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Thread started 16 Dec 2004 (Thursday) 20:53
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Enjoy Your Holidays But Please Don't Shop at Wal Mart

 
Longwatcher
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Dec 17, 2004 10:19 as a reply to  @ post 354541 |  #16

My primary reason that I avoid (although I don't boycott) Walmart is they censor the music and probably the DVD video they sell and don't alert the public they do so.

Frequently the version of some alternative or RAP music in Walmart is different then you would get any where else. While I can agree that some of the music should be censored, let me make the choice or at least inform me that you version is different then other stores.

For this reason I no longer buy music or video at Walmart. The reason I still shop there is I can find some things that I can't find elsewhere, but I usually go elsewhere first. And while I don't generally like Unions, Walmart corporate policy is one of the reasons unions were founded in the first place.

I am not concerned that Walmart is a giant store, because the whole way our society purchases goods is in a transistion period and I see us eventually getting everything we need direct from the producer ordered over the inernet and delivered when we need it. not there yet, but we are headed in that direction.


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Mitchkitter
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Dec 17, 2004 10:23 as a reply to  @ post 354570 |  #17

I never go into walmart for fear of being shot ;)




  
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jimsolt
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Dec 17, 2004 11:05 as a reply to  @ post 354541 |  #18

scottbergerphoto wrote:
People go to Wal Mart for the same reason that some people are tempted to buy cameras and lenses from e-tailers they've never heard of just to save a few bucks.
Scott

I watched a well done documentary on Walmart on PBS and in that program Walmart spokesmen admitted that many of their prices are not lower than the competition. They lead you in with bargains, then often sell you something else. Like many things these days we accept what is advertised without much questioning. Unfortunately this is not always the bargain we expected.
Jim




  
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scottbergerphoto
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Dec 17, 2004 12:00 as a reply to  @ jimsolt's post |  #19

Wal Mart sells toys for less then they pay for them to get you in the store. That's why Toys R Us is contemplating exiting the toy business. Then they sell you something you never knew you just had to have. It's usually cheaper then anywhere else because they strong arm manufacturers into lower prices. The manufacturers keep their wages and benefits low so they can sell to Wal Mart and still make a profit. It's a vicious cycle. Eventually the only place working families can Shop is Wal Mart. The Wal Mart model is not complicated. It just requires a company to have no concience and a firm belief that as long as their prices are low, not enough people will care enough about the rest to make a difference.

Scott


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samdring
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Dec 17, 2004 12:38 as a reply to  @ scottbergerphoto's post |  #20

scottbergerphoto wrote:
a firm belief that as long as their prices are low, not enough people will care enough about the rest to make a difference.

Scott

Sadly, that is the main truth in this thread


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4walls
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Dec 17, 2004 12:54 as a reply to  @ post 354485 |  #21

scottbergerphoto wrote:
A good example of how similiar businesses can go different routes on the road to corporate responsibility is Wal Mart vs. Costco Wholesale. More then 75% of Costco's employees have employer sponsored health insurance. Wall St. prefers Wal Mart because of it's higher profit margin, but Costco is a better citizen.
PS: www.costco.com (external link) has good prices on printer ink and paper. The freezer in my basement was a good deal too!
Scott

Costco is the OPPOSITE of Wal-Mart...

Read this article on Costco vs WalMart (external link)

www.belz.com/corporate​/belz_news/realestate/​071299-costco.html (external link) wrote:
="http://www.belz.com/​corporate/belz_news/re​alestate/071299-costco.html"]
"Our business philosophy is to drive prices down and value up," Benoliel said. "By pricing everything at low margins, our members know that any price at Costco is the best value in the market. Unlike many other discount retailers, we do not rely on loss leaders to generate traffic in our warehouses."

Costco keeps prices low by reducing overhead costs, carrying fewer brands but more products, leveraging its buying power and screening customers for memberships.

Through these tools, Costco builds brand loyalty and secures lifetime customers. According to a 1997 study by Bellevue, Washington-based Herbet Research, Costco’s membership renewal rate is nearly 97 percent.

Costco one-year memberships range in price from $40 for a basic membership to $100 for an executive membership. While the $40 membership entitles most any consumer access to all of Costco’s low prices, the $100 membership offers individuals access to health insurance, auto/home insurance, mortgages, real estate services, check printing, long distance and a variety of other premium services.

One distinction between a warehouse club and a discount retailer is that warehouse clubs screen potential members based on business affiliations. While many consumers are eligible for membership, Costco’s target demographics are professionals and small-business owners who buy in large quantities for the business and home.




  
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timmyquest
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Dec 17, 2004 17:38 |  #22
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When they choose not to, it is up to the rest of us to decide how to respond. Some communities are fighting new Wal Marts in court over environmental, and other issues.

My town recently went through this, last i knew we wern't getting it. Time will tell (i have a feeling it will be here soon)


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Sketcher
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Dec 17, 2004 19:34 as a reply to  @ jimsolt's post |  #23

jimsolt wrote:
I watched a well done documentary on Walmart on PBS and in that program Walmart spokesmen admitted that many of their prices are not lower than the competition. They lead you in with bargains, then often sell you something else. Like many things these days we accept what is advertised without much questioning. Unfortunately this is not always the bargain we expected. Jim

I saw that same documentary. Quite an eye opener into the international trade environment. I dare say, if that doc were broadcast in prime time with enough saturation that everyone saw it; Wal-mart would sing a different song in short order.

Interestingly, approx. 10 years ago, Wal-Mart was used as a 'gold standard' example of efficient MRP modeling in APICS training. Now, they're still used as an example in APICS; but they're more a model of cut-throat international low-price bid wars and low quality merchandise than innovative marketing.


It is what it is...

  
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IndyJeff
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Dec 17, 2004 21:58 as a reply to  @ post 354500 |  #24

HJMinard wrote:
I refer to Walmart as "The Evil Empire". Mostly I just don't get it ... how did such a decidedly mediocre store become the largest corporation in the world? I agree with much of the discussion in this thread, but even if I didn't I would be unable to comprehend the attraction of Walmart. I enter one of their stores and it just feels like ... I don't know, maybe a really low class trailer park.

Somebody (Sam? Sam's kids?) sold their soul to the devil ...


Wal-Marts original concept was to offer multiple products all in one location and their market was the small towns of America. Before Wal-Mart people in those small towns didn't have much choice in buying products. The town square had the clothing store, the auto parts, a card store, and maybe a dept store like Sears or Pennys. Then people began to travel to shop in larger cities to find a wider variety. Wal-Mart stepped in and gave people a chance to buy the same things that they could get in the city without having to travel to the city.
Here in Indy there wasn't a Wal-Mart in sight for many years. Then they started popping up in the surrounding small towns. Now we have one, a Super Center at that, on every side of the city.

Wal-Mart is also becoming one of the biggest offenders of property rights. If you own land they want, they make an offer. If you don't accept it, they approach the local governing body and ask that the property be confiscated under the eminate domain laws and they will build on it and provide jobs, which in turn will pay taxes, not to mention sales taxes.

My mom once had an opportunity to supply Wal-Mart with boxes. When she told her boss that she had an appointment with the SE Region buyer he simply said, "Don't waste your time." Of course she didn't listen. She went to see the guy, he gave her the info on what they were looking for. She said she could work up a quote and get back to him. No need, he already had a quote ready. The were willing to pay the price they wanted, not what her company said it could do it for. She told her boss about it and he took a look at it. In order to fulfill the WM order, they would have had to add an extra shift, drop somewhere in the nieghborhood of 40% of their current clients which would have resulted in a net loss of about 20% to her company. Thats how Wal-Mart works.


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Big_B
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Dec 18, 2004 04:10 as a reply to  @ post 354286 |  #25

Moppie wrote:
So is the thread about the evil profit orintated attitude of captilism?
Or is it a thread about the wonder of freedom of choice, because of capitilism?

I take your point, however the beauty of our system is that we can put value on features of the store that are not directly linked to the transaction (staff wages for example). If enough people value higher staff wages then companies will respond - Fair Trade coffee is a classic example of this in action. It is still capitalism but not of the classical flavour.


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Big_B
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Dec 18, 2004 04:12 as a reply to  @ jimsolt's post |  #26

jimsolt wrote:
I watched a well done documentary on Walmart on PBS and in that program Walmart spokesmen admitted that many of their prices are not lower than the competition. They lead you in with bargains, then often sell you something else. Like many things these days we accept what is advertised without much questioning. Unfortunately this is not always the bargain we expected.
Jim

Sure, but to be fair to walmart, loss-leaders are a very common feature in buisness.


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Dec 18, 2004 04:38 as a reply to  @ Big_B's post |  #27

Big_B wrote:
Sure, but to be fair to walmart, loss-leaders are a very common feature in buisness.

Most of the bread and milk sold in any supermarket is sold either at almost zero margin, or a slight loss.
All the oil companys working with thier shop franchises will at some time or another either run certian shop products, or the petrol at a loss in order to get people in the door.
The practice itself is not nessacrly immoral, only its implmentation.
i.e. if its grossly misleading then I consider it immoral.

Big_B wrote:
If enough people value higher staff wages then companies will respond - Fair Trade coffee is a classic example of this in action.

And thats exactly my point.
The consumer has the ultimate power in the end, by having a choice of where to shop they are able to dictate the behaviour of the supplier.
Its one reason large corperations often so much effort into wiping out the compitition, its good for bussiness as it takes the power away from the consumer.
And it only works if the consumer is aware they hold that power, and many are simply ignorant of how much control they may hold in thier wallet.
Its why marketing is becoming the biggest running cost of most companys.
Accounting for an average 60% of the running costs, going up to as much as 80-90% if the business is highly consumer driven.


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mikesd
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Dec 18, 2004 06:51 as a reply to  @ Moppie's post |  #28

Heres the problem; I live in a rural area in a small city of 8500 pop. We are 100 miles from any kind of major shopping centers. Wal Mart moved to town 20 years ago, ran everyone out of buisness, and is now literally the only place to shop in town. Since we also have a Wal Mart DC, we are a town that is truely owned by the Evil One. We also have the honor of being the #2 city in the nation in Wal Mart giveaways[as reported by CNN], not bad for such a small city. The brilliance of Wal Mart has been to set up these situations so the consumer does not have the power to dictate their unhappiness with a companys buisness practices. For everyday shopping needs we can drive an half hour to another small towns Wal Mart or the 1.5 hours to a larger city. Love them or hate them Wal Mart is #1 in the world because they were smarter than everyone else and we have done it to ourselves. The saddest part is in a town our size Wal Mart employs about 1000 people and without them we are dead in the water.


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Tom ­ W
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Dec 18, 2004 08:04 as a reply to  @ mikesd's post |  #29

Wal-Mart. Nobody goes there any more - its too crowded. ;)


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jimsolt
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Dec 18, 2004 09:38 as a reply to  @ Moppie's post |  #30

Moppie wrote:
The consumer has the ultimate power in the end, by having a choice of where to shop they are able to dictate the behaviour of the supplier.
Its one reason large corperations often so much effort into wiping out the compitition, its good for bussiness as it takes the power away from the consumer.
And it only works if the consumer is aware they hold that power, and many are simply ignorant of how much control they may hold in thier wallet.

Stated another way (to steal from Sy Sims), "The best customer is a well informed customer." The fly in the ointment is that most customers are not well informed about Walmart and many other things. Consequently, they ignore what we clearly talk about in this forum . . . loss leaders are a common business practice . . . and believe that Walmart is in fact the cheapest place to buy anything. This is what happens when a citizenry gets its information from too few sources operated by too few corporations.
How's that for broadening the topic? :)
Jim




  
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