What Kind Of Values Are You Looking For?

january 26, 2003

Store Wars is a new special on PBS and it looks pretty interesting. It takes a look at Wal-Mart and the fight that the little town Ashland, Virginia (population 7,200) put up against the retailer. The question is, do you want the values that Wal-Mart brings into the community or do you want to keep your community free of the big retailer guy who will stiffle local business? Here are some interesting facts from the story. "In spite of its large volume of sales, Wal-Mart's corporate contributions are small. Wal-Mart ranked last among major discount retailers, donating four-tenths of a percent of its earnings, well behind its competitors (U.S. corporations average just over one percent)." "Despite a well-publicized 'Made in the U.S.A.' campaign, 85 percent of the stores' items are made overseas, often in Third World sweatshops." "Wal-Mart's rate of expansion is so rapid that every two days it opens a megastore, and by 2004 it plans to open a store every day." A store a day? Where the hell are they gonna put that many stores? Yeesh. To save a buck, we all start shopping at Wal-Mart and put local businesses out to dry. Maybe it would be better if we just started shopping the local shops, spend a little more, and feel better that we've put our money back into our community?