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Why do we as a country still shop at Wal-Mart?

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nootka

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I have not shopped in a Wal-Mart in well over a year, and even when I have in the past, my stays were very limited, and very specific. I don't like the overall feeling in the local ones.

I know they are catering to a demographic of people that like to get great volumes of things at low cost.

They are running long-standing American companies out of being able to stay in business, and forcing them to move overseas or advising them to do so.For example:

"Ruining Rubbermaid. In 1994, Rubbermaid won accolades as the most admired company in the United States -- but five years later, its fortunes fell so hard that the company sold itself to a competitor. When the price of a key component of its products went up, Rubbermaid asked Wal-Mart for a modest price increase -- but Wal-Mart said no, and stopped sales of Rubbermaid products. At a Rubbermaid factory in Wooster, Ohio, that meant the loss of 1,000 jobs. [PBS Frontline, 11/23/04]

Advises Supplier: 'Open a Factory in China.' To land a supply contract with Wal-Mart, the Lakewood Engineering and Manufacturing Company -- a Chicago fan manufacturer -- had to locate manufacturing operations in Shenzhen, China. Workers there make $.25 an hour -- while the company's Chicago workforce earned an average hourly $13. [Los Angeles Times, 11/23/03]

Advises Mr. Coffee to Move Overseas. Mr. Coffee -- which won awards for moving manufacturing operations back to the United States -- faced pressure to shift production to China even at the height of Wal-Mart's 'Buy American' program. After Wal-Mart demanded a $1 reduction in the wholesale price of a brisk-selling four-cup coffeemaker in 1985, Mr. Coffee executives scouted for factory sites in China -- and executives say Wal-Mart encouraged offshore production even as it promoted its 'Made in the USA' campaign." [The Commercial Appeal, 6/8/01; Cleveland Plain Dealer, 11/14/04]

Forces Huffy Bikes to Brake US Production. Despite decades of making bicycles in the United States, Huffy was forced by Wal-Mart price pressures to close three factories and lay off thousands of workers. The mayor of Celina, Ohio -- where Huffy closed a large factory -- said Wal-Mart's "demand for cheaper bicycles drove Huffy out of Celina." [Mansfield News Journal, 12/8/03]

Minimal Social "

They are China's 8th largest trading partner. China is no friend to the United States, and you can imagine what the money spent at Wal-Mart most likely is funding (our own doom).

The food that they sell from China is likely to be contaminated (google stories of China food poisonings to hear, or perhaps you remember the pet food poisonings), as there is no way to regulate their environmental or food handling procedures. They are putting American farmers out of business even further when they buy cheap produce from overseas.

Wal-Mart is nothing like the company that their founder envisioned, from what I can see from here.

I really hope we never get a Wal-Mart in this county.

It's a vicious cycle, and I don't see those minimum wage no benefit jobs helping this region recover from our unemployment problems.

There's a good website with lots of great reading on it, for those that aren't sure:

Walmart Watch

Personally, I will do my best to not spend another dollar at a Wal-Mart.

Other companies are offering lower prescription rates, but if it were down to that, I would use only that service, as I think the drug companies are gouging people, too.

Just say no to Wal-Mart!

Thanks for listening (though I'm curious why other people would choose to frequent this awful place).

Liz
 

bingo

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Walmart saves me hundreds on medication a year. No other pharmacy can match them on my medication not even Costco. I am sure it is a lifesaver to many with and without insurance.

It is a large company that does offer lower prices on almost everything. Many large companies make it harder for Mom & Pop operations.

Sure I don't buy produce there as it is not usually very good, I don't purchase meat there either but the savings on even one brand name box of cereal can easily be 2 dollars a box. That is huge and adds up. I don't buy bulk.

Everyone needs to do what works for them and pick there issues and stand by them. For my family Walmart is not even near the top of the list.

I personally think this country has bigger issues and worse evils to deal with then Walmart and as long as I can go and save my own family a really significant amount of money I will.
 

garyo

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What a good post. China is becoming a hugh problem for our economy in general. While our econony is going down the tubes China is booming and we are losing our manufactoring jobs. But it is not just Wal-mart. We all need to start paying attention to where the products we buy are made. It seems as if everything is now made there. So many products made there are now poisoning us and our animals. So, read labels and buy American if you can.

Gary
 

nootka

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Gary, that is true, it is not JUST Wal-Mart, but Wal-Mart happens to be one of the biggest retailer that is feeding the demand for cheaply made products.

I was against our local Walgreen's for a long time, but I have found some nice Made in USA things in there.

In any store, I try to bypass the Made in China stuff, and watch for country of origin labels on everything.

If I have to buy the product and I can't find it locally/USA made, I have to ask, then, do I really need it?

Is it well-made enough to justify betraying my country/neighbors.

Soldiers are dying for our freedoms, and we are selling them to China, at an alarming rate.

China will use the money to turn around and take them away from us.

Luckily, we still have a few options for stores around here that are not owned nationally, but mom and pop stores are gone the way of the wind, sadly.

No one is left to care if we don't like the brands of cereal they carry, or that we would rather have another variety of lettuce to purchase, etc. Big business does for themselves, not for us.

Until Wal-Mart changes its policies and stands behind them, I'm staying out.

There are other stores that offer the discounts on prescriptions, but if that's all you do there, then good for you.

I think that's the only thing I can see attractive about the store. Even then, it just feels gross being in a Wal-Mart. IT's dirty and there's just an air of despair, but maybe that's just the ones here in the West.

Liz
 

Minimor

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I buy much of my cat food at Wal-Mart; not the cheap Wal-Mart varieties, but the same Fancy Feast & Whiskas products that the petfood stores sell. Why? Because it's cheaper, and some varieties cannot be bought in any other store in our small city. A bag of Fancy Feast dry food is $1 less per bag at Wal-Mart than it is at Pet-Valu or Superstore. (And $2 less than at any of the other stores that sell it) Given the quantity I buy every week, that $1 per bag makes a huge difference on my cat food bill. When you add up the savings on all the cat food I buy, it's a small fortune that I save.

I have certain grocery items that I buy there too. Chipits chocolate chips are $2.18. At Safeway they are $3.63. Green Giant canned veggies are $1.27 per can there. Safeway sells them for $1.75 per can. When Wal-Mart has Del Monte canned veggies they are 97 cents. Safeway sells them ON SALE for $1.50. I buy my calcium supplements and allergy pills at Wal-Mart. They are packaged by the same company that packages for Superstore, only they are a little cheaper. They are far cheaper than if I buy the same product in brand name at the drugstore. Do I know where the pills are made? no, but at the same time I don't know where the brand name ones are actually made either.

Kelloggs Corn Flakes are $4.27 a box; Safeway sells the same box for $6 or more. Sometimes Co-op has that box on sale for $3.50 or $4 and then I buy there. If the other stores have it all at regular price though, then I buy at Wal-Mart.

That's how my shopping at Wal-Mart is--it's very specific, and items are purchased there only because they are so much cheaper. I really don't care for Wal-Mart--it's just too big & kind of cluttered & much too busy, but I cannot afford to not shop there for certain specific items.

In regards to made in China products, I avoid them if I can. I'll even pay a little extra for that made in Canada version of the product. Some things, though, seem to only come from China. If you refuse to buy made in China you go without the product completely. Some things that's fine, I'll go without. Other things, well, yes, I do still buy them. It just depends what it is and how badly I want it.

As for ruining local business and the mom & pop stores--really if you think about it, e-bay and some of the big internet companies have the exact same effect. How many items do you order from Jeffers or e-bay instead of buying those items at your local tack stores???
 

Crabby-Chicken

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I don't think Wal Mart is the problem... It is filling the void that is opened up when our politicians thought that is a was a great idea to give big tax breaks to companies to ship jobs over sees so that they could make more profit. THAT is why Wal Mart does so well. Sometimes I need to shop there. And it does employ local people. Just like McDonalds and Burger King. Not the best jobs, but you do it to pay bills.

If our country would stand up, fund more than 10% to our public schools, making us beg for the rest, stop making it near impossible for a middle class child to get an education so that they can keep up and make enough money to keep our country going. But no,. that doesn't keep enough desperate kids around that feel like they HAVE to join the military and go fight for MORE companies to make even larger profits over seas. I was at Wal Mart the other day,,, I was going to buy a water bottle,,, the thing was so misshapen it didn't even sit on the shelf without wobbling. It was made in the USA. THAT is not going to help us in the global market if we make crap, but higher priced crap than other countries make.
 

nootka

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If our country would stand up, fund more than 10% to our public schools, making us beg for the rest, stop making it near impossible for a middle class child to get an education so that they can keep up and make enough money to keep our country going.
This really is a big problem in our country.

L.
 

Marty

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OK Liz I'm going to tell you something: First I am A walmart shopper.

But this is what happened here.

Last year we finally got a Walmart. Amazing. A miracle. But it's a tiny Walmart. They ripped us off badly as it is missing many departments such as no crafts or material, no sewing, no hair cut joint, no automotive, no tires or oil change place, no eye doctor thingy and actually NO FLOORING! Just concrete and it's alway so dark in there. The food is ok but the deli is very small and the bakery is pretty much non-existant. The departments that are left are all very very tiny with about $30% of what you can get in a real Walmart.

But since Walmart opened up here, the Bi-Lo Grocery in Dunalp has closed down after being there some 40 odd years. I couldn't believe it till I called to order a birthday cake and got a recording the number was disconnected.

Also a drug store, and the local athletic store where the kids would get their sporting goods is gone.

Then the Grocery store also in Pikeville, about 20 miles out of Dunlap, same thing. Went broke that fast and it was not even a full year till they had to shut down. They could not compete. This all happened since 2007. Wow@!
 

Miniv

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I buy much of my cat food at Wal-Mart; not the cheap Wal-Mart varieties, but the same Fancy Feast & Whiskas products that the petfood stores sell. Why? Because it's cheaper, and some varieties cannot be bought in any other store in our small city. A bag of Fancy Feast dry food is $1 less per bag at Wal-Mart than it is at Pet-Valu or Superstore. (And $2 less than at any of the other stores that sell it) Given the quantity I buy every week, that $1 per bag makes a huge difference on my cat food bill. When you add up the savings on all the cat food I buy, it's a small fortune that I save.

I have certain grocery items that I buy there too. Chipits chocolate chips are $2.18. At Safeway they are $3.63. Green Giant canned veggies are $1.27 per can there. Safeway sells them for $1.75 per can. When Wal-Mart has Del Monte canned veggies they are 97 cents. Safeway sells them ON SALE for $1.50. I buy my calcium supplements and allergy pills at Wal-Mart. They are packaged by the same company that packages for Superstore, only they are a little cheaper. They are far cheaper than if I buy the same product in brand name at the drugstore. Do I know where the pills are made? no, but at the same time I don't know where the brand name ones are actually made either.

Kelloggs Corn Flakes are $4.27 a box; Safeway sells the same box for $6 or more. Sometimes Co-op has that box on sale for $3.50 or $4 and then I buy there. If the other stores have it all at regular price though, then I buy at Wal-Mart.

That's how my shopping at Wal-Mart is--it's very specific, and items are purchased there only because they are so much cheaper. I really don't care for Wal-Mart--it's just too big & kind of cluttered & much too busy, but I cannot afford to not shop there for certain specific items.

In regards to made in China products, I avoid them if I can. I'll even pay a little extra for that made in Canada version of the product. Some things, though, seem to only come from China. If you refuse to buy made in China you go without the product completely. Some things that's fine, I'll go without. Other things, well, yes, I do still buy them. It just depends what it is and how badly I want it.

As for ruining local business and the mom & pop stores--really if you think about it, e-bay and some of the big internet companies have the exact same effect. How many items do you order from Jeffers or e-bay instead of buying those items at your local tack stores???
Ouch.........good point. I HATE Walmart, but we do go there with a specific list, as you mention. And ONLY once or twice a month!

Here's another note..........with the gas prices we have, I also take that into account when I shop. I do NOT go to Walmart for my meats and produce
Instead, I shop at two other grocery stores that are close to each other -- one has better meat prices and the other is better with produce........They are both within a half mile of my daughter's school.........etc.......etc............ It's become very complicated now to just go grocery shopping!

Remember the idea of the "one stop grocery shop" ??? Nope. Not any more! You'd think this would be the PERFECT time to promote that, but if they don't treat their customers fairly and with quality........sorry!
 

Charley

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We live in a rural community and we do not have a Walmart. They are talking of building one just outside of our adorable little town of Jasper. I hate to think of what it will do to our downtown. Our downtown is thriving and really convenient, but the prices are high and we know that a Walmart will hurt these small businesses that have been here forever. Oh, the Walgreens and the Kroger will do ok I think. But the little family run drugstore and the Piggly Wiggly and the family run hardware stores, the heart of our community, will probably be done the first year or so. We moved here because of the area and now it will change. Of course, they have been going to build here for the year we have been here and we see nothing of them breaking ground. So we are hoping that they won't. I do know that we won't buy there much. We pass by the ones that are 25 minutes away and very seldom do we stop there. We certainly don't buy much there. I am one who looks at the made in China labels and then says I can live without this very easily. Most of the time I do not find any similar item made in the USA. The dollar stores are really Made in China stores. I don't shop there either.

It is hard to find made in USA fabric for sewing anymore. Some will say printed in the USA. So I have been weaving to make some of my own. But it is getting harder and harder to find weaving threads and yarns made in the USA with so many of our mills closed. Former President Clinton really hurt this country with his support of the NAFTA free trade agreement.
 

Jill

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I know a lot of people hate Walmart. I actually love to go to it (don't hate me, Liz!!! We agree on most things!!!).

I love their grocery store and like that I can pick up housewares there, too. And, I should maybe be ashamed but I got these tops there recently that I just LOVE and probably wearing one today since I don't have to be dressed up (no client appointments).

Walmart's prices are hard to beat. My opinion (I'm a professional financial coach) is that we are and have been in a global economy. The future of the US work force is not in manufacturing because US consumers will not pay the higher prices that the US workers demand (and in fact require).

Nationally, the average income is something like $30,000 a year. Globally, it's $1,300 a year. The individuals of our Nation are wealthy beyond the ability for most people in the world to comprehend.
 

RockRiverTiff

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Gotta say I agree with you Liz, but unfortunately Wal-Mart is now the only place I can get some things. We are lucky because we still have a Kroger's (which actually has better prices on many things with coupons and sales), but Wal-Mart has chased out many of our other businesses. We have two Super Wal-Marts and one regular Wal-Mart within a 10-mile radius (that's one Wal-Mart for each "city" of roughly 10,000). I have to laugh whenever they play their commercials about making life better, because they're one of our primary employers, and having worked there part-time myself at one point when I was going to school I can definitely tell you they are not making their employees' lives better.

They built another Super Wal-Mart about half an hour from here where my mother and sister live, and it gutted the entire town. No other grocery stores, no other hardware stores, and their garden center is putting the squeeze on the one remaining nursery.
 

AppyLover2

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This video has nothing to do with Wal Mart specifically, but it does relate to things a lot of you have said. Hope nobody minds me adding this thought provoking video to this thread.

 

Shari

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We walked into the Longview Walmart yesterday.. and walked right back out. Did not like the people there...just didn't like the store. Didn't buy a thing.

Now there are rare times we go to walmart, if we can't make it to the military base.. for TP and the type of water I drink. They have the best prices. But DH goes to the St Helens wm.

Like a lot of poor small towns.. there is not a lot of businesses left for the daily need things, other than Walmart and a few other stores just as tacky.

So I do shop online a lot, for many of the things we need. Try very hard to stay away from things made in China, mexico and so on.

For food... I either grow it myself.. or buy from Azure Standard, and the local producers. The Beef I get from a family owned Farm in Warren. We are about ready to order another side of beef. Veggies we get from either my garden or some of the Farms on Savoie Island..and so on. Am back to making my own bread and only buy GMO free flour and Organic flour grown in the US.

For the Pet food.. I buy from a maker that uses no by products, has the best quality food..and is a small

American Company.

For Cars...we buy Toyotas.. for the simple reason we need very relible transportation with good gas mileage.

We had "american made" cars in the past.. and they bled us for every penny and then some to keep them running. We can't afford such poorly made cars.

The Toyotas.. require the usual maintance but no nasty suprises every couple of months..Thank goodness.

American cars have to show me they have made some major improvements before I touch another one.

Buy as much Made in America or Canada stuff I can. But goodness..it can be very hard to find.

I have been looking for some "Made in America Items" but yet to find anyone that offers what I am looking for. Sigh ~~
 

bingo

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And, I should maybe be ashamed but I got these tops there recently that I just LOVE and probably wearing one today since I don't have to be dressed up (no client appointments).

.
LOL I must admit I am wearing one today as well. Any time I can buy Haynes T-shirts for 5 bucks a shirt I am a happy camper. So don't be ashamed or well maybe we can take the walk of shame together!
 

nootka

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I understand some of the reasoning behind it.

I still hope that our workers are worth a decent wage, but maybe you're right and that's a thing of the past.

The majority of what I see coming from overseas is very poorly made/built, and designed to be thrown away rather than repaired or improved.

Their company is just too large for its own good, for our own good.

Meanwhile, I do my best to find things made in USA, Canada or Europe.

(Jill, you know I could never hate you, and I have nothing but respect for someone that's thought through their opinions intelligently, no matter what they are)

Liz
 

Just Us N Texas

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The simple fact is that when you are trying to feed and clothe a family, Wal Mart is cheaper. Maybe more people would like to buy at other stores and just simply can't afford it!I buy most of my canned foods, and detergents, soaps, cereals and etc. from Wal-Mart. Meats I buy from a little store here in town. I bought one rib eye from Wal Mart, didn't look at it too closely while shopping, got home, and found it to be sirloin!

But, I paid rib eye prices for it, so you have to really watch it on everything you buy there. There really is no solution here, because when items are offered at cheaper prices, you bet people are going to buy it, USA made, or foreign made.

Oh, by the way, you do know most Toyotas are made in the USA now, don't you?
 

Carriage

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Well written post Liz,

We can count on one hand how many times we have been into a Wall-mart in the last 20 years. We are very familiar with its bus. practices and how it treats its people and business' surrounding.

When "free" trade made its big appearance we were trying to tell everybody that this would be destructive of the US, its values and sovreignty. We can go back to Nixon and before even to see its fledgling start. If you had read the Tofflers book on this topic you would have known where this was all headed.

I would tend to agree that Wall-Mart is a symptom of the bigger problem of free trade and preditory capitalism.

Capitalism=very good, preditory capitalism=very bad.

As a mfr I have seen the changes which are FAR more pernicious than most folks can even imagine. Finding decent steel is a HUGE problem for us.

As long as saving a few bucks is more important than saving a country and its way of life, this will continue. The continued marginilization(sp?) of election candidates that know the problem and how to fix it has also been in full force through-out this time period as well. One of them is still running and is still doing well even though you don't hear that even on FOX who claims to be "fair and balanced". Personally I just want ALL the news and I will decide on fair and balanced, eh?/!

This country was built on a tarrif system. The removal of same has been one of the several paths to our destruction. Fixing he money supply also needs done right now. We have either sown or allowed to be sown the seeds of our own destruction. Nothing new about this as it has been the downfall of all previous empires...

Bb
 

River Wood

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I admit I HATE to visit our Walmart. It's extremely dirty and crowded and the people....lets just say that myself and many MANY people that I know...don't feel comfortable going there at night thats for sure!
Some of the employees that work there are just as scarey looking as the people that shop there too.


I will shop somewhere a bit more expense just to feel comfortable and "safe"
 

Sonya

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I do not shop at Wal-mart at all...I shop at Meijer if I have to go to full service grocery/retail store. Mainly my groceries come from our local small grocery store.
 
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