Friday, December 08, 2006

The Fight to Reclaim America from Retail Giants

Stacy Mitchell at Alternet has a few words to say to consumers:
A growing number of communities are fighting back against the rising power of large retail stores like Wal-Mart. But real change won't come until we stop thinking of ourselves as consumers and start thinking of ourselves as engaged citizens.
The article is a bit long but she is spot on! This point is key:
Despite differences in circumstances and demographics, all of these successful campaigns -- and there have been dozens in the last two years -- have one striking commonality: a core part of their strategy involves getting people to see themselves not just as consumers, but as workers, producers, business owners, citizens, and stewards of their community. When people walk into a voting booth or city council meeting with this vastly expanded sense of their own economic and political identity, they are far more likely to reject big-box development projects and to endorse measures that force these companies to adhere to higher standards. This is a crucial lesson as we work to knit these local efforts together into a broader movement to counter the power of global corporations. [My emphasis]
For decades we have been trained to think of ourselves as consumers first and as responsible citizens second. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote: "the chain store, by furthering the concentration of wealth and of power and by promoting absentee ownership, is thwarting American ideals; that it is making impossible equality of opportunity; that it is converting independent tradesmen into clerks; and that it is sapping the resources, the vigor and the hope of the smaller cities and towns."

The article is definitly food for thought.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Rob Frankel on Wal-Mart's Sinking Brand

Wal-Mart has no grand strategy, no future direction they are always reacting.

Wal-Mart is always telling you that you HAVE to shop there because you can't afford to shop anywhere else. I couldn't agree with these guys more. Lee Scott should listen.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Read How Wal-Mart Treats Women Employees

Read this pdf file. Yes, I know it's from Wal-Mart Watch but the information is based on facts obtained from the "Dukes vs Wal-Mart" class action lawsuit. If that report isn't enough you can read testimony from the experts here (pdf file).

Wal-Mart employees fewer women as supervisors and managers

At Wal-Mart women are paid less than men (see table on pg 8)

It takes longer for women to be promoted at Wal-Mart

Conclusions (mine): Wal-Mart uses illegal sex-discrimination policies in its employment practices

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Conundrum?

WNBZ radio and the Adirondack Daily Enterprise report that Aldi, Inc. wants to purchase the defunct Stanley Chevrolet property. Stanley Chevrolet was one of the parcels that Wal-Mart had intended to purchase as part of their proposed building site.

So this is complex. Residents have been saying for years that SL needs another grocery store as well as a retail store. If Aldi, Inc. purchases the Stanley property, will that leave room to build a Wal-Mart Supercenter? Some people do not want an Aldi because they do not sell the variety of groceries that a non-discount supermarket sells. Other people want an Aldi because it sells discount groceries as well as other non-grocery items. For others, this reopens the Wal-Mart issue because a Wal-Mart Supercenter would have sold retail as well as groceries.

I doubt there will be much opposition to Aldi, Inc. purchasing the Stanley Cheverolet property, at least from people who opposed Wal-Mart building on that property. But there may be opposition from Wal-Mart supporters who see hopes of a Wal-Mart on that property slipping away. But Wal-Mart supporters who do not support an Aldi store are going to have to explain themselves to people who do want an Aldi.

Like I said....a conundrum.

Friday, November 03, 2006


I've been lured over to The Writing on the Wal. Until Wal-Mart raises its ugly head in the area, I'll probably be posting only occasionally. If you want to see how Wal-Mart pretends to sleep after a defeat, read this post. It's a very persistent company.

Friday, October 20, 2006

What A Surprise!!!

This should not surprise most people. Wal-Mart has to pay people to write good comments about them. More here.

A public relations firm has revealed that it is behind two blogs that previously appeared to be created by independent supporters of Wal-Mart.

The blogs Working Families for Wal-mart and subsidiary site Paid Critics are written by three employees of PR firm Edelman, for whom Wal-Mart is a paid client, according to information posted on the sites Thursday.

Recent entries on Paid Critics, a site dedicated to drawing links between Wal-mart critics and groups, such as unions, with vested interests are written by Brian and Kate. These are Edelman employees Brian McNeill and Kate Marshall.

Last week a blog called "Wal-Marting Across America," which appeared to be created by a man and a woman traveling the country in an RV and staying in Wal-Mart parking lots, also turned out to be underwritten by Working Families for Wal-Mart.