Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Is the pendulum swinging?

Wal Mart posted it's weakest earnings increase in years this quarter. All together now - Awwwwwww!

I was just in a Wal Mart last night and have decided that unless absolutely necessary, I'm finished supporting them. First, in an effort to save pennies they've downgraded the quality of much of their inventory to the point that I refuse to buy it.

But that's only the tip of the iceberg. There are several other reasons I'm leaving "Wally World":

1 - Labor practices. Rock-bottom benefits and wages make Wal Mart a good example of competition run amok. They command their share of the discount store business on the backs of their employees, who generally make less than average and work more. They indiscriminately hire illegals without checking status.

2 - They are large enough. Yet they keep building stores. They now generate profit in the several billion range quarterly and it grows all the time. Wal Mart has become the black-hole of the business world, hungrily consuming smaller businesses with reckless disregard... quickly doing their part at eliminating middle-class America and forever tipping the balance toward complete corporate domination. (oh shit, now I'm sounding like an alarmist ultra-liberal)

3 - They screw people with a smile. Read THIS story if you have a minute.

4 - Wal Mart is now so large it is opening it's own bank to process credit, debit and other transactions in order to maximize profit. Again, the banks and credit unions who have long depended on Wal Mart's business get buried beneath the behemoth weight of the beast. Eventually they will provide their own electricity for their stores through the Walton Electric Company. Then they eliminate brand names all together, selling nothing but store brands manufactured in-house.

5 - They're just easy to hate.

Please, lest you think I'm not a greedy capitalist... let me say I am as capitalistic as they come. But there's a point at which we need to place limits and slow growth of a company in order to provide an atmosphere of equitable business opportunity. Otherwise we run the risk of eventually becoming the United States of Wal Mart.

And our mascot becomes "Uncle Sam's."


Justice said...

I am very much anti-Walmart. I do my best to avoid patronizing them. The article you linked to is just another example of why I hate them so much. I am convinced that their ultimate goal is to eliminate the small business community. It was bad when Sam Walton was alive, but since his death his wife and children have made Walmart a corporate monster.

Amandarama said...

I don't shop at Wal-Mart. I don't shop anywhere that makes the fashion racks at Target look like haute couture.

Chris Cope said...

I used to be a Sam's Club employee and they occasionally had us clock out even when there was still a bit of work that had to be done. Wal-Mart is evil.

Lee Ann said...

I have noticed their customer service has really gone down hill, at least at the one located near me. My boyfriend and I were just talking about it the other day. You know the issues you were talking about just boils down to.....GREED!

smays said...

And they don't advertise on the radio.

lilly05 said...

I worked for Wally World for about a year and a half. I had my full-time hours cut down to 6 hrs a week, with the 6 hrs taking three days to complete. Yes, that's right, I worked two hours a day for three days a week and all because I took a week off for my two-year-old son to have surgery! They did this to me to avoid firing me, this way I was literally forced to quit and give up any rights to unemployment funds. Evil bastards.

Rob Seifert said...

Walmart = Evil But they are open late... I try not to go in there if I can possibly help it but the late night ice cream munchies sometimes demand that I do. Damn ice cream.


Agnes Mitchell said...

Yea! I'm thrilled to know there are more like me out there. I banned them years ago.
For the record, I have way more inside perspective of WM than a person should ever have. I've been shipping freight to them for 12years. I will say, they have "improved" vastly since the demise of Pappa Walton...they are now a finely tuned GOVERNMENT.
Seriously, check out their overseas markets. It's freakin scary!

We laugh and say the WM Corporates have god-complexes. Don't you doubt it for a second. "You will obide by our laws or be banished."

No way man. No WM for me. That group really needs to be humbled.

J.T.g said...

They know own Garth Brooks, Too!


Garth Brooks has signed a multi-year, exclusive pact with Wal-Mart, making the retailer and its Sam's Clubs and outlets the only places where his music will be commercially available.

The deal with Brooks marks the first time an artist -- and certainly a superstar -- has aligned himself and his entire catalog with one chain.

J.T.g said...

should have been "They now own Garth Brooks, too."