Will Wal-Mart be your next destination?

Old Nov 11th, 2004, 10:39 AM
  #41  
 
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just1day
I remember hearing that Walmart was the single largest US importer from China - so they may promote an "All American" images - but don't live it.

I think these sort of changes are inevitable because they are perceived as beneficial to some rural areas. All you can do is hold them to certain standards in how they conduct business.




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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 10:56 AM
  #42  
 
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I don't usually get into "these things"...but, here goes. Wal-Mart employs the "working poor". They also like to keep people below the hours that would qualify them for benefits. I just voted to raise the minimum wage 1.00 per hour in my state...it has to be voted on again in two years before it can become law so at that point with inflation, nothing will really change. I don't pay any of my employees minimum wage...I think it's an insult. A lot of the people that work at Wal-Mart have to avail themselves of the emergency rooms etc. for their medical care and then can't pay for it, so we pay for it. Wal-Mart also will frequently get a city to help finance their construction of a new store. They will get land donated to them and financial arrangements..all with the promise of lots of jobs in a poor community. They did this in an area in southern California. They opened the store, got the land, got cheap loans and then within about two years, they made their name, built a Super Center several communities over and closed the original store. They left the original community with an empty shell of a store and a lot of people out of work again, and a lot of empty promises. I have done work at the Walton Family summer home at Lake Tahoe....gives one pause. I think the problem with some of this is, we are beginning to see a kind of "class war" going on...for a lot of reasons. I personally do not think wealth is a bad thing and if there is a recession, the wealthy people keep me in business because they are the only ones that can afford my services. On the other hand, I can see a certain "exploitation" of employees going on, but then on the other hand we all like cheap goods...so the beat goes on. I'm not giving solutions here because the issues are very complex, there has been a lot of co-orporate greed that has helped create this "class" structure..and I just don't know what the answer is. I do know, that I'm on a first name basis with my congressmen. I e-mail then all the time...I usually begin with "Hi..I'm baaaaaack!!!!" I even had Senator Reid's office call me one day. Gave me the "party line pat answer" to my question, but at least he was hearing me. It was a "pork" issue and I started my e-mail by "oinking" at him. Home Depot and Lowe's try to do the same thing that Wal-Mart does and they are successful for a time, but the one thing they fail miserably on is customer service. Anyway, there are huge issues here but Wal-Mart and the "big box" stores are not going away, but there will still be a place for the smaller retailers. So, my "thing" is..I don't shop at Wal-Mart because of the way they do business, not because of the store, or the goods, or any of that kind of thing. I honestly don't think they miss me one bit, ya think?
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 11:02 AM
  #43  
 
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Sea Urchin that is the standard Walmart response, "these inskilled people are lucky to have any job". What people forget is that other retailers also employ unskilled people, who actually pick up skills while working, but they pay them a little better and, this is the biggie, provide heath benefits. Most Walmart employees do not have benefits and, as they are paid so little, can't afford to get their own.

As a result, while Walmart makes huge profits, it is effectively subsidized by individual States which have to pick up health care costs. This would not be an issue in Europe.
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 11:04 AM
  #44  
 
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Sorry, that should be "unskilled".

Well said, crefloors.
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 11:19 AM
  #45  
 
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The Top 15 Names for Wal-Mart Wine

15. Box O' Grapes
14. Chateau du Crack Chardonnay
13. White Trashfindel
12. Big Red Gulp
11. Grape Expectations
10. Domaine Wal-Mart "Merde du Pays"
9. Sam's Dog 20/20
8. Chef Boyardeaux
7. Trucker's Choice
6. Blue Light Special Nun
5. Chateau des Moines
4. Mogen Darryl
3. I Can't Believe It's Not Vinegar!
2. World Championship Wriesling

and the Number 1 Name for Wal-Mart Wine...

1. Nasti Spumanti
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 11:25 AM
  #46  
ira
 
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It may come as a major surprise to some of you folks, but if it weren't for WalMart, Kmart and other "downscale" stores the working poor wouldn't be able to afford what little luxuries they do have.

As far as wine goes; I know many folks who don't drink it at all.
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 11:34 AM
  #47  
 
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Gosh, I'm so relieved that the working poor can afford "liitle luxuries" by working at WalMart. And to think I thought they couldn't even afford necessitites.
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 11:35 AM
  #48  
uuhhhh
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"...there has been a lot of co-orporate greed that has helped create this "class" structure."

and what is a corporation but an entity run by people who were hired by its shareholders, who presumably invested with the hope of making a lot of money. so, whose greed is it?

 
Old Nov 11th, 2004, 11:37 AM
  #49  
OO
 
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I can't STAND Wal-Mart. Won't go in unless it's for some flukey thing I can find no where else...some rare type light bulb for instance. Ugh. It's big, no humongous. You can't find anything nor can you find anyone to help you other than the nice retiree who greets you at the door. BUT...we own Wal-Mart stock and it's up 25.91% since purchase! Wish I could say the same for Pfizer and Hewlett Packard!
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 11:39 AM
  #50  
OO
 
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Uh-oh...that was a very untimely placement of my post above! If I'm greedy, I haven't done a darn good job at implementing it! LOL
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 11:40 AM
  #51  
 
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Yes, I agree, well said crefloors!!

Just out of curiosity I popped into Walmart yesterday after reading this thread.

I know their TV ads show beaming happy employees, but guess someone forgot to tell the Vacaville Walmart employees. I made a point off walking around, of studying the faces, the posture, the movements of the workers. I have never seen a more unhappy miserable looking bunch of people. I realized that the is one of the reasons I don't shop there. Everytime I read of their labor violations etc. I see "red" and feel "blue".

Also do not shop at Sam's Club, which is owned by Walmart. Talked to a neighbor who is way pass the age of retirement about a month ago. Very sweet lady. But always looks so sad. Obviously she has to work for economic reasons. She told me that Sams cannot keep employees because of the way they are treated. She said the employees are always arguing with each other due to the unhappiness and anger that prevails.

After I walked out of Walmart (did not buy anything) I went to Target. Happy bunch of employees as usual. Than went to the supermarket. Again, happy employees. Are they always 100% happy? I am sure they are not. But what a difference. In fact the Mgr. of the supermarket came up to the cashier who was getting ready to help me and said "I don't you have taken your break". Cashier explained that she hadn't because so and so had gone home sick. Mgr. with a smile sent her on her break and took over her duties.

Having owned a business I know the value of employees. I am not a snob. No one likes a bargain more than I do. But I just do not (at least knowingly) spend my money where people are not treated with respect and worth.

But Walmart is here to stay for sure. They are everywhere around where I live. But I just do my little protest of them by not spending my money with them.
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 11:42 AM
  #52  
 
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I would rather spend a little more money that go to WalMart. I live in California. They don't even provide Medical insurance to their employees and the pay is lousy. So what do the employees do? They get the state to pay for their medical.
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 11:45 AM
  #53  
ira
 
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>Gosh, I'm so relieved that the working poor can afford "liitle luxuries" by working at WalMart. And to think I thought they couldn't even afford necessitites.<

Not only working at, but shopping at.

>They don't even provide Medical insurance to their employees and the pay is lousy. So what do the employees do? They get the state to pay for their medical. <

And if we had National Health Coverage the Fed Gov could help, too.


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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 11:46 AM
  #54  
 
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Yeeaah crefloors...more of us need to be oinking at our representatives on these issues
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 12:43 PM
  #55  
 
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There will be another Wal-mart documentary on next week. There was an article in the NY Post about these 2 documentaries on wal-mart.
http://www.nypost.com/entertainment/33629.htm

I did not catch the CNBC documentary last night, but what that one proposes is that Wal-Mart, being the largest retailer in the world, has forced all its suppliers to manufacture in China.

There was also an article in the Wall Street Journal many weeks back that talked about how big box retailers, like Wal-mart, grow out of their location and build an even bigger mega-center down the road. They leave behind these giant abandoned box structures. The problem is what happens to these spaces? Well the article says, these companies would rather leave these buildings as is, as eye sores, rather than renting/selling to potential competitors.

You can argue round and round if companies like these are beneficial to society.. but I think this proves that everything comes at a price.
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 12:49 PM
  #56  
 
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Pegg, this is exactly what is happening in Vallejo CA. They will vacate their present store and build a Superstore just a few miles up the road in a small community. This community, which just incorporated a few years ago do not want a Walmart but "somehow" Walmart convinced the city fathers to give them approval.

And Vallejo will be stuck with another vacated building. Vallejo is where Mare Island Naval Shipyard was for around 150 years until is was closed in the 1990's. So things have been tough there.

And believe me "community spirited Walmart" could not care less.
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 01:07 PM
  #57  
 
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I'm going to say one more thing before this thread gets shut down...not really travel related? We do need to contact our congressmen/women...I was totally shocked when Senator Reids office called me...of course then I got thinking...oh jeeze...I've pissed him off and he's going to get the IRS on my a-- or some such thing...LOL But anyway, they do listen...for most of them it is a career and they want to stay where they are....I'm going to start mailing again...I own a business, I know what it costs to do business, even one as small as mine, and I am hardly anti-business, and I was very grateful to see that I can still keep my dividends...NOT eveyone who gets dividends is rich but it has become a "dirty" word. Having said that, I was horrified not only to see the amount of money each candidate spent on the efforts to get elected, but the way the money was funneled through to them...those 547's or what ever. And then at both conventions, the lobbiests hovering around like a bunch of vultures trying to cover their sorry butts, pandering in both directions, and the private parties, no press allowed etc. I think its absolutely disgraceful. Anyway, ol' Harry (Reid) is goin' to be hearing from me. They all need to hear from you too.
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 01:21 PM
  #58  
 
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Again, you are absolutely correct IMHO Crefloors.

And no, it is not easy being a small business owner, which is why I and my family strive to support them all we can.

Have a good day - imagine it is cold up there? A real big rainstorm that has finally calmed down here in Vacaville.
Take good care.
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 01:22 PM
  #59  
 
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Ok, I go to Wal-Mart and I go to Target. But I love the Spanish language tabloids at Walmart. I have about no idea who/what/where/when/why there are talking about, but boy, are they a hoot. The parking lot at Target is much better than Walmart in Durham, NC, but the return police at Walmart is better. If you can't find the receipt, Walmart will give you a store credit. Target isn't as liberal (ahem) as Walmart in this category.

Walgreens is under construction near my house, Eckerd's and CVS are more expensive and it's a pain to get out of the CVS parking lot near my home.

I'm curious about pay for the 'skilled' employees (managers, pharmacist, photolab) compares to other companies.
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 01:31 PM
  #60  
 
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ncgrrl, you should live in CA. Magazines, greeting cards, tons of everything in Spanish including all signs. Well not all signs, not traffic signs etc., but instructional signs regarding store info etc.

I took Spanish in HS, uhmmm, more than a few years ago LOL. But always trying to keep up with Italian, so ignore Spanish as my brain only seems to hold so much (not great with languages). But sometimes I find myself reading info in Spanish and understand it and than the lightbulb goes off a few seconds later that I was not reading English.
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