The Walmart Brand

Is the brand of “bad taste”, that which has the Made in the USA label clearly marked on the back our most popular export? If those bargain hunters that shop at Walmart are any indication, a devolution is taking place. Is the Geico caveman our next destination?

There is a popular website called People of Walmart that never ceases to amuse. Sometimes I think people intentionally dress retro (code name for WTF are you wearing?) just to make the website, but then that would indicate that some thought went into their appearance, highly unlikely.

The whole Walmart story is facinating:

The company was the world’s largest public corporation in 2010 by revenue.[3]

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is the largest majority private employer

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Walmart has 8,500 stores in 15 countries, under 55 different names

And for the longest time, the kids of the founder, each of which got an inheritance in stock, where the richest folks in the country, pre Bill Gates.

The closest Walmart store to me is in Napa, about 35 miles away, a bit far to indulge in bargains or freak watching, but I am always amused at how polarizing the whole concept of Walmart is.

For years, and probably still is, Walmart was the poster child with the intelligentsia for all the troubles caused by big box stores. First of all, Walmart is non union so you know what ready made enemies that causes. It was always held up as an example of the major corporations taking advantage on the little guys, all for profit motive, when in fact their base salaries, benefits packages, and working conditions were more than competitive , that is why whenever a new store goes up applications for employment skyrocket.

Another complaint was that it was a mom and pop store killer, the big box store would move in and undercut all the local businesses that had to compete. A fair assessment but in perfect keeping with the capitalist system of supply/demand. Lastly, it always invoked the elitist snobs  to feign some faux indignation about attracting “those types” to the community if Walmart was allowed to build there, even though those types were already there and looking to shop more economically.

I have always preferred more choices to less choices, more competing stores vying for my business then one monopoly who will get it regardless of effort because I need what they sell. And since stores, like restaurants, need to attract and keep customers, otherwise they fold, this would provide incentive to get me in the store and get me to return, giving me the power to decide where I want to patronize.

The power of Walmart, to attract customers and generate revenue, is apparent in their success, and if a fashion show gone horribly wrong is thrown in at no charge, what’s the harm?

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  1. JimK

    1. I firmly believe that people dress to intentionally get on People of Walmart. Some of them. Others? Yeah, that’s just how they get down. :)

    2. I have always said the best way to fight Walmart – if you are so inclined – is to not shop there. If no one shopped at Walmart, well, there’d be less Wallmarts. If “everyone” knows how bad they are for _(fill in reason Walmart sucks this week)_ then why the hell is everyone and their brother shopping there?

    In my town we have a big 3-4 mile stretch of strip malls. There must be 30 places to buy clothes. At least 4 of them are discount department/clothes stores. We have a TJ Maxx and a Marshalls within a half-mile of each other, both within the same half-mile of the local Walmart.

    We have Six – 6!! – grocery stores. Two Super Stop and Shops, a huge-ass Rhoprite and three discount grocery places (Save-a-Lot/Aldi style).

    Walmart is always busy. Always. Clothes, groceries, lawn furniture, whatever. Always busy. If you hate the walmart…don’t shop at the walmart.

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  2. loserlame

    The up-and-coming ALDI markets are far better

    ALDI Inc. is pleased to announce that it has been selected as a winner of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) 2011 Hot Retailer Award, which recognizes innovative retail concepts that drive consumers into shopping centers around the world. Based on a survey of ICSC’s worldwide members, ALDI was chosen as one of the “hottest” retail concepts for 2011 and received the award at ICSC’s global retail real estate convention, RECon, on Tuesday May 24, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada during a presentation hosted by actor and fashion designer, Carson Kressley.

    Made in Germany, ALDI says:

    Smarter shoppers know better than to pay extra at stores where baggers bag groceries and employees chase carts in the parking lot, or the cost of national brand marketing raises prices. They know where to buy select brands that actually exceed the quality of national brands at a fraction of the cost.

    Ergo few or no shopping carts, BYO shopping bags, etc. Many products are left in shipping boxes and on skids to save on expensive employees futzing around

    http://www.expatify.com/germany/discount-german-supermarket-chains.html

    Aldi is the most famous supermarket chain that has over 8,000 stores. It is short for “Albrecht Discount,” as it was founded by the brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht. Though they have retired, they are still the richest German men, and make $1.5 billion per year.

    The vast bulk of which goes to 3rd World charities, every year, guaranteed

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