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Monday, November 23, 2009

Wal-Mart musings

I never shop at Wal-Mart. OK, I did once a couple of years ago when I needed an electric razor in a hurry. But otherwise, no.
The merits and demerits of the place abound. One lady shopper thinks it’s a great place and although being "whit*e trash central," it has tons of stuff that is cheap and "the grocery department rocks."

Another shopper didn’t like the greeters and called them "door nazis."
Then, another shopper said: "I finally had to leave in a near panic attack. The crowds, the noise, the people, the screaming babies, phones ringing off the hook, no one ever answers the damn phones in electronics!!!" It sounds like she may also have seen some of the customers shown in photos on the internet about "people of Wal-Mart."

As far as Wal-Mart having cheap stuff, remember that they are a huge importer of products from China that are known for being cheap in price and quality. You get what you pay for in life; if you want bells and whistles be ready to fork over.

I’ve talked to people who think electronics at Wal-Mart are a bargain. Are they? The guy who used to run the Philips TV account with Wal-Mart says the pressure from Wal-Mart to lower prices got so severe that they had to take short cuts in quality to meet their requests. Cabinets became thinner, remotes were made more basic, etc.; anything to lower costs. Finally, Philips had to go to Asia to manufacture because the $1 to $2 per hour wages paid to Mexican workers in Juarez in the ‘90s made the sets too expensive for Wal-Mart.

Levis’ jeans are another example of the demands of Wal-Mart. It’s a story similar to Philips. In short, those cheap Levis you pick up at Wal-Mart now are not your daddy’s Levis.

Wal-Mart will always do well because there are those who have no choice but to shop there. There are also those who like cheap stuff whether they can afford better or not. I hear complaints from those who say, "They are running small retailers out of business!" A moment later they are headed to Wal-Mart to save a dime.

As far as I am concerned, Wal-Mart will never see me, especially during the madness of the holidays. Well, MAYBE if I am again in a hurry and need an electric razor.

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