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cletus8269

The price of Wal-Mart coming to town

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Each supercenter -- the only big box Wal-Mart builds these days -- means, on average, 300 retail jobs with a strong company.

"It's the No. 1 reason" towns cite for approving construction of a Wal-Mart, said Al Norman, a critic who's been talking about Wal-Mart across the country for 17 years. "They tell me, 'Yeah, we have to bend zoning laws. Yeah, it's going to make neighbors unhappy. But it's creating jobs.' "

And in the beginning, jobs do come, at least at ground zero.

Immediately, there are the 50 to 100 construction jobs, which last maybe a year. Then there are the 300 new retail positions at Wal-Mart. There may well be hiring at businesses nearby that offer things Wal-Mart does not -- places like restaurants, gas stations, auto dealers and building-supply stores.

read on after the jump here

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the last page is the meat of the article, yet reading some of the comments at the end you see how people still dont get the diabolical truth of sleeping with the big box companies...

Walmart pays $11/hour plus benefits to full-time workers which seems very reasonable for the work. Plus they can save familes up to $2500 per year. We are in a global economy now and it isn't going away. Walmart seems like a great safety net to me. They keep families near the poverty line from going hungry while keeping their workers from falling below it. Not to mention the money it saves other consumers and raises for local governments.

safety net? yeah... sure...

I agree with the China trade thing. We shop at Cosco and is it any better. You can't buy a TV or cell phone that isn't made in China. I don't know the answer, but if we keep this up, we will all be out of a job.

call zenith im sure they'll relate and tell you all about it.

This article is interesting but I am not sure how factual it is. I am not sure if it is supposed to be a news article or an editorial. My own thoughts as I read through the piece is as follows. Wal-marts come and go - GM used to be THE dominant automaker in the world and now lives on government handouts and remember Kmart, etc, etc. As for low paying jobs, if you ever worked in retail you know they don't pay well any place. We travel a lot and if we are in an area that does not have a Walmart and we don't know the area, it is tough to find even the basics and requires a lot of gas just to gather up stuff you need. I am not a big fan of Walmart but boy, is it convenient. This country's economy was built on competitive commerce and industry and we will surely die by over-restrictive trade and business policies.

this person has it figured out but they didnt draw it together to discover the answer..

Wal-Mart has taken the low end of retailing and revolutionized it. They are competitive in a global context. Jobs move overseas because the US is not competitive. Instead of whining about Wal-Mart, we need to study how they have become so competitive and follow their example. If we continue thinking that we do not need to compete with the rest of the world, there will be no jobs left in the US. And protectionism will not save us. We will just get further behind the rest of the world.

uh... nevermind.

Americans are unaware of the funneling of "Big Box" operations.

A community that depends on small business people have a decided advantage in financial stability because up to 70% of the dollars spent with local businesses tend to funnel back into the community and expand at up to 400% by supporting other local businesses. Payrolls, local interdependence and expansion numbers, while individually small, add up to a collective prosperity with wider diversity and odds of sustained long-term growth. The eggs are NOT all in one basket.

With large concentrated collectors of wealth (Big Box Nationals), the opposite effects are demonstrated. The payrolls remain essentially the same or even less community wide, but the redispersion of the aforementioned 70% literally disappears from the community's coffers. The reality is that the community not only becomes more impoverished because of the destruction of diversity, but their money is funneled OUT and LEAVES TOWN forever!

A second, more insidious factor enters into a community selling its soul to the devil. The community's character and identity also leaves. It becomes identified with two or three major players who then become the controlling id of the towns. Any uniqueness that a community may have had is destroyed and lost.

Not a few towns have experienced the loss of one of these giants,

Because of shifting demographics, sinking economies or the loss of other driving financial factors, when the going gets tough, the Big Boxes leave town. That, perhaps, is the saddest of all. Whole towns are left with nothing. The aura of despair and loss is palpable. Who comes to the rescue when rescue is even possible? You guessed it, the small businessman.

A large part of growing American weakness is due to the continual "bleeding" of the nation's local communities by the Big Box National money funnels. Towns, do yourselves a favor. Take slower, more measured and sustainable growth (or loss) and keep the devil at bay. Not only will your community be better off in the long run but so will your nation

best post about it.

whats your take?

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I agree with you and the last posted quote.

Wal-Mart and its ilk are a net negative.

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A new Sam's club just opened in Springfield, it the second one in town. They supposedly had 1,200 applicants for 300 jobs, but all told, its a bad thing for town, just added congestion on the south side of town.

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Eleven bucks an hour? Ha! I worked there from February to May of this year and only made $7.20 an hour, a nickel below minimum wage. I'm lucky that I earned what money I did while I worked at the location in Richmond.

I know having a Wal-Mart in Berea has pulled a few pins the holding smaller businesses here together completely out and thrown them aside. Superior Food Market shut down, was reopened by IGA, shut down again, and was reopened by a local owner who worked there as a teenager, only to struggle and be shut down for the last time. HFH opened a Re-Store (its like a Goodwill) in its place. The store just couldn't compete with Wal-Mart's prices and loyal customers wound up driving a few miles to the other side of town to shop cheaper. Bait shops have shut down as well because of Wal-Mart's sporting goods department.

There's no hope for an alternative when Wal-Mart shows up to a small town. Local businesses are smothered to death before they eventually close their doors for good. Competitors only come to larger cities and they still have to put up a fierce fight to withstand Wal-Mart's corporate funk.

I know I had plenty of co-workers eagerly awaiting Meijer's debut in Richmond, hoping that it would put a stranglehold on the store. I was, and still am, one of those people. But I also know better. It will take a devastating blow to the U.S. economy to see Wal-Mart rupture and go down, at least from a consumer standpoint.

Edited by YellowJacket894
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Where it mentioned a need to examine their business structure, it's just plain easy:

Anyone wishing to have their product marketed at Walmart must make huge concessions to their average profit margins just to have their item on a Walmart shelf. How else do you think they keep their prices so low? Walmart continues on with healthy profit margins, typically the same as all the other retailers, by bullying and dictating their costs from suppliers. The undercutting of other retailers secures their marketplace and generates higher volume.

As for employees? Though the profit margins are healthy, the wage-scale in comparison to their competitors is lack-lustre. Entry-level wages at the foods marketplace I managed was $9.00 per hour, as of this time last year. If you look at more than the money in the pocket, we offered three excellent graduated health benefits packages that was even offered to part-time staff, a pension plan second only to the government, annual 10% rebate on all regular priced products and a number of other company perks. Walmart continued to offer no more than minimum wage, $7.95 for their newly built store and their usual Christmas discount offering of 10% from three items purchased in the store. Sure, there were benefits offered to full-time staff; however, you actually had to be given enough hours to make full-time. Something many employees knew they would never see.

Of course, you can't blame Walmart entirely. They succeed because people want to pay as little as possible for everything. They could be out of a job, bitching about the economy and the government, crying about how there's nobody hiring and just not looking at the big picture and how Walmart exploits the entire situation for their own benefit.

A sad, sad tale.

Incidentally, there's a small Walmart in Nelson, British Columbia which took over the retail store from old Wolco. They requested to purchase adjacent land from the city to build a newer, bigger store. Nelson is a city with heritage values, a huge small-business environment catering to entrepreneurs and has strict guidelines on what is and is not allowed within their city limits. Like the Lower Mainland and Greater Vancouver region, Nelson declined Walmart's request. Sadly, it seems the Lower Mainland is going to cave now.

Edited by ShadowDog
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I am going to send a suggestion of name to National Hurricane Center - Walmart.

Hurricane Walmart destroys every small business and family run places to bring mediocre quality of life, while people are employed to a "stable" job rather than vagrancy of self-owned businesses, they end up being "bitches" - call it socialism or dictatorship or kingdom or slavery in this country that boasts freedom and right to oneself.

A person may be more street savvy and smarted had she/he owned her/his own business because she/he will be dealing with suppliers, customers, accountants, tax personnels, etc. This leads to striving to make the business better and finding the right answers - and learning to act on her/his feet. A person working for Wal-Mart is nothing but an automaton who just calls the supervisor or manager and pushes the responsibility, making the society dumber.

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Sadly, it seems the Lower Mainland is going to cave now.

Well, Vancouver had a Wal-Mart open just recently, in a warehouse that was vacated by Costco in the 'Commercial Drive' area. I actually think it's hilarious, because Wal-Mart had been hoping for a location, and their pitch had quite a few environmental perks, including a wind-generator, skylight-lighting, and a small parking lot, and it would have been built from the ground up. Council struck it down, and figured they beat the bad ol' corporation, until Wally pulled one right under their noses, and didn't have to spend a ton of money to 'green' themselves in their new digs.

Edited by TheCaptain
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Most stores in the U.S. have a mild form of "skylight-lighting" so why in the hell were they bragging about that?

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Most stores in the U.S. have a mild form of "skylight-lighting" so why in the hell were they bragging about that?

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/stor...hub=CTVNewsAt11

His "green" design will allow the Wal-Mart store to use one-third of the energy it takes to run a regular store. Windmills generate power and underground wells will heat and cool the building. Skylights will replace lamps in the store.

"There will be no lights on during the daytime all year. That saves a lot of energy."

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We just need to stop being "genericans".

Don't.

Hold.

Your.

Breath.

The family ethic's fading and the 'generican' is becoming the dominant breed. Makes me glad that I'm old.

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Problem A) Walmart & other "big box stores" funnel money out of the community, and the nation.

Problem B) Local business does not provide the low prices or the "one stop shopping" of the "big box stores"

Seems like a solution would be a well organized mall, but not one that is filled with smaller big chain stores with even bigger prices, but a more open, cohesive collection of locally or at most regionally owned businesses, all sharing a building and point of sale system, most sharing the same hours. I'm picturing something that looks & feels similar to wal-mart, but the clothing section is owned, stocked, managed by a local person. Perhaps their department has a contract for a set time frame, and another local business person can try outbid them on their contract. Of course, this does not grant the same volume purchasing advantage, customer service is difficult to set up to be shared like the POS system would be, you don't get the consistency from store to store, etc. There are also major disadvantages as well as advantages to limiting the "mall" to one of each type of store (one grocery, one clothing, one tool dept, etc), but there could likely be huge advantages in customer service.

Dunno, just thinking out loud. The other question is if it's wise to control the amount of domestic product sold through the store.

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Americans want things cheap.

Americans want to make a lot of money.

Americans dont want to make things.

Doesn't sound like a recipe for success.

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Americans want more tin foil.

Americans love cowboy hats.

Americans don't like squeaky pickles.

Wee- this whitewashing is fun, Huck !!

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Americans are fat.

Americans are stupid.

Americans are lazy.

amidoinitright?

(I do agree with Satty, ftr.)

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Americans want things cheap.

Americans want to make a lot of money.

Americans dont want to make things.

Doesn't sound like a recipe for success.

Since when do Americans not want to make things? The problem is management wanting to make every last penny they can, or being forced by competition to lower costs every penny they can, and thus exporting jobs. I don't recall factory workers every yelling "we're sick of making these wigets, take your stupid factory to china!" I also don't recall hearing management go "I'm tired of employing people locally... it would be so much easier if we employed people that required translators and a lot of long flights to places where I might get a new disease I have no natural built up immunity to, let's ship our jobs overseas!"

It's ALL about money and greed. If you really don't think americans want factory jobs, you're off your rocker. There are a lot of people out there that'd love to get ahold of a steady factory job.

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I've never met a person who was thrilled with the idea of a job in a factory. I'm sure they're out there, but its a dying breed.

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If America wishes to continue to direct its own future, it needs factory workers as well as executives, laborers as well as professionals, and producers as well as consumers.

Otherwise we ceed our independence to others.

Not a good plan.

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I've never met a person who was thrilled with the idea of a job in a factory. I'm sure they're out there, but its a dying breed.

They're out there. They just all work at walmart for $7.20 an hour since the fat cats at the top can't be satisfied with only a $100m bonus this year.

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yah i showed that to a friend after we discussed the article to, nothing sends it home quite as short and sweet as that.

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Well we are a consumer nation that manufacturing-wise is uncompetitive on a national scale with other nations. What do you expect?

The US of A is destined to be a 3rd world country in the long run the way things are going.

That being said, im not about to go around proclaiming that we banish Wal*Mart from the face of the earth.

Wal*Mart has been responsible for the productivity gains of America for the past decade. They have also been a large reason that consumer goods have not spiraled out of control inflationary wise. I'm not saying these are good or bad in and of themselves, but it is a symptom of an economy that is not stable.

Edited by Teh Ricer Civic!
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I don't foresee the US becoming a 3rd world country, but I could see it falling far out of superpower/global leader status. But, as things get tough, people will take jobs for less money, and *some* jobs will come back. We are still a largely educated workforce, and do not have nearly the corruption issues of many 3rd world countries.

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Well we are a consumer nation that manufacturing-wise is uncompetitive on a national scale with other nations. What do you expect?

I stopped buying that theory about 6 months ago. Japan is just as much a consumer economy as we are and they have a higher respect for education than we do, however, they still have a manufacturing base that, per capita, is much stronger than our own.

The difference? Wage disparity. CEOs in the US make thousands of times as much as their average employees. Japan, out of the 15 top economic powers, has the most equal wage distribution across the classes.

The CEO of ExxonMobile got a $400m retirement package. That works out to $4,819 that could have been paid to each and every one of Exxon's 83,000 employees.... or paid out in dividends..... or put into alternative fuel R&D.

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