04 December 2006

10 Reasons Not to Shop at Wal-Mart

Sam’s Club is a Wal-Mart division so please don’t shop there either. An excellent shopping alternative is Costco, where the employees are paid a living wage and prices are always low (the maximum markup is 14% over cost).

Much of this information was gleaned from the web; the rest is from a wonderful book entitled How Wal-Mart is Destroying America and What You Can Do About It, by Bill Quinn.

1. Wal-Mart has no respect for your city. Daily deposits in your local bank are instantly transferred to corporate headquarters in Arkansas. Thus every dollar you spend at Wal-Mart permanently leaves the area and can never be reinvested in your city.

2. Wal-Mart has no respect for its customers. Comparison shopping (writing down prices) will get you thrown out of the store. As many as 10% of items are over-priced due to scanner mistakes. Products are stacked so high that falling merchandise has injured more than 25,000 people since the first Wal-Mart opened in 1962.

3. Wal-Mart has no respect for its employees. Wal-Mart defines “full time” as 28 or more hours a week, and employees are kept below 28 hours a week so they won’t receive benefits. Only “full-time” employees with at least two years with the company are eligible for health insurance, and they must pay 35% of it themselves. Many Wal-Mart employees earn so little they are on food stamps or other public assistance.

4. Wal-Mart has no respect for its suppliers. Wal-Mart calls its suppliers collect. Suppliers are routinely underpaid and lose their contract if they complain. Merchandise is often returned to them without notice and packed so badly it can’t be resold.

5. Wal-Mart has no respect for women and minorities. Wal-Mart stores are not built in predominantly minority areas. White managers harass black workers and prevent them from being promoted. In one place Wal-Mart stopped selling shirts saying “Someday A Woman Will Be President” because it upset their idea of “family values.”

6. Wal-Mart has no respect for America’s small businesses. Despite being the largest retailer in the world and the biggest employer in 25 states, Wal-Mart exploits life insurance benefits and closure provisions of the federal tax code designed to help small businesses.

7. Wal-Mart profits from child labor and slave labor. Apparel sold at Wal-Mart is made in sweatshops around the world, like the one in Bangladesh where children earn 5¢ an hour, or the factory in Honduras where children work 75 hours a week for 31¢ an hour, or the prison factories in China where labor is free. Wal-Mart breaks US law when it illegally imports these products.

8. Wal-Mart kills jobs and devastates whole towns. On average, a hundred stores go out of business in the area surrounding a Wal-Mart. Many of the victims are unique mom-and-pop stores that give a small town its charm and character. For every two jobs created by a new Wal-Mart, three jobs are lost.

9. Wal-Mart can’t be trusted. The company deliberately and viciously builds new stores where they are not wanted and lies about its intentions while doing so. Wal-Mart was forced to change its slogan, “Always the Low Price, Always” to “Always Low Prices” when it was revealed prices were not the lowest. Sam’s Club used to be called “Sam’s Wholesale Club,” but the term “wholesale” was dropped after a lawsuit revealed prices were significantly higher than wholesale prices.

10. Wal-Mart is a ruthless predator that sucks the lifeblood out of whole geographic regions. For regular updates on Wal-Mart’s evil ways, visit http://walmartwatch.com. Please don’t shop at Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club, and tell your friends to do the same.

Copyright © by Gwen Foss, 2006, 2009. Permission is hereby granted to copy and circulate this list as much as possible.