Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by ocnbrze, Mar 27, 2013.
Download the Forums for Android™ app!
I did see the documentary "The High Cost of Low Prices" (apparently the whole thing is viewable on YouTube). Also, Barbara Ehrenreich's piece about working there and written about in "Nickel and Dimed" (was our required summer reading when I first went to UNC). Obviously, both are skewed examples of trying to "get" Wal-Mart so not terribly objective sources. But, interesting nonetheless.
Honestly, what is extremely interesting is that none of the arguments against Wal-mart are new at all. These arguments were made in the late 19th century about A&P. Once upon a time you didn't have a single grocery store. You went to the butcher's for your meat, the baker for your bread and finished your day by going to the grocer for your fruits and veggies. If you wanted fish as well you might make a fourth stop at the fish monger. Sometimes fruits and veggies would be two different places making it five stops. People would literally run around all day long just doing grocery shopping.
Then along comes the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. They come up with the idea of housing all of these things under one big roof and the "supermarket" was born. Suddenly you could buy bread, beef, fish, fruits and vegetables in one place and under one roof with only one stop. An entire days errands can now be accomplished in just an hour. Furthermore because of their size they were able to buy in bulk and drive prices down. This is way back before the Great Depression hit.
Those who ran the small butcher's shops and bakeries were beyond pissed and made the exact, same identical arguments that people in this thread are making about Wal-mart. The quality isn't as good. Anti-competitive practices. Kills mom and pop stores. Bad for local economies. Any of these sound familiar? Mom and pop stores actually lobbied in Congress for bills that would've required large chain stores like A&P to pay more in taxes and thus force them to raise their prices. None of this is new. In fact, these are the same arguments you see brick and mortar stores making about online retailers nowadays.
This is all true. However the one component that Walmart brought to the table was the over bludgeoning of vendors and manufacturers with their gross distribution opportunities that the others didn't practice as severely. I don't claim other retailers are morally superior, but by Walmart's vast size they have greater leverage to force suppliers to comply. And, Walmart's muscle was flexed primarily to lower prices. There was little or no pressure applied to produce quality, or variety or improve processes or products. It's all about "cheap".
I don't know if that makes Walmart "evil" per se. It's more that they simply don't care how these cheaper products come to them. Perhaps morally or ethically ambivalent would be a better term. Of course, your average Walmart shopper wouldn't understand what that meant.
Same could be said for any other retailer, though. Target, Apple, Samsung...Remember the ongoing Foxconn controversy? This is the way of the world, but people forgive and forget the other companies. Wal-mart is somehow held to a higher standard that I don't understand.
Let's not forget the class action lawsuit for alleged discrimination against women, and their union policies. But that discussion is for another place on the forums.
I don't know about forgiving, but I agree with the forget part. Kathy Lee Gifford went through the same thing with her K-Mart line of clothing. I don't think walmart is held to a higher standard, just a bigger target.
That's not really new either. A&P did the same thing. They had a dispute with some vendor (I don't recall which) where they insisted they were going to sell the vendor's product for 12 cents while the vendor was selling it through every other channel for 14 cents. They had over 16,000 stores at one point so they were buying it for like 11 cents themselves. Were they as powerful as Wal-mart is? No. But the principle is the same.
The arguments about quality and variety aren't really anything new. In fact, I would argue that those debates have been settled a long time ago. No one in this thread has argued that Wal-mart offers quality or variety. I doubt you'd see anyone making those arguments IRL either. Consumers just don't care. Price is the important thing to them.
We've had a nearly endless series of threads on Apple/Foxconn with spillover posts into other threads that went on for months, but one Walmart thread in my memory.
Walmart isn't evil. I know a young man who after getting his MBA went to work for them in purchasing. Evidently, you have to be good at contracting to deal with them. You sign up with them exclusively when you're a supplier. Then they get your competitors to sign. Then they tell you what the new prices are, and if you don't go along or try to sell elsewhere, you meet contract penalties.
The young man I mentioned was taught how to lie and purposefully misrepresent what the contract terms were. When he had helped bankrupt the second small dairy that had been here for generations, he quit, and was quite broken inside for some time. May still be. Conscience and all that.
Yeah, you have to be good at contracting to deal with them. Especially when your neighbor is outselling you with his new Walmart deal, and your milk costs consumers an extra 20
To me they are neither ok nor not ok. They simply are. They're the same business practices used by every company.
Some companies do more of an effort to be slightly more ethical or charitable to their customers though. I certainly don't condone one to cut prices (and profits) to be nice.
We've negotiated plenty with different vendors when we weren't satisfied with prices. Hell, we just signed up with a new produce vendor and we're slated to save $30k a year just from their prices (with NO reduction in quality). It's definitely a hard world out there in sales, and I would never want to be a part of it, but I respect those who work hard in it.
A lot of this reminds me of what Amazon does. They sell some items at a loss in order to undercut their competitors.
you can add to this list Target,Pizza Hut, Dominos, MacDonald,Subway,Shell and so on.
What i'm trying to say is that i Stand for private sector within community.
You're examples of cheap products that walmart offers don't really suitable for general and necessary demand. Those mostly can be bought online with much better deal.( who wants to challenge me on that one?)
why don't you try to put out Successful business with your BA in Accounting and an MBA in Business administration/Accounting when walmart is around corner
Not sure where you're getting this. Just anecdotally speaking the Wal-mart across the street from me obviously makes money. Across the street from it is a hardware store that continues to stay in business and on the other corner is local grocery chain that also continues to stay in business.
Wal-Mart started out as a small corner store (Link), but because of their successful practices, have grown to one of the world's largest companies. There is a reason big companies are big. They do the little things well.
Do you use the internet? Likely from Charter or AT&T. Do you have a cell phone? Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile? Do you drive a car? Ford or Chevy? I know you buy online. From which large retailer? Amazon or overstock?
The point is these companies exist because we as a society allow them to thrive. We like what they have to offer. What do you propose as a solution to help regulate companies from becoming too successful? Cash flow restrictions? Asset limits?
Capitalism - an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market
i don't know about that! I've lived outside Kennewick, WA for 2 years. and Drunk lots of beer And yes it was Coors! The price is the same everywhere plus minus a dollar. i've seen good deals for 12 pack in Walmart but this is the most cheapest beer you could ever buy like keystone or so called college-ready beer which essentially make it's way out the way it got in (if you know what i mean uke: )
What do you propose as a solution to help regulate companies from becoming too successful? banning Investment banking and inequality
ahh what the hell! i don't give a crap anyway i'm not even pro-capitalist!
How do you ban investment banking? If so, how do companies raise capital? And how in the world do you ban "inequality"?
Is Walmart evil?
If I remember right, wasn't Walmart first conceived asq showcase and an outlet for American Goods?
From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Walton
The first true Wal-Mart opened on July 2, 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas. It was called the Wal-Mart Discount City store and located at 719 West Walnut Street. Soon after, the Walton brothers teamed up with the Stefan Dasbach, leading to the first of many stores to come. He launched a determined effort to market American-made products. Included in the effort was a willingness to find American manufacturers who could supply merchandise for the entire Wal-Mart chain at a price low enough to meet the foreign competition.[1
most companies start out with good intentions
Fox is NOT here. Do not lump the less than wonderful foreign entities with American corporations. The vast majority of U.S. companies are decent and honorable. They play fair, provide employment and are small affairs.
And . . .
Before you pick on Wally Mart, consider that there are probably some very evil corporations out there. WM is a great company.
Where are these American goods you speak of? I see very few American goods compared to the foreign made stuff.
Perhaps Wall Mart can sell Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. Even those are not 100% American.
Almost everything you own is foreign made or made from foreign components and materials.
Nope. Wally Mart is simply a large corporation that seems to upset some people for some reason or another. They offer low prices and to do so they cannot likely offer American products. They breed like rats and sooner or later, they will own the world.
They provide much needed jobs and low prices and value for your dollar.
I was there today and bought 1240 whole chickens and 250 pounds of laundry soap. All for $11.00 plus tax. Made in China with the chickens coming from Tyson, another often cited "evil" company.
I would start an "Is Tyson Chickens Evil" thread but there are too many "is Blank Evil" threads already.
Now, if Wally Mart sold good cigars, I would never go anywhere else.
Perhaps you need a better word than "derisive?" Not sure what your point is. Perhaps you mean buying Wally Mart products is bad for the nation? Clarify please.
Remember, they are not necessarily Wally Mart (brand) products. They are products made by many companies that employ many people.
You want WM to die off and put hundreds of thousands of people out of work?
Hate to tell you this, but Wally Mart and Amazon did not invent loss leaders. They have been a part of retailing for as long as there has been retailing.
We sold some things for less money to get people into our store. And we sold Leica and Hasselblad And Rollei at full MSRP because we could. We were the only game in town, but there was mail order that would offer the same products for less money.
Why not charge $3600.00 for a camera if we could get it?
True, but you have more variety online, right?
There is one fountain pen retailer close to me. The online world brings me a vast number of fine pens no local retailer will ever offer. Including vintage pens no local seller knows anything about. Most sales people are clueless, but online, I can deal with experts.
Usually, I can wait for Federal X to deliver my items by the next day or shortly after, so I do not worry about getting it right now.
I will shop locally if I can, but I am afraid, I must use online sellers because those I deal with offer good prices, incredible variety and knowledge. Those things are often lacking at many local stores.
Some things even WM and local shops do not offer. Try to find a gasket set for an Indian Chief. Hells Bells, try finding a local seller offering any vintage bikes. Few even know how to work on them.
Bob Loves Wally Mart because I know what to expect and I know the prices are low, low, low.
So who is to blame? Wally Mart or the manufacturer wanting to jump on the Wally Mart bandwagon? My guess is when things go bad between a supplier and retailer, it is not always the retailers fault.
I know how WM treats some of their suppliers and I have read the contracts suppliers must complete and abide by. But who is the "bad" guy here? I am not sure if WM is to blame or if the suppliers are just greedy and do not know how WM works.
I do know it is very difficult to maintain a relationship with WM in some cases and you can always say no. And yes, sometimes WM is very hard to deal with, but they have thousands of suppliers that are pleased to be part of WM.
Some people like to complain about things they do not understand and I think many of the Wally Mart stories you read are less than accurate. Perhaps sour grapes on the part of a supplier or some idiot putting together an article that has never entered a Wally Mart.
By the way, be nice to Martha Stewart. Bob loves that gal and soon our relationship will change. Be nice to MS because you have never met her
Based upon Bob's comments, he is a small business that actually DEPENDS on Wal-Mart so he can exist. There are a TON out there, specifically catering companies. Please correct me if I'm off base....
Blew right past my little tale about the guy that worked in contracting and the story about the difference in pay for displaced jobs that they've brought to some communities, huh, Bob?
One of your accounts or clients? How about Martha, that one of yours as well? :rofl:
I remember when I was a kid when Wal-mart made a big deal about selling American made products. Then it came out that the majority of their products were actually made in China. They got tons of crap for it. Then no one cared.