for yourself and find out what they do, it is not an entity that is against them it is intelligent people that realize they are ruining every place they put a store.

  • elvis

    Ah. Thank you, Don.

  • jodik_gw

    Like I've said numerous times... the glut for profit is literally killing this nation, and the world we all have to share...

  • don_socal

    A great place to shop.

    "CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- At least two people were jabbed by syringes found in clothing at a Walmart store in Cartersville, Ga., over the past two weeks, authorities said."

    "According to Sgt. Jonathan Rogers of the Bartow County Sheriff's Office, management at the Walmart store said they had found syringes in other items at the store, and are investigating."

    "Headrick said that after going to the hospital, she was told she would have to be tested again in six months to ensure she does not have hepatitis or HIV.

    "It's a waiting game right now," she said. "I'm scared to death. I don't know what's going to happen. I'm shocked that someone can do this to someone. It's mean. I don't understand why someone would do this."

    According to Headrick, Walmart said they won't pay for preventive treatment to prevent HIV. She said she has to take the medicine for the next seven days, and it's $1,300.

    If the investigation finds an employee has put it in there, they will pay. If it is found to be the result of the actions of a random person, they won't pay, Headrick said."

    Here is a link that might be useful: Syringes found inside clothes at Ga. Walmart store

  • elvis

    Kind of out of date, including the part about trying to make the victims whole as best they can. Just being fair. I own no stock in Walmart.

    Wal-Mart Shoppers Pricked by Syringes Hidden Within Clothing
    December 1, 2011 by Sky Obercam

    snip: "...Sgt. Rogers states that the sheriff’s investigation is in full swing, reviewing store security footage for leads in the case. “We’re trying to identify who may have done that and why they might have done that,” he claims. He reports that neither victim had any “medical issues that we know of,” after the incidents and that the syringes, which were all recovered, appear to have been unused.

    Wal-Mart said it was working with law enforcement on the investigation, and taking extra precautions, such as adding staff in the women’s apparel area, Msnbc reports. “We’re committed to getting to the bottom of it,” said Dianna Gee, a Wal-Mart spokesperson. “We do believe it’s an isolated situation involving this particular store.”

    As part of their original “commitment,” Wal-Mart had refused to reimburse Patricia Headrick’s $1,300 syringe-related medical bill until a criminal investigation had been completed, but the mega-corp recently changed its tune. A recent AP update reveals that Wal-mart agrees to pay for any valid medical expenses for customers harmed as a result of syringes found in clothing at one of its north Georgia stores.

    Syringes have been found inside clothing items on sale at the Wal-Mart in Cartersville four times within a matter of days, including within a pair of Hello Kitty socks and a pair of trousers, which were detected without incident.

    In regards to the victims, Patricia Headrick has received treatment for her injury, and plans to repeat all tests in 6 months. Sources report that the traumatized 14-year-old victim was treated at home.

    Sgt. Rogers issued the following warning to shoppers:
    “You naturally want to be careful putting your hands into places where you can’t see them…Anytime you buy clothing it’s always best to check it and make sure there’s nothing in there to hurt you.”

    I've found straight pins and staples in new clothing before.

    Here is a link that might be useful: And Now...The Rest of the Story

  • david52 Zone 6

    "Costco’s most recent quarterly earnings report reveals a fairly healthy eight percent rate of growth in year-on-year sales - including a five percent rise in same store sales. What’s more, with membership fees rising from $459 million in the same quarter last year to $528 million this year, it’s pretty clear that a significant number of customers are moving over to the retailer to do their discount shopping.

    Meanwhile, Costco’s primary competitor, Walmart, saw an anemic 1.2 percent rise in sales, while other competitors such as J.C. Penny and Target TGT +0.56% experienced even greater disasters in their sales results.

    In an identical economy, how do we explain Costco’s growth vis-à-vis the failures over at Walmart?

    Here’s a crazy thought - might it have something to do with the fact that Costco pays nearly all of its employees a decent living (well in excess of the minimum wage) while Wal-Mart continues to pay its workers as if their employees don’t actually need to eat more than once a week, live in an enclosed space and, on occasion, take their kids to see a doctor?

    And just in case the occasional Walmart employee finds a way to squeak by, the company has sought to put an end to that by cutting their employment roster by 1.4 percent, even as they increased their store count by thirteen percent.

    The result?

    Walmart service now pretty much sucks - and customers don’t like it.

    Without enough employees to get the basic work of a retail operation done - and with those on site being paid a wage so low that it is difficult to expect much in the way of pride or motivation - Wal-Mart merchandise remains stacked on pallets in the warehouse rather than making it to the floor where customers can find the products they want. At the same time, check-out lines are painfully long and annoying as the overall shopping experience continues to deteriorate.

    One is left to wonder about the value of offering products at a lower price if those products are not on the shelves when the customer needs to buy them?

    Per Bloomberg Businessweek:

    “Wal-Mart Stores WMT -0.22% (WMT) has been cutting staff since the recession - and pallets of merchandise are piling up in its stockrooms as shelves go unfilled. In the past five years the world’s largest retailer added 455 U.S. Walmart stores, a 13 percent increase, according to company filings in late January. In the same period its total U.S. workforce, which includes employees at its Sam’s Club warehouse stores, dropped by about 20,000, or 1.4 percent.” The article continues, “A thinly spread workforce has other consequences: longer checkout lines, less help throughout the store, and disorganization. Last month, Walmart placed last among department and discount stores in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the sixth year in a row the company has either tied or taken the last spot. The dwindling level of customer service comes as Walmart has touted its in-store experience to lure financially strained shoppers and to counter the threat from online rivals such as

    Here is a link that might be useful: link

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