Walmart Says It Will Cut Prices In Order To Save The Economy

Walmart says it’s going to cut prices 10-30% in order to help “cash-strapped consumers” and keep them “excited about shopping.”

“We all know economic times are tough so our plan is to help with added savings throughout the year, focusing especially on what people want, when they need it,” said John Fleming, Wal-Mart’s chief merchandising officer.

Translated from “marketing” into “human” this sentence reads: “Please buy chicken wings and big screen TVs for the SuperBowl. We’re having a sale. Thanks.”

Wal-Mart chops prices in bid to lure shoppers [CNNMoney] (Thanks, Tino!)
(Photo:kandh07)

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  1. suburbancowboy says:

    Wal-Marts low prices are part of the reason this economy is in the shitter. It is one of the main reasons we are shipping jobs to China.

    Stop buying at Wal-Mart. The low prices have a huge invisible cost attached to them.

  2. xQuizx says:

    I am definately stocking up on Tyson chicken wings this weekend! Don’t tell the g/f….

  3. hwyengr says:

    Hasn’t this been Wal-Mart’s big plan all along? Destroy domestic manufacturing, send the economy spiraling downward, then capture the customers who can’t afford to shop anywhere else. The new company store for the modern age.

  4. homerjay says:

    Hear that? Its the sound of sweatshops all around the world expanding their manufacturing space.

  5. eyesonly says:

    “Excited about shopping”?! In a Wal-mart?!!

  6. outofoffice says:

    Eh, why not fiddle while Rome burns, let them eat chicken wings!

  7. cobaltthorium says:

    Well, if people didn’t think that they “need” a new iPod every year and people focus more on what they actually need, then people wouldn’t need to spend as much, either.

  8. HRHKingFriday says:

    Walmarts already doing well with the tanking economy- it was one of the only companies to still post a decent profit last year (at least in that industry). I just wonder what else they’re going to have to cut to make prices even lower- I saw on one of the Walmart documentaries that they run a very small operating profit. I mean, you can only demand lower prices from so many vendors, even the chinese ones, until you reach a bottom.

  9. headon says:

    Geez walmart thanks for the help. No go die please.

  10. mac-phisto says:

    @homerjay: nope. don’t hear anything. could explain that funky smell though. i just thought i forgot to wash this morning.

  11. quail says:

    I guess that Wal-Mart workers will be given less than full-time hours so that benefits don’t have to be offered, and a few of them will have to be pressured to work off of the clock. Oh, wait. They’re doing that already.

  12. AndyRogers says:

    @cobaltthorium: Sounds almost like personal accountability. We don’t take kindly to people suggesting we take personal accountability for our actions in this country.

    Many people can blame only themselves for their financial hardships. (See also: CA housing crisis)

  13. MPHinPgh says:

    @suburbancowboy:
    @hwyengr:
    @headon:

    Amen, brothers. Preach on!

  14. theblackdog says:

    I’m still going to Target, it’s closer to me, even if the neighborhood isn’t so nice.

  15. unklegwar says:

    @cobaltthorium: What? $300 music players and $500 phones aren’t necessities? That $2700 Nav system in your new car? HOw are you ever going to find your way to all the places you’ve been driving to for years?

    It’s a shame all the childish “I want that (insert overpriced novelty gadget here) now!” idiots will drag the rest of us down with them. After all they outnumber us about 500 to 1.

    P.S. My Nav system always has and always will fit in the seatback pocket or glovebox.

  16. brent_w says:

    @unklegwar:

    Way to ignoantly missplace the blame for the economy.

    You’re blaming people for spending? Seriously?
    The only thing that keeps our economy running in the first place?
    .
    Maybe you should go read up about lending institutions and their shady buisiness practices.

  17. frugalchick says:

    I don’t understand the anti-Walmart mentality. There’s usually an economic boost to areas where WalMarts are built! How is that hurting anything?

  18. ooby says:

    @brent_w: Ignorance is strength

  19. hwyengr says:

    @frugalchick: If that’s a serious question that you’re actually curious about, check out PBS’s Frontline episode about Wal-Mart. You can stream it from their webpage.

  20. marsneedsrabbits says:

    We’re in this together.
    Schooner Tuna.
    The tuna with a heart.

  21. Clay_in_TX says:

    What a deal!! Lead from China…10 to 30% off!! Thanks Wal-Mart!

  22. huginn says:

    I smell a dump. Price dumping anyone?

  23. bohemian says:

    @hwyengr: Actually Walmart reminds me more of the images of Soviet era state food stores. The bleak places people stood in line for hours to get a loaf of bread. I think it is the blinding florescent lights and the smell of dispair. The company store comparison is pretty right too.

  24. matt says:

    If only they would have reduced my price 10-30% when I went there to buy milk today. Sure glad my car doesn’t run on milk.

  25. SkyeBlue says:

    One thing I do have to commend Walmart for is having so many perscription medicines available for $4.00. Alot of us who don’t have health insurance just flat out could not afford them without this program.

  26. SeraSera says:

    Sort of want?

  27. ussra2 says:

    Yeah listen to all of you bashers, its pathetic. A company tries to help and then you see hordes of fickle people who think Wal-Mart is so bad when in reality is a new business model that more than just Wal-Mart follows. Target says they have low prices but their mark ups are far more than Wal-Mart and their quality of products suck. So yeah bash Wal-Mart for trying to help and lose sight of the bigger picture. Yeah Wal-Mart isn’t the best employer and they have gone down hill a lot since Sam Walton passed, but they are still a huge company that employs thousands of Americans. So yeah bash them again for paying Americans.

  28. mammalpants says:

    you know, thats really nice of them!

    we should give them dibs on a Bagdhad SuperCenter and let them sell missles at their rock-bottom prices!

    go ‘Merka!

  29. Elcheecho says:

    Silly how little some Consumerist readers know, or apparently care, about how international trade works. Can we post a relevant econ primer somewhere on the site?

  30. JMH says:

    Here’s an idea: Keep prices the same, but manufacture products in the United States and pay your employees a decent wage.

  31. @bohemian: obviously you’ve never been to a soviet grocery store. Anyone who has would be very thankful for all the products you can get from Wal-mart

  32. That70sHeidi says:

    @SkyeBlue: Grocery stores [in my area] are offering the same $4 pricing on hundreds of prescription items.

  33. frugalchick says:

    Really, I don’t do most of my shopping at WalMart because other stores in my area have better prices on most items. It’s MY choice. And I’d rather read (and have) something other than a biased article from PBS.

  34. ffmariners says:

    We are very lucky that the rest of the world (at this current time) has vested interest in keeping us as a consumer driven economy. Once Asia decides to stop saving and rather spending, however, bad news bears.

  35. matt1978 says:

    @JMH: Good luck on that one. Post again when you can grasp reality.

  36. marsneedsrabbits says:

    @SkyeBlue:
    That is commendable. Target, K-Mart, Sam’s and maybe Costco (dunno cause we don’t have a Costco in the area yet) all have similar plans. There are at least a couple of grocery chains that have a limited drug discount list, too.

    And while their plans are similar to each other, they are not identical, so ask for the list at the store, or find it online.

    And IIRC, in most states, even if you don’t have a membership card, you can still use the pharmacy at warehouse stores.

  37. BalknChain says:

    Wal-Mart does buy domestic product as well as foreign. One problem large chains have is supply. there has to be adequate supply for them. This tends to result in many, many suppliers of the same item. Yes, I work in the industry and have first hand knowlege. McDonald’s has encountered this multiple times too. At one point there was not enough available steel in the US to manufacture all of the toasters they needed for all of their stores. This also happened on more than one occasion with tomatoes. Will I say that they do not hurt the economy? No. I can vouch for their stringent demands and quality control though which makes me feel safer as a consumer. Wal-Mart is only at the forefront due to their size. What of Hershey moving manufacturing to Mexico? The great American chocolate. The economy is globalizing, that is a fact. Some companies will survive, some will not. This was set in motion before Wal-Mart came on the market. Now smart businesses are partnering with Asian, and other, markets for it to work. There is very little left that does not have a multinational tie.

  38. MeOhMy says:

    Considering that so many people are up to the ears in debt and can’t pay their mortgage, car payments or credit card bills, I am sceptical of the notion that increased spending will do anything to help the economy in the long term. Regardless of the driving force (shady lending practices, for instance), too much spending is what got us here in the first place.

  39. kylere says:

    I will not shop at Walmart. Nor will anyone in my family, and I work to make sure none of my friends shop there. Actually understanding economics places a good deal of social burden upon a person.

  40. ZekeSulastin says:

    @JMH: The question is, will the companies be able to keep profit margins high enough to continue to draw investment, especially if said companies are already doing poorly? How about you pay extra for the US made products so they have some incentive to be kicked in the crotch with respect to their non-US-manufacturer competition …

    To the guy who said spending kept the economy going – the problem with THAT is that people decide they ‘need’ stuff they don’t (see: new iPod or PC every year), then go into debt of some kind to get it. We’re spending money we don’t have.

  41. suburbancowboy says:

    Wal-Mart does buy domestic product, but they give the domestic manufacturers a book called “How to do Business with Wal-Mart” and rule 1 is to move your factories to China.

    Wal-Mart dictates what price they will buy your product at. You may be able to afford it buy keeping your factories in the U.S. But it is highly unlikely. They want you to build a lower quality product at a lower price.

    If you don’t mind buying a crappy foreign made product and sending every factory job to China, then by all means, shop at that store.

  42. hwyengr says:

    @frugalchick: Thank you for disclosing your own bias. The option for a rational discussion is now gone.

  43. ussra2 says:

    Cowboy it’s called business. You don’t think that manufacturers dictate price? Then you are sadly mistaken. MSRP stands for Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price. Then Wal-Mart talks them down for the consumer because Wal-Mart will sell a lot of what it buys and the manufacturer’s know that so that’s why they are still in business. So don’t become disgruntled over good economics from both sides, and don’t keep the story one sided.

  44. Snarkysnake says:

    @suburbancowboy: @
    “Stop buying at Wal-Mart. The low prices have a huge invisible cost attached to them.’

    I agree. We should all pay more money for stuff that will come from China anyway. Call this a “lifestyle maintenance tax” for the people that can’t run their shithole stores at a profit.(K Mart anyone ?)While we are at it,lets provide free healthcare for the dumb shits that don’t pay attention in school and smoke a burrito sized joint in the morning to take the edge off and end up at Wal Mart.It’s only fair that the people thta got an education,worked damn hard and tried to make something of themselves should hand over free health care and other social goodies to WalMart employees. We should forgive their debts,lower their mortgage rates,feed their kids…Hell,we should wipe their asses because they work at WalMart.
    Let me tell you about invisible costs.One invisible cost is big companies like Proctor and Gamble (Tide,Pampers) and Tyson (chicken,beef)being able to charge whatever the hell they goddam please because they have the local supermarket chain by the balls and there are no other choices.I like having my own 300 pound bully to match against those bullies. I like the fact that they make every other store that they compete with work harder to get better or go the hell out of business.My local supermarket manager is a great guy,but he has been even better since WalMart came to town.It was either do better or lose his livlihood.There was an article on Consumerist yesterday about how shitty Sears/K Mart is. What would happen if there were no WalMart (Or Target) to keep them in line ? They would be 10 times worse,that’s what. All of you WalMart haters are free to spend more than you need to,but stop moralizing to the rest of us. When Wal Mart is no longer a player,it won’t be because PBS or the IFCW union puts them out of business,it will be because they did it to themselves.

    @bohemian: “Walmart reminds me more of the images of Soviet era state food stores. The bleak places people stood in line for hours to get a loaf of bread. I think it is the blinding florescent lights and the smell of dispair. The company store comparison is pretty right too”.

    That’s the dumbest thing I have read on these blogs in a long time (and believe me,the competition is stiff). I have been to the old USSR. The cleanest hospital I went to was dirtier than the dirtiest WalMart I ‘ve ever been in.The stores are indescribable. Meat looks like 30 pounds of flies on a hook (open air – most small stores have no refrigeration). Fish laid out to dry with flies and other flying bugs hovering around.The vegetables look like compost and the bread is just as likely to be moldy as fresh.Are you people so blinded by your hatred of this company that you can’t think rationally ?WalMart has it’s faults (lots of ‘em),but even if you don’t shop there ,they give you more choice and more clout than you would have otherwise…Sweet Jesus,stop listening to these people with an axe to grind and think for yourselves…

  45. BalknChain says:

    @suburbancowboy: As one who shas worked for American supplying Wal-Mart, this has not proven to be true. This holds true for two out of two companies I worked for supplying them. Do they work a tough deal on a handshake? Yes. They are very tough and will drop a supplier in a heartbeat for doing the wrong thing. Working in food QA, I do not have a problem with this. Many food recalls are caused/enabled by looking the other way and not following regulations. As federal regs tighten, there WILL be an uptick in recalls. It’s very scary.

  46. DXDawg says:

    @snarkysnake:

    Bravo, good sir.

  47. savdavid says:

    Excuse me, Walmart. Why didn’t you worry about the economy years ago? You helped make this mess. You should be giving stuff away.

  48. lpranal says:

    @snarkysnake: Your comment has hijacked my equilibrium with HTML weirdness. just sayin’.

  49. SaraAB87 says:

    I will believe it when I ACTUALLY see prices lowered in our Walmart on the things that I am buying. From my observations they are the same price as everyone else, and yes they inch up prices just like everyone else does.

  50. HRHKingFriday says:

    @JMH: yeah, lets see americans willing to work for about 3 cents an hour making toys. Cause thats how much it costs in China. I guess the weakening dollar has ONE upside…

  51. hwyengr says:

    @snarkysnake: Because once Wal-Mart drives their competitors ‘the hell out of business’ in a region, I’m sure they’ll still still keep optimizing their prices to save you money.

    Oh, but competitors will come back to into business if Wal-Mart starts slacking, right? There’s no such thing as a “free” market, and the people who clamor the most for it are the ones who know how to manipulate the real market into their favor.

  52. ffmariners says:

    @HRHKingFriday: Not when the yuan is pegged to the US dollar…

  53. ffmariners says:

    @snarkysnake: Your assumption that the only people working at Wal-Mart are those that are uneducated is your first faulty one. It just gets worse. Once you realize that unemployment is a FUNCTION of capitalism and not an irregularity, you will see that people working these jobs are a necessity. If EVERYONE went to college… we would have college grads working at Wal-Mart and unemployed college grads.

    It is also funny that you make light of “handouts” for the lower class. How about corporate handouts? We frequently forgive their interest on the principal of loans, give them tax write offs for their factories, BUILD their factories, give them tax free land, etc. If these are not handouts, what are?

    As far as your Tyson/PG example… so would you not be happier if there were more suppliers AND more outlets for you to purchase at? Because going from one large supplier that sells to a lot of small mom and pops to one large supplier that sells to one large outlet… is not really the best for you either. Trust me… they are both making a killing.

    Again, take your socially constructed hatred towards lower level employees elsewhere… it makes your whole statement come off as a joke. Realize: Unemployment is a function of capitalism, thus there will always be people in the lower paying jobs regardless of education, “race”, background, etc.

  54. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    Wouldn’t you know it: the writers at the Consumerist are very bitter about lower prices and extending the value of the dollar.

  55. soulman901 says:

    I flip every Walmart off every time I drive by and every chance I get. If the cattle coming out of Walmart sees me I give them a big ol grin and wave at them with my middle finger

  56. Snarkysnake says:

    @hwyengr:

    “Because once Wal-Mart drives their competitors ‘the hell out of business’ in a region, I’m sure they’ll still still keep optimizing their prices to save you money”.

    Now you want welfare for companies that are too dumb to keep up,invest to stay relevant or just too hidebound to change.
    Walk with me, arm in arm, down memory lane:

    Ames Department Stores-Sometimes clean,sometimes dirty,always expensive…Ames was actually a “Chapter 22 Bankruptcy” (Chapter 11 twice). Bought a failing chain and made it worse. R.I.P.

    Roses Stores – Run down. Horrible locations. Higher prices. R.I. P.

    Hills department Stores- Fun place to shop. Free popcorn. Occaisional specials. Everyday prices high. Bad locations.$32 million wet kiss for departing executives. R.I.P.

    TG&Y – Really run down. Idiotic merchandise mix. Bad locations. Absurd prices . R.I.P.

    Zayre- Proud motto: “There’s always a sale at Zayre !” should have read “Theres always a sale (at a a loss) at Zayre! It’s not Wal Mart’s fault that the execs of this company couldn’t do basic math.R.I.P.

    The point is, there will ALWAYS be another chain or concept spring up to serve unmet needs.You people that see grass growing in the streets of small towns and blowing tumbleweeds in the strip mall parking lots because of WalMart are just hearing what you what to hear and seeing what fits your narrow worldview.Read your damn history and stop whining.

  57. ffmariners says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: This does not really extend the value of the dollar.

    Our current predicament comes due to the depreciating value of our dollar AND off the chart global monetary expansion. The two most obvious effects are that of decreased purchasing power (as this article mentions) and inflation. However, one huge effect that is rarely talked about is the growth of foreign countries. China, for example, controls its growth to be about 10-12%. But that is in yuan terms. In US dollar terms, that is 16-18%. With the fall of the dollar, their growth will now be pushed upwards!

    So we may pay 5 cents less for chicken wings (thanks Wal-Mart!) but the real impact is much greater. Our dollars are not being extended by little minute decisions such as this. This is purely marketing.

    We can thank the Fed for their stimulative monetary policy and handling of our debt.

  58. krom says:

    Read: Now we’re even putting the Chinese and Indian child laborers out of work!

  59. krom says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: How does shipping manufacturing demand off to cheaper and cheaper countries expand the value of the dollar? I suppose it might, if we make it so more and more people can have less and less of them. Maybe.

  60. ffmariners says:

    @krom: What ‘MyCokesBiggerThanYours’ stated is a simple economic concept… are you seriously debating it? I wonder if people were so shocked when we started offshoring agriculture so we could become a manufacturing economy…

    I can hear it now… “How does offshoring cotton fields in lieu of manufacturing plants expand the value of our dollar?” And then everyone lol’d at him.

  61. zarex42 says:

    What the heck are you people complaining about? Because it’s walmart, they can’t lower prices without being demonized? Would you rather they raise them instead?

    You folks are really unbelievable.

    Yay, walmart! Cheaper products for all of us!

  62. hwyengr says:

    @snarkysnake: You know what’s interesting, I’ve never heard of a single one of those stores. So, I’m guessing that they didn’t have the universal consumer base to allow them to dictate prices to their suppliers, unlike the certain behemoth that we’re talking about. Not once did I mention government assistance for other stores, I’m talking about Wal-Mart’s version of price dumping. You only have to dump long enough, though, to push your competitors out of business. Then once you’ve got the market cornered, you’re free to do as you please. Which is probably why price dumping is illegal in international trade.

  63. ussra2 says:

    @zarex42:

    I agree Zarex42, people demonize a company that is only trying to help the home team. Yay for the fickle masses that fall in with someone who has a simple mind. Yet once again blame a company that employs thousands of Americans…Go figure.

  64. ffmariners says:

    @hwyengr: I believe that is why Wal-Mart was forced out of Germany.

  65. ffmariners says:

    @ussra2: I do not think they are inherently evil, but I am not blind enough to think they are “only trying to help the home team.” Jus sayin’

  66. phrygian says:

    With prices 10-30% cheaper, will Wal-Mart be asking its employees to take a 10-30% pay cut? Or will they just be letting go 10-30% of their employees?

  67. ussra2 says:

    @ffmariners:

    It’s funny how there are still Wal-Mart stores there…

  68. hwyengr says:
  69. Justinh6 says:

    From strictly a consumer point of view, when it comes to most items, walmart has the cheapest price.

    When your trying to save dollars, should I go to the local drug store and pay double for drugs just because they are the local drug store?

    In many areas Walmart is the only option for buyiing things. Especially rural areas.

  70. ussra2 says:

    @hwyengr:

    I stand corrected.

    Either way its funny how people can throw around insults easily without thinking critically about anything.

  71. ffmariners says:

    @hwyengr: Thank you… I should have put “forced.” Because it was really just confrontation after confrontation until they just realized they had no shit and had to leave.

  72. ffmariners says:

    @ussra2: “fickle masses” … “simple mind” …

    I did not throw an insult, I simply stated a fact: I do not think they are inherently evil, but I am not blind enough to think they are “only trying to help the home team.”

  73. Snarkysnake says:

    @hwyengr:

    I’m talking about Wal-Mart’s version of price dumping. You only have to dump long enough, though, to push your competitors out of business. Then once you’ve got the market cornered, you’re free to do as you please. Which is probably why price dumping is illegal in international trade.

    Please,please tell me that you are not that stupid. “price dumping” is a transfer of money from the owners of a company to the customers of a company.It’s selling goods at less than cost.The fucking shareholders of WalMart should be the ones pissed off about “price dumping”. Customers who are not stupid would demand “price dumping” ( I don’t see you blogging about your local supermarket selling “loss leaders” below cost-that’s “price dumping” too) IF you had no other alternative than to shop at Wally World,I would agree with you. But you have hundreds,thousands of competitors to choose from. Right now,the next retail genius is going to elementary school or being conceived in the back seat of a Toyota (difficult,but possible).This guy/girl will come up with a concept,a strategy or a whole new way of doing business that will put a stake in the heart of WalMart. Then we’ll start the whold damn debate all over again.But that little genius won’t even attempt to start a store if people like you start shrieking about controlling his business and making him “give” employees this and that. That little genius COULD make poor people’s lives better by giving them more stuff to enjoy their life for less money (and effort). But no. If he gets too successful,people like you will demand that he be put out of busines…For what ? So less successful companies can overcharge the rest of us. Hell no. I’m calling you haters out. You have lost this debate and you are just running on venom and envy. If you don’t like WalMart,stay away.Just stop acting like your envy is moral superiority.

  74. ussra2 says:

    @ffmariners:

    I wasn’t talking specifically about you but with all of the other people that started this blog. They were the one’s that try to justify why they don’t shop at wal mart when it really doesn’t matter because they are the few. They are the ones that are simple minded and try to make up reasons why they don’t shop there. Yet they are missing the entire point we are debating. So Wal mart lowers prices, that helps the consumer and really a 10-30% drop won’t affect too much but then again it depends on how long they extend the drop and what products they drop on. That is what is going to matter. This probably will not lead to employees losing their jobs either.

  75. hwyengr says:

    @ussra2: Maybe it’s just a different upbringing (and I was raised by an entrepeneur), but I’ve never considered towing the company line as critical thinking.

  76. hwyengr says:

    @snarkysnake: Sorry, pal. You don’t get to decide when a debate is over. Wal-Mart uses heavy handed, monopolistic tactics to “negotiate” lower supply costs than other companies can. Over the long term, this will drive other businesses out of business because they cannot compete on price. While not de facto price dumping (as alluded to with my selection of words (Wal-Mart’s “version”)), it has the same effect.

  77. meneye says:

    @suburbancowboy: you know nothing about econimics

  78. FessLove says:

    Yeah, we should TOTALLY blame Wal-Mart for the bad decisions we make to buy things. I mean, how DARE THEY offer a wide selection of goods! What are they thinking making a business model thats brings in billions of dollars?

    And to those of you complaining about the working conditions… work elsewhere! Remember, you are free to get a job somewhere else. Last I checked, they didnt kidnap people off the street, put them in blue aprons, and chain them to the floor.

    Make sure to blame someone else for your problems!!! How dare wal-mart sell me an iPod!

    Take responsibility for your own actions. Its called being a mature human being. This whole blame wal-mart thing is completely rediculous. Friggin’ morons.

  79. hwyengr says:

    @fesslove: “What are they thinking making a business model thats brings in billions of dollars?”

    Thank you for confirming my suspicions of the modern conservative free-marketeer. Nothing is bad as long as somebody is making money from it.

  80. HRHKingFriday says:

    @fesslove: Let’s say you’re a widget maker in a small town. In fact, your town requires several widget makers, and people are fairly satisfied with the result. Sure, things are a little more expensive, but everyone is getting paid more because everyone is buying and selling each others’ widgets. Then Walmart comes along and says- hey, we sell black and blue widgets cheaper than anyone else in town, because we got them from China. Excellent, says everyone but those who make blue and black widgets, now they can buy more, and even put some money in savings. But now all the blue and black widget makers have to work at walmart, because that is the only open job in town. Of course, they aren’t making as much money as when they owned their own businesses. Fesslove, a third party commentor on “Teh Intrawebs”, argues that its ok, because now they have access to cheaper widgets at walmart. But guess what, now that puts the other widget makers out of business too! Long story short, I don’t think anyone chooses to work for Walmart. All you need is a small portion of a population to start to buy in to it (sometimes because they have to), and then, *poof*, everyone’s at Walmart.

    Y’know, some day Walmart might decide to diversify and start their own staffing agency. Or bank-that *almost* happened, right? And then all of us with white collar jobs wouldn’t be so smug, now would we?

  81. FessLove says:

    @hwyengr Youre right. Maybe we should just go to communism and force everyone to get everything from the government! If the working conditions are THAT bad, people wouldnt work there. If they prices were THAT bad, people wouldnt shop there. If you don’t like the working conditions in China, blame the chinese government.

    Maybe we should just shut down wal-mart! I mean, its only many thousands of jobs lost.

    In all reality, are you people serious? Think before you talk. Whining about Wal-Mart doesn’t make you intelligent, political, or a humanitarian, whatever the hell you’re going for. Why don’t you just grow the hell up and take responsibility for your actions? If you can’t pay your credit card debt, its not wal-marts fault! It amazes me how some people think.+-

  82. FessLove says:

    @HRKINGFRIDAY So Wal-Mart is evil becasue their widgets are cheaper? I’m all for small business, but blaming wal-mart because your small business failed is just immature. Should we ban all companies for having more than one location? Should we go to each town, and fix the prices on the goods that the small businesses have? Should we ban stores from selling food AND TV’s in the same store? Gimme a break

  83. hwyengr says:

    @fesslove: Ooh! I have a better idea! Instead of going to the extreme end of the spectrum, how about we don’t do bad things to the economy, but still make money? I know, I know. We won’t make as much money, but I think we’ll still get by.

    I don’t remember the Sam Walton being a signatory to the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence, so we seemed to survive as a nation without Wal-Mart before. Let’s give it another 20 years and see how we’re doing with Wal-Mart.

  84. stevegoz says:

    Wal-Mart is good because most of the cheap products they sell come from Communist China. Viva USA!

  85. FessLove says:

    @HWYENGR When this country was setup, it was set up to allow businesses to make their own decisions. If you don’t like shopping at Wal-Mart, then don’t! No one claimes Sam Waltion was a founding father, but Wal Mart isn’t doing anything illegal!

    I choose not to shop at Wal-Mart because I hate waiting for 30 minutes to buy a loaf of bread. But I am not whining that they are ruining our country or breaking the law.

    Some businesses are more succesful than others. Thats capitalism. If your business isnt the most succesful one, you have many options to become the best one. Or we could do what you purpose, and just shut down any company that does better than yours.

  86. Snarkysnake says:

    All you WalMart haters ; I invite you to get on the Discovery Sun cruise ship (leaves Fort Lauderdale daily at 6 A.M.- Fare $99). Take the 5 hour ride to Freeport,Bahamas (70 miles from America). Stay a week. No WalMarts there. Just super high prices and next to no selection. Plenty of “mom and pop” stores.Be careful on the way back. You will be bumped,bustled,jostled and stepped on by cheerful Bahamians bringing back their $600 allotment of goods allowed by customs.Where do they shop ? according to all that I spoke to,WalMart and Brandsmart.If you would like to visit more familiar,comfortable surroundings that have no WalMarts,take the 90 mile innertube ride to Havana.ALL retail workers there have free health care,guaranteed jobs and top notch gun control.You should find Fidel’s “socialist paradise” quite refreshing..

  87. HOP says:

    these are tough acts to follow…………..

  88. hwyengr says:

    Nobody is challenging the fact that Wal-Mart has low prices. The problem is how they achieve those low prices.

  89. hwyengr says:

    @fesslove: “When this country was setup, it was set up to allow businesses to make their own decisions.”

    Child labor, slave labor, no safety protections, 6 day work weeks, and 12-15 hour days sure were great, weren’t they? They couldn’t have been too bad, since all of our stuff is made that way anyway. We just get to wash our hands of it because its shiny and cheap at Wal-Mart.

  90. FessLove says:

    @HWYENGR

    You mean wal-mart is guilty of child labor, slave labor, no safety protections, 6 day work weeks, and 15 hour days? Wow. I have never been rang out by a 10 year old at wal-mart. And my friend that works there never pulls 15 hour days. And lets face it, some weeks, we all have to put in a few extra hours or work a saturday.

    Yes, things happen overseas that I don’t like. And the governments of those countries should take action to ensure safe working conditions, and not allow child labor. Maybe even set up a minimum wage. But this article isnt about the Chinese government, its about Wal-Mart. Quit blaming wal-mart for overseas working conditions. Wal-Mart isn’t China. They are in fact, completely different entities.

  91. courtneywoah says:

    Ask yourself: Why do huge companies like Coke and HP who spend millions of dollars a year advertising need to sell their products at Walmart?

    We are allowing cheap prices to dictate our lives, every single item in Walmart has been pre-approved as family appropriate. While that may seem like a good idea what you really have is a mega-corporation dictating how other companies produce and market their goods. If a company doesn’t agree and conform to Walmart than they have lost 30% of the market, its a catch 22.

  92. FessLove says:

    “every single item in Walmart has been pre-approved as family appropriate. While that may seem like a good idea, what you really have is a mega-corporation dictating how other companies produce….”

    Yet, if wal-mart sold things that weren’t “family appropriate” there would be an entirely different post about wal-mart selling innapropriate items. Guess you can’t please everyone…

  93. hwyengr says:

    @FESSLOVE: You do know how purchasing meetings go with Wal-Mart, right? From the Frontline episode I mentioned earlier,

    But a more agile, transnational, “virtual” manufacturer is emerging to service the American mass retailer. Larry Harmer, CEO of Petters International, has never created a brand, run a research and development group, overseen the assembly of a product, or sold it on a store shelf.

    He is a “brand distributor,” a general contractor of sorts for consumer electronics, who develops a concept for a product — a new kind of DVD player, for instance — by licensing other people’s design and technological innovations. When the prototype is ready, he licenses a familiar brand name, such as Polaroid, under which he sells his product. He and his team of fluent Mandarin speakers then head to China and turn to one of Wal-Mart’s chosen Chinese manufacturers for production. Harmer said that Wal-Mart deals with only three or four DVD player factories worldwide — all in China. Harmer’s situation is typical: To sell to Wal-Mart, most brand distributors will be forced have their products made by Wal-Mart’s anointed partners in China.

  94. Zaos says:

    Heres a example of the economy changing.

    Early 90s regular Mall – cool place for all kids to hang out
    Late 00s regular mall – only rich can really shop there with all cheap stores being bought out by more expensive competitiors.

    times change and that is a perfect example of “regular” stores beign bought out by “expensive” stores, leaving people who make regular/less than regular/no money to shop at guess what the only place that they can afford.

    gee with the economy not getting better because the stores also get their stuff from .10C paid malaysian kids i wonder where people will go? who can blame someone for wanting to save money and not pay $60 for a shirt that kid A made while Kid B made the same materials but embroidered a small square inch symbol on it for $60

  95. FessLove says:

    My whole point here is to hold the right people responsible for the problems we are seeing. Wal mart isnt evil because they buy at the lowest price.

    The chinese companies with the poor work conditions, and chinese government for not properly regulating their companies are the problem. Everyone would rather save money when making a purchase, and this includes wal-mart.

    I think what I am trying to say has been mis interpreted.

  96. Snarkysnake says:

    Last word.

    I hope that you people that hate capitalism (and WalMart) so much get what you want…After I’m dead. I hope you shop in your wonderful little mom and pop shops where workers get healthcare,rides to work and babysittin for the young ‘uns. I hope that Bill Moyers and the staff of Frontline help you realize your dream of $19 an hour stock clerks and widgets that are the right color made by cheerful,happy,well paid adults.I hope that your DVD players will not cost 250 bucks when you move those factories back to the U.S.I hope that these “invisible costs” all go away and we are all just one big happy family where everyone has just what he needs and everyone works their tail off for a high wage. I hope people like the fesslove and suburban cowboy and Bill Moyers are the people that decide how much we make and where we can shop.But…Until that happy day comes,we that live on this planet will have to take the WalMarts for what they are-a place to shop (or not shop,if you choose) Not a lifestyle statement or hypocritical morality play.

  97. ffmariners says:

    UPS gives its PART-TIME employees full health care benefits (dental, vision, medical, prescription drug), 401k perks, stock options, etc…

    Last I checked UPS still makes a lot of money.

    You can treat your employees fairly and still make money. Stop acting like it is mutually exclusive ‘SNARKYSNAKE’

  98. SaraAB87 says:

    UPS also offers free chiropractic services to their employees because they are at high risk for developing back problems. I am just saying, there is a price to pay for working at UPS.

  99. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    @savdavid: Helped make this mess? Walmart helped greedy mortgage lenders write bad loans and stupid people, who can’t add and subtract, sign them?

  100. camman68 says:

    @That70sHeidi: Maybe they are – but they start it before or after WalMart? If WalMart wasn’t doing it, would they have done it on their own?

  101. ChuckECheese says:

    Hasn’t anybody noticed that Wal-Mart’ses prices have increased a great deal in the past year or 18 months? In my part of the world, eggs are 2.5X the price they were less than a year ago; milk is 50% more, and butter about 40% more. A bottle of Cheer detergent that was less than $4 a year ago now costs about $7. Their housewares cost more too. I wanted to get a new colander, and the cheapest one they had was $7. A shower caddy was $8, even though I got a similar one at a dollar store for $2. Wal-mart red bell peppers are $2 each and carrots a dollar a pound. There’s a supermarket near me that charges 40 c for a RBP and 50 c a lb for carrots.

    So WM can probably charge 10%-30% less and still squeak by.

  102. ffmariners says:

    @SaraAB87: I work there… no they do not. They offer free chiropractic services if you have been hurt as part of your workers comp.

    And we aren’t any more at risk than WalMart merchandisers/inventory workers/stockers (what, you think the boxes get off the trucks themselves, and then on the shelves themselves?)

    In fact they are probably more at risk because I am sure we are trained better.

  103. ffmariners says:

    Jus’ sayin. Many companies offer their employees the benefits they deserve… and are still plenty profitable.

    I wish I lived back in the day when companies had a sense of humanitarianism… a sense of belonging to a community (not just taking everything it can from the community and leaving if they can’t rip it off anymore)… etc… etc.

  104. Chigaimasmaro says:

    We can continue the lovely cycle of stupidity that is known as the US Economy. Since the Senate only wants to hand out 100$ checks, we now know its not for naught. We can still afford substandard products at Wal-Mart.

  105. cynicalliberal says:

    I laughed when I saw this, Wal-Mart’s certainly got a high opinion of itself. As other people have said it’s not really cheaper, it advertises specials and has *certain* key items at lower prices so that it’s perceived to be cheaper.

    Even if they have something I need for less or are closer, I still refuse to go because I disagree with their practices and how they treat their employees. Why does this matter here? The Consumerist is about voting with your dollar; usually companies that take care of their employees, take care of their consumers.

  106. gingerCE says:

    @SkyeBlue: I agree–Walmart started that trend and other stores followed. I get my $4 drugs from Target because it’s more convenient to me, but I also commend Wal-mart for stepping up and starting this. I know a couple of seniors who are really grateful for this because of the high number of generics they are on.

  107. AndyRogers says:

    Walmart buys and sells lots of domestic products.
    Obviously no sportsmen/women here: Cheapest place to buy any ammunition without catching a major sale: Walmart. And it’s Winchester, Federal, etc. All made in America by Americans.

    Walmart does nothing that millions of corporations haven’t done before. The difference that makes Walmart successful is quite simply logistics. I say again, not screwing the little man and poor illegal employees, logistics. Putting products on shelves faster than competitors. Putting MORE products in LESS space. Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency…

    I got no beef with Walmart. Most smart people don’t either.

  108. ffmariners says:

    @AndyRogers: I have done many a case study on WalMart being I am a Logistics, Transportation, and Supply Chain Management major… so cheers to giving their logistics a rep. It IS in fact very good.

    But that does not negate the fact that they also edge out competition using strong arm practices and treating their employees unfairly.

  109. chrrey103 says:

    Why does everybody blame Wal-Mart? I used to think that way until I worked at M*CY*S for the Christmas season. I found ONE THING made in the USA. They did have more variety of countries though. Israel for children’s clothes. Anyway, Big chains are all the same. I still couldn’t take my minimum wage check and buy as much with my employee discount there as I could somewhere else. Namely Amazon.(Let me just say this was on top of my full time job, I didn’t want ANY debt because of Christmas)

  110. chrrey103 says:

    @chrrey103: Oh let me add they made us work without breaks (just to use the bathroom) and supervisors disappeared when it was time to go home. I did not get health insurance being seasonal but according to the full time people they tried to keep them just under full time so they didn’t get it. Again, they are all the same but Hey my kids Christmas was awesome and I owe nothing.

  111. jimda says:

    i can only afford to shop at walmart due to disability, so this is good news for me. all of you who trash walmart, dont shop there, for some of us they are great.

  112. AndyRogers says:

    @ffmariners:

    I was in the “logistics biz” for a while too and miss it. I was an Army Transportation Corps officer and moved all kinds of stuff (people, equipment, fuel, etc.) throughout Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgistan (sp?), Iraq and Kuwait by air, sea and land. When you live and work in broken logs system like the Army’s, you REALLY begin to admire top notch systems like Walmart, DHL, FedEx, etc. Our tech guys had a saying they were fond of in the sandbox: “FedEx is faster than fiber.”

    Logistics is a REALLY fascinating science that, unfortunately, most people take for granted.

  113. ooby says:

    One of the reasons Wal-Mart’s prices are low is because they usually get municipalities to subsidize their sales and property taxes, security and emergency response systems among other things. (This practice is not restricted to Wal-Mart).

  114. JJ910 says:

    As I said in one of my earlier comments, Walmart is all Americans will be able to afford the way this economy is going.

  115. theMatrix says:

    @suburbancowboy: Walmart has been RAISING prices ever since they got everyone hooked on their low prices. We switched over to them as our weekly store because everything was so much lower. Then the creep started.

    First just a few items started raising. We thought, OK not bad. Then more and more. Now it’s crazy. Our weekly food bill has risen 25% in the last year. We are going back to our old store. A new trick they do is the computer scans higher than advertised prices but because you are busy bagging your groceries you never catch it.

    When we discovered this, on a staple, we went back through our receipts and they had done it for 2 months. We asked for our money back. The very next week, they stopped carrying the item altogether.

    Everyone needs to show Walmart we are not stupid. Quit shopping there!