Why I Do Not Shop at Walmart

We stopped shopping at Walmart around the time Erik visited China for work. He was sent there to visit the violin factories and take notes basically. He took a ton of pictures around China and witnessed in person the kind of factories Walmart uses.

I used to like Walmart back when I was in college because it was cheap and a fun place to mill around for a few hours. You could get a cd, some makeup and some clothes detergent in one trip. We really loved visiting at 4am when it was open 24 hours around the holiday season.

Then Target started popping up and I realized Walmart’s quality was just awful so I started shopping at Target instead. I’m sure Target isn’t much better than Walmart and I suppose someday I may want to avoid them too.

We just watched Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price and it was utterly disturbing. I learned about how horribly they treat their employees and how we (as tax payers) have to pay for their health insurance (Medicade) because the one Walmart offers is too expensive.  Walmart would rather we pay their health insurance instead of them.
Walmart also treats the workers overseas in such an awful way it makes me sick to my stomach. Some young woman slaved over a toy so we could buy it for $14.99 but it actually cost them around $.18 to make it?

I had no idea how much Walmart is sued and how many small town stores they’ve driven out of buisiness.  I recommend you see this movie and come to your own conclusion.  I know the low costs are not worth the high price in the end.

  1. Denise TN

    December 10, 2006 at 12:05 pm

    I avoid Wal-Mart whenever possible, but living in a tiny town makes it impossible sometimes. The closest Target is 40 miles away. The local grocery store is overpriced and not exactly the cleanest store I’ve been in.

    As much as I hate Wal-Mart, it has become a necessary evil for many Americans struggling to make ends meet.

  2. Heather B

    December 10, 2006 at 1:11 pm

    I used to work there so I try to avoid it as well. I sometimes go into the one I worked at just to say hi to everyone, I should go sometime soon as it’s been months and months and months lol… When I do go to visit they always ask when im going to come back to work, and I proudly say NEVER 🙂

  3. Barb

    December 10, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    I’ve never heard anything good about Wal-Mart, other than that their prices are cheap. They treat their employees badly, which you already know, and shut down Mom & Pop businesses in small towns across the country, like in Brian’s hometown. But like Denise said, there isn’t much of a choice for shopping where his family lives because the nearest Target is probably about 40 miles away.

    Me, I LOVES me my Target! Most aren’t open 24 hours, but they’re still pretty cheap and their stuff, though not the best, is certainly of better quality than Wal-Mart’s. I’ve bought some clothes from there that aren’t too bad. I don’t know anything about how they treat their employees, though.

  4. Robin

    December 10, 2006 at 1:48 pm

    Denise – I can understand that although I have just about every store at least 20 minutes away. I can understand when it’s all you really have available…that’s why they work because people need it. I just wish they weren’t so selfish and evil :pissed:

    Heather – Good for you :thumbsup:

    Barb – I don’t love all the clothes at Target but I’ve gotten some good things. I also feel Target is a lot cleaner and has more space. I usually just buy my clothes at Old Navy.

  5. Barb

    December 10, 2006 at 2:12 pm

    Don’t get me wrong–I don’t love all the clothes there, either, but they have some nice plain Ts for pretty cheap, so I have a whole bunch of short- and long-sleeved in all different colors! They’re a good source for socks and underwear, though. I’m not exactly a Victoria’s Secret kind of girl. Well, for one thing, they don’t carry my size. :whistle:

  6. Sarah

    December 10, 2006 at 3:19 pm

    We haven’t gone to Walmart since the recent news that they aren’t letting their employees work enough shifts to qualify for the health insurance, because they don’t feel like paying for it. That just screams “awful” to me. They are hiring more part-time workers rather than pay for health insurance, and cutting the full-time workers’ shifts back. It’s very shady. Those people are richer than God. They can afford to treat their employees well. Unfortunately our Walmart is closer than the Target. Oh well.

  7. Joefish

    December 10, 2006 at 6:14 pm

    I saw that movie. We have a copy on DVD. I thought it was pretty good, but there’s one thing I noticed about it. Movies (along with books, articles, etc.) of this type rarely feature any kind of local comparison when they talk about overseas factories operated by American companies.

    Sometimes, not always — sometimes, these hellhole factories with 14 hours shifts and no bathroom breaks for a dollar a week are actually the best opportunity in town.

    I agree unequivocally that many corporations are turning unwitting consumers into accidental slave laborers and that American companies should do as much as possible to ensure fair wages and humane working conditions.

    But it is unfair to omit that some of these factories are actually raising living standards by giving workers a salary in third-world shitholes where most people live in abject poverty as shack-dwelling subsistence farmers.

    Mind you, I’m not defending Wal-Mart. I worked for that company for years (and my Barb still does). I’ve seen first hand and in glorious Technicolor the vile things that company does to its own workers. There’s no doubt in my mind that company, and those like it, should conduct business more appropriately.

    But still… fairness demands we put everything in context.

  8. Robin

    December 10, 2006 at 6:18 pm

    That’s true Joefish, but you’d think with ALL the money Walmart makes that they could try a little harder overseas. They could afford to do a little more than they do, kwim?

  9. Joefish

    December 10, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. I’m just sayin’… perspective.

  10. Robin

    December 10, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    I’m all about perspective although these kinds of movies rarely have them.

  11. Kentucky Girl

    December 11, 2006 at 2:55 am

    Like others have said, a lot of towns haven’t got anyplace to buy things. Like my home town. There isn’t anything within 45 minutes except Wal*Mart and even then it’s a 20 minute drive. There is a market, but they have limited selections and they are very expensive and for a town that size, a lot of folks cannot afford to shop there or drive the extra 45 minutes to the supermarket.

    I personally don’t shop at Wal*Mart here in California because of their clientèle.

    I think you also have to remember that those jobs in China that they pay the small wages to, are the best jobs in their town AND that Wal*Mart isn’t the only ones to use labor like that. Pretty much ANY store, big or small, has things that are made in foreign countries paying their people small wages compared to U.S. wages.

    As for the insurance and treatment of their employees, my sister worked for them for 5 years. She did not have any problem getting insurance or working the amount of hours necessary to qualify. She never had problems and only left when she was elected county clerk.

    And again, it isn’t just Wal*Mart who keeps employees from getting hours to qualify for benefits. When I was fresh out of college, I worked for a union grocery store. For about 6 months, the bosses there would only work me right up to the line to qualify for “full-time” status. It was through a technicality that I got full time eventually.

    So…now that I’ve written a book, let me sum it up by saying again, “It isn’t just Wal*Mart who does this.”

  12. Robin

    December 11, 2006 at 8:44 am

    KG – I didn’t mean to imply I thought it was only Walmart, they are just now the posterboys for this kind of thing. I noted in a comment earlier that I realize this is probably the best kind of job in China but ALL these big companies can afford to do better and they should because nothing will change unless someone takes a stand. They have millions and millions of dollars and are cutting corners as others suffer. Have you seen the movie?

    I also know Walmart is all some places have and that’s too bad but I do understand. I know my cousins in Arkansas I don’t think have anything else around. I have the option to never shop there again and I don’t plan to. I just hate that big companies act like this because it’s just wrong on so many levels.

  13. Mr. Fabulous

    December 11, 2006 at 9:40 am

    I have long mourned the fact the Wal-Mart has destroyed Main Street USA.

  14. Krayzee Chickadee

    December 11, 2006 at 9:42 am

    I try to avoid shopping there when I can, but…. their grocery prices are so much lower than the regular grocery store. For example… my kids LOVE Ovaltine. Grocery store price $3.99/can … Wal-Mart $2.98. Price differences like that can add up over a year.
    I am SOOO glad that they withdrew their offer of employment from me. After that, I did A LOT of reading and researching & finding out how they treat their employees. They have gone so far away from the way Sam Walton had it in the beginning. It used to be FAMILY oriented. Now, they want their employees available 24/7 no matter their family status. Morale is down … waaay down. It will be interesting to see where this company is a few years from now.

  15. Robin

    December 11, 2006 at 9:45 am

    It’s hard to imagine any company can keep going the way they are…it’ll be interesting to see. I hope I can convince more people to stop going to Walmart, at least the ones who can avoid it.

  16. Tara

    December 11, 2006 at 11:22 am

    Sadly, a lot of companies do the same things, though I don’t think many are as bad as Wal-mart. I try to buy American whenever I can!

  17. Robin

    December 11, 2006 at 11:32 am

    It would have been a lot more complicated to make a movie like this about all the companies and it seems that Walmart may be in the spot light because they’ve taken it all way too far. I hope this movie opens a lot of people’s eyes, just so they are aware.

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