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Documentary: Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

Old 11-15-05, 04:23 PM
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Documentary: Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

There was a thread in the movie section but I figured it would fit in better here as it's a politically motivated documentary.

After seeing it, i'm convinced...we have to get rid of the big corporations and downsize completely. I'm totally against competition of any sort, and when someone comes in and just trounces everyone else because they can do something more efficiently, they have to be stopped at all costs. Think of all the mom and pop stores that closed down - stores that, per capita, generated more cost (total amount of resources necessary to keep running). Economies of scale my ass - don't they know that what americans crave is heart and soul when they're buying kleenex and tampons?
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Old 11-15-05, 04:24 PM
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So, you just want monopolies?
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Old 11-15-05, 04:27 PM
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I read about this film in Newsweek. Sounds like it offers nothing new, and rehashes the same old arguments against Wal*Mart, spruced up with interviews from disgruntled ex-employees.

A lot of communities are making the decision to keep "big box" stores out of their area. Seems to me that that's the best way to go about things...decide them at a local level.
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Old 11-15-05, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Superboy
I'm totally against competition of any sort...
So is Wal-Mart.
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Old 11-15-05, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
I read about this film in Newsweek. Sounds like it offers nothing new, and rehashes the same old arguments against Wal*Mart, spruced up with interviews from disgruntled ex-employees.

A lot of communities are making the decision to keep "big box" stores out of their area. Seems to me that that's the best way to go about things...decide them at a local level.
But doesn't the Bog Box store just setup shop in the next "community", thereby sucking the surrounding communities of business?
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Old 11-15-05, 05:47 PM
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If you don't like Wal-Mart, it seems to me the best solution would be to vote with your dollars.
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Old 11-15-05, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Duran
If you don't like Wal-Mart, it seems to me the best solution would be to vote with your dollars.
I tried that. The Dems freaked out. Got some people a few meals though.
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Old 11-15-05, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Duran
If you don't like Wal-Mart, it seems to me the best solution would be to vote with your dollars.
Yeah, that worked for me. I boycotted Shell and filled up at Chevron. I showed them peoples.
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Old 11-15-05, 06:10 PM
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how is wal mart a monopoly when they never capture 30% of the local market where they operate? My wife said Wal Mart came to Wooster Ohio in the early 1990's before she graduated from school there. We were there a few months ago and there were a lot of stores and a few restaraunts in the area. Wal Mart brought in new business and created a lot of jobs.
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Old 11-15-05, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Duran
If you don't like Wal-Mart, it seems to me the best solution would be to vote with your dollars.
I'm living proof that it is indeed possible to not shop at Walmart.
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Old 11-15-05, 06:18 PM
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Brent Hume talked about this movie tonight on his show. That H&H Hardware store that the maker of the film claims was shut down by Wal-Mart actually closed 3 months before Wal-Mart even came to the same town. And the owner of H&H said while he hates Wal-Mart, the company had nothing to do with his store closing. That right there makes me thing that this "documentary" isn't a documentary at all.
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Old 11-15-05, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
how is wal mart a monopoly when they never capture 30% of the local market where they operate? My wife said Wal Mart came to Wooster Ohio in the early 1990's before she graduated from school there. We were there a few months ago and there were a lot of stores and a few restaraunts in the area. Wal Mart brought in new business and created a lot of jobs.
Some chain restaurants, I bet? And more big box stores? Meh. How many jobs were simply relocated at a lower wage and how many family run businesses suffered?

They play within the rules. I don't have a problem with Walmart - they do what every retail chain dreams of doing. But their size has costs. I simply choose not to spend my money there....
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Old 11-15-05, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Mopower
Brent Hume talked about this movie tonight on his show. That H&H Hardware store that the maker of the film claims was shut down by Wal-Mart actually closed 3 months before Wal-Mart even came to the same town. And the owner of H&H said while he hates Wal-Mart, the company had nothing to do with his store closing. That right there makes me thing that this "documentary" isn't a documentary at all.
I don't know the impact of Walmart on my area. But I know for certain that when Staples opened their first store here just about every office supply place shut down. Its the nature of the game. Its not Walmart's fault for wanting to grow their business. I don't like how they treat workers or how they strong-arm vendors though. And the stores are creepy. I don't know what it is.
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Old 11-15-05, 06:32 PM
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Wal-Mart has its positives and its negatives. I have seen both the MSNBC doc and the PBS doc. The MSNBC doc was pretty balanced with pos and neg. In the PBS doc, they hit them hard. They interviewed suppliers who claimed that Wal-Mart actually told them they had to move to China in order to keep the price low enough to continue doing biz with them.

As for those mom and pop biz. They have their own issues. In our town, the downtown biz wants to stay open 9-5 and closed on Sun. You have to cater to your customers, not the other way around.
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Old 11-15-05, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
Some chain restaurants, I bet? And more big box stores? Meh. How many jobs were simply relocated at a lower wage and how many family run businesses suffered?

They play within the rules. I don't have a problem with Walmart - they do what every retail chain dreams of doing. But their size has costs. I simply choose not to spend my money there....
I happen to like big box stores. I have no love for "mom and pop" businesses that are open screwy hours and never sell a penny below MSRP. I save money by shopping at the large chains, and hence I am able to purchase more. Since I can purchase more, more workers are needed in both the stores and the manufacturers. Seems like a win-win to me.
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Old 11-15-05, 07:24 PM
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I avoid Wal-mart, but mainly because it seems they have crap product, and tie that in with crap service. The cheap prices seem to attract a fair amount of people, but I am willing to bet that the vast majority of people that shop there are pretty low on the economic scale and do so because they can stretch their money further. They may suck for a lot of local businesses, but I'll bet they allow poorer people to have more stuff for the same amount of money.

Even so, I don't go there, but there is certainly another side to that coin.
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Old 11-15-05, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
Some chain restaurants, I bet? And more big box stores? Meh. How many jobs were simply relocated at a lower wage and how many family run businesses suffered?

They play within the rules. I don't have a problem with Walmart - they do what every retail chain dreams of doing. But their size has costs. I simply choose not to spend my money there....
who cares how many mom and pops they put under because there are now more than ever. the smart ones adapted and sell products you can't find at big box stores.

I still don't understand this fascination that it's somehow good for people to hand over their money to someone just because it's a small business.
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Old 11-15-05, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Superboy
I'm totally against competition of any sort, and when someone comes in and just trounces everyone else because they can do something more efficiently, they have to be stopped at all costs.?
Efficiency sounds like a good thing to me. Maybe that's just me though. I'll think about it when I'm there picking up my dishwashing detergent tomorrow.
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Old 11-16-05, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Timber
Efficiency sounds like a good thing to me. Maybe that's just me though. I'll think about it when I'm there picking up my dishwashing detergent tomorrow.
I think the OP was joking.
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Old 11-16-05, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Mopower
Brent Hume talked about this movie tonight on his show. That H&H Hardware store that the maker of the film claims was shut down by Wal-Mart actually closed 3 months before Wal-Mart even came to the same town. And the owner of H&H said while he hates Wal-Mart, the company had nothing to do with his store closing. That right there makes me thing that this "documentary" isn't a documentary at all.
Sure does! Sounds eerily similar to all the garbage Michael Moore made up in one of his infamous documentaries
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Old 11-16-05, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Timber
Efficiency sounds like a good thing to me. Maybe that's just me though. I'll think about it when I'm there picking up my dishwashing detergent tomorrow.
Why not buy your detergent at the grocery store?
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Old 11-16-05, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
I still don't understand this fascination that it's somehow good for people to hand over their money to someone just because it's a small business.
Traditionally, small businesses were the anchor of a community. They were the people that swept the sidewalks, kept an eye on children, and helped pay for community events and functions. They did this because a well-kept and pleasant community was good for business, and they felt responsible for helping to maintain the common good. You don't have to look too far even now- what do you think neighborhood business associations are doing?
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Old 11-16-05, 09:09 AM
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I made two recent purchases from small businesses over big boxes. One - a $500 Weber grill. The local place assembled and delivered with a full tank for the same price as Home Depot. The other was a snow blower. I hate buying equipment from someone that cannot fix it. The big box stores give you an 800 number and push you out the door. Fuck them.

If its a roll of duct tape or a box of nails, fine.

BTW, my local hardware store is family run. It has the same people working all the time. They are actually -knowledgeable- about their store and their products. Its been a generational thing and its great. I love going into a store that actually gives a rats ass about their customers and their community. And all the profits stay in the community.
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Old 11-16-05, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
I made two recent purchases from small businesses over big boxes. One - a $500 Weber grill. The local place assembled and delivered with a full tank for the same price as Home Depot.
The interesting question would be would the local place sell that same Weber grill with assembly and a full tank for $500 if they didn't have to offer something more because of Home Depot's competition?
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Old 11-16-05, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Duran
The interesting question would be would the local place sell that same Weber grill with assembly and a full tank for $500 if they didn't have to offer something more because of Home Depot's competition?
Good point. There's no doubt that smaller stores often have to improve and offer other services if they are going to survive against the big boxes. My own book, music and video stores (I'm a part owner of three) must do some things differently than we would if there were no Borders, Barnes & Nobles, Half Price Books (which we are similar to but much smaller than), Best Buys or internet. That's not a bad thing for the consumer.
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