The Wal-Mart Effect

Fishman presents ‘Wal-Mart Effect’ and, rather than harp on the giant for its shortcomings, he illustrates just how deep and wide its reach really goes and presents options for those who do want to spend their money at a more ethical business. He uses the example of the bankrupting of Vlasic Pickles by the supply chain bullying of Wal-Mart. What it comes down to is Vlasic had to sell their pickles at a loss or Wal-Mart would drop them and they'd go out of business anyway. Rock and a hard place indeed, or maybe its more appropriate to call it a deal with the devil, just delaying the harvest. But Charles Fishman presents some ideas that you can or cannot think about implementing. He recognizes that people might not have the means to shop elsewhere, that cold hard economics may require patronizing Wal-Mart. But if you can, why not try other stores. Why not go to Target or KMart or some of the others, or the local toy store, if you can afford it.

And who can these days?

I understand that its hard to make the decision to not buy things as cheaply as possible, we're trained to do it. That way we can have more stuff. And stuff is good. I crave stuff just like the rest of the world.

But what if the stuff you crave and buy from Wal-Mart helps Wal-Mart avoid taxes or suck up some additional healthcare and you end up paying more for it in the long run.

Shop locally, spend your money on businesses that will keep the money as local as possible. Shopping at Wal-Mart is like making a deposit at the Bank of China ATM. Only thing is that we will not be making any withdrawals, maybe ever.

Shopping at your local hardware store, grocery store, whatever, is a good thing to do.

By the way, did you know Wal-Mart is the world's biggest grocery store as well as retail schlock? I didn't until this article in the University of Wisconsin student paper.

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