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    1. The average U.S. family now spends more than $4000 a year at Wal-Mart.
    2. In 2010, Wal-Mart had revenues of 421 billion dollars. That amount was greater than the GDP of 170 different countries including Norway, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates.
    3. If Wal-Mart was a nation, it would have the 23rd largest GDP in the world.
    4. Wal-Mart now sells more groceries than anyone else in America does. In the United States today, one out of every four grocery dollars is spent at Wal-Mart.
    5. Amazingly, 100 million customers shop at Wal-Mart every single week.
    6. Wal-Mart has opened more than 1,100 "supercenters" since 2005 alone.
    7. Today, Wal-Mart has more than 2 million employees.
    8. If Wal-Mart was an army, it would be the second largest military on the planet behind China.
    9. Wal-Mart is the largest employer in 25 different U.S. states.
    10. According to the Economic Policy Institute, trade between Wal-Mart and China resulted in the loss of 133,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States between 2001 and 2006.
    11. The CEO of Wal-Mart makes more in a single hour than a full-time Wal-Mart associate makes in an entire year.
    12. Tens of thousands of Wal-Mart employees and their children are enrolled in Medicaid and are dependent on the government for healthcare.
    13. Between 2001 and 2007, the value of products that Wal-Mart imported from China grew from $9 billion to $27 billion.
    14. Sadly, about 85 percent of all the products sold at Wal-Mart are made outside of the United States.
    15. It is being reported that about 80 percent of all Wal-Mart suppliers are in China at this point.
    16. Amazingly, 96 percent of all Americans now live within 20 miles of a Wal-Mart.
    17. The number of "independent retailers" in the United States declined by 60,000 between 1992 and 2007.
    18. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Wal-Mart spent 7.8 million dollars on political lobbying during 2011. That number does not even include campaign contributions.
    19. Today, Wal-Mart has five times the sales of the second largest U.S. retailer (Costco).
    20. The combined net worth of six members of the Walton family is roughly equal to the combined net worth of the poorest 30 percent of all Americans.


  • 43 Replies sorted by
  • It is really interesting how much big networks damage small retailers. They are destroying them all other the world.
    Such approach also leads to big producs changes.
    As network do not have good support and people who know niche markets.

  • Yep - totally agree. The comments in the article you linked to also mention about this - that Walmart doesn't stock specialist stuff and neither will anyone else local, 'cos they've all gone out of business, so it's off to the Internet to buy anything remotely unusual.

    For day-to-day stuff, those things big stores know that they are doing really well off every customer and I think they tread a very careful line because they can't afford to lose people. There's a customer service truism that an unhappy customer may walk out of your store forever, and you don't just lose the amount of that item, you might lose a lifetime's loyalty, which is worth potentially 10's / 100's of thousands of dollars / GBP / Euro or whatever. And f suddenly their customers turn on them en masse they can be in deep sh*t very quickly.

    If you pay by card and can download your bank statements into a spreadsheet, try doing that for the last 12 months, then sort by name, and add up how much you spend at the big shops. It may really surprise you and make you realise how seductive and aggressive these big companies are at taking your valuable cash.

    Mind you, surely it's OK to be successful (as they are)? But it's the effect / ethics of that that can be pretty evil: greedy buying, greedy selling, destroying local business etc...

  • It may really surprise you and make you realise how seductive and aggressive these big companies are at taking your valuable cash.

    They also always have best terms. As they have big volumes, good lawyers and bunch of dedicated people who spend their life at factories, negotiating. Add here many tax cuts, use of cheap workforce, and you have almost unbeatable competition. From price pov. :-)

  • Interesting - and the flipside is just a small thing, done by millions of customers, would make a huge difference. Agree with all you say about lawyers / workforce...and they make their money as a retailer by having long payment terms to their suppliers, while of course they demand instant payment from customers. If they can predict demand they can refine the amount of stock they buy and make huge profits on products they haven't yet paid for. Someone I know who worked at Tesco (big UK chain) said that their profitability was closely tied to their ability to predict demand accurately - in other words, purchase just-in-time, just enough, on long payment terms, and sell quickly. If customers did something unpredictable - like not going there on one day, sort of a "reverse flashmob" where you don't appear all at once, then they'd be in trouble.

  • First thanks for posting this. I am going to paste it to my Facebook. I don't know why people shop at Wallmart. One day, at this rate, Wallmart will be the only place left.

    But, it's against my religion to agree with you 100%. Here's what I've experienced over many years in California with regards to groceries items: Wallmarts, Costcos, even the big retail grocers like Safeway, frequently do NOT have the lowest prices. What they have is variety (and long and slow fucking lines!) . Neighborhood grocers, especially tiendas and Asian markets, typically beat the big box stores by significant margins. Electronics? small online retailers often beat them as well. So, don't believe the hype, shop local!

  • Wallmarts, Costcos, even the big retail grocers like Safeway, frequently do NOT have the lowest prices

    As I do not have religion behind me, I agree here 100%. Big guys are sometimes also bad in prices. especially it is true for many small items and otems that have producers tightly controlling prices.
    Their margin for some small shit can be as high as 200-300%.

  • Big shops tend to be fast, reliable and accommodating as long as you have ordinary business with them. Small shops are more likely to produce problems. I always try to spend my money as local as possible and in favor of small shops. But I'm not willing to compromise on service. The small shopkeeper here in Germany and specially in Berlin tend to be a know-it-all ass. In the end of the 90ies Wal-Mart tried to take over the German market and they failed big time. People felt harassed by the positive guy at the entrance. The howl American style was completely out of place. So service bla bla aside, here in Germany, we love our know-it-all asses!

  • I agree here 100%.

    I don't agree that you agree 100%.

    In seriousness, not only are Wallmart prices often higher than local grocers, if people would factor in lost time, fuel costs (most people don't live across the street) and also the (common) annual membership fees, the deal looks even worse.

    Wallmart has people trained like Pavlovian Dogs: Need Food, Go Wallmart. Eat. Shit. Sleep. Do not turn on brain. Go church. Pray. Repeat.

  • Same here, in France and Belgium we have the "Fnac" which is like a media-supermarket (dvd, books, cameras and accessories, concert tickets). It presents itself like a big supermarket, which induces the customer in believing it has low prices, though not as low as Mediamarkt, its direct competitor. And like @brianluce said, people get it wired into their brain that when they need something in that category, they just have to go to one of these supermarkets.

    I bought a manfrotto 190 XDB tripod with a 700RC2 video head for 199 euros at my specialized retailer. At the Fnac, they cost together 295 euros.

    (And btw, at the Fnac GH2's are no longer sold, but at the specialized retailer they still have a good stock).

  •, good thing I stopping at wally-mart years and years ago. @brianluce, you're exactly right. Their prices are higher when you factor other things, plus quality is shitty. It's gonna take a miracle IMO to change this cuz they have the core of the American spender under their control; the poor and middle class.

  • There's one effect not covered in that review: chronic disease related to obesity, thanks to Walmart's jumbo-sized packaging and sale of highly processed junk food.

    A connection was indeed found, and a substantial one at that. After examining the effects of Wal-Mart Supercenters on body mass index (BMI) and obesity, researchers found an additional Wal-Mart Supercenter per 100,000 residents increases average BMI by 0.24 units and the obesity rate by 2.3% points. They report:

    "These results imply that the proliferation of Walmart Supercenters explains 10.5% of the rise in obesity since the late 1980s …" []

  • For basic needs, Walmart is the way to go. For clothes and electronics, Walmart is not the way to go. I have found Safeway sales prices on alot of food items cheaper and better quality then Walmart. Walmart is not the only place to me.

  • Ideally it must be two companies that you deal with.
    Manufacturer and delivery company. Delivery can be to your home, work, nearest center so you could get it yourself.

  • One thing we can do is raise the minimum wage.

  • Also, this allows inferior products to overshadow better products. If walmart only wants to sell a low quality fruit juice, they can nearly illuminate any better competition. Things are no longer market driven.

  • One thing we can do is raise the minimum wage.

    Won't work. I'll explain later how you can solve some monetary problems.

  • This is why my family, my friends, and myself all don't shop at WalMart. The only thing I've ever bought there was a presentation folder for school and FIFA 2012.

  • I wonder how many people here have actually been to a Walmart...I only ask because until last week I had never been.

    Last week I would have quietly agreed with this thread. I thought it was an evil place where tacky people bought tacky goods for too much money.

    I'm not Walmarts target demographic. I live in manhattan. I'm college educated and a professional filmmaker.

    But last week I drove by one and felt I just had to go in, if I was going to continue to disparage it.

    Boy was I wrong about what walmart is...

    A) it's huge. Gigantic. Four times the size of the next largest store I've ever been to.

    B) most things were reasonably priced, but some things were unbelievably good bargains. I bought a grab bag of tiffen filters for $2-10 each, including a low contrast 3 filter. I bought Carl zeiss lens wipes, $2 for 50. Allergy medication for $0.88 a package. A Belkin 802.11n router for $20. 5 lowepro camera bags for $5 a piece.

    C) the service was terrible (not as bad as in the Berlin, @andrewreid, where I used to spend a good deal of time. And it wasn't located anywhere convenient.

    People shop there because they have everything and it is much much cheaper than competing stores, be it small ma and pa stores, or large retailers like Target, at least here in the NYC area. For the people who I think do shop there on a regular basis, the savings can be substantial. The difference between buying off-brand Claritin at Walmart versus a Duane Reade (which is where I normally buy it) is about 75 cents per pill. That's a lot.

  • @danabrams I've been in Wallmart and Costco (its nearest competition) and again, for groceries and electronics, I cannot share your experience. I do however find the odd item there at a sometimes competitive price. But that usually means coming home with something I don't really need. Did you need 5 camera bags?

  • I will go out of my way not to even step foot in a Walmart. In Burbank where I live, the citizens turn out en masse to protest at city council meetings every time Walmart petitions to build one in our city.

  • Hehe, Wal-mart thread. They are open 24 hours and sell everything at good to extremely good prices. You can buy a Nintendo Wii, some avocados, a shotgun, a treadmill, and get your car fixed there in one trip.

    I find that story about Wal-Mart's cheesy friendly service in Germany funny because I've taken that kind of service for granted in Texas. My girlfriend is from Norway and she found it absolutely bizarre how friendly and enthused the wait staff is at family chain restaurants here in the states. It's true though. If you acted like a waiter from Applebee's outside of its context, you'd get punched in the face. I jokingly call it capitalist hospitality. The consumer is king, no matter how much of an asshole he is. The moment it seems like the wait staff is rude, there's always a TGIF and Chili's next door.

    I also think that Wal-Mart doesn't work well in cultures where not everyone drives or driving is inconvenient. If you walk to your local store, another 2 miles is a long way just to get a little discount. In a car, 2 miles is nothing, so if you live in Texas, it could be worth it. However in Texas, we have a lot of mini-Wal-Mart type grocery stores that are closer, have about the same prices, a wide selection, 24 hours, and no political baggage. I have no reason to go the extra few miles to Wal-Mart unless I need some pink panties and a DSLR at 2am.

  • They're trying to put a Wallmart in our town, the negotiations with the city are hush hush. But here's what I found out. The City wants the big tax revenue so they've offered to pay millions of dollars to build a freeway offramp to make the new Wallmart more accessible for residents. So they're using taxpayer funds to help Wallmart who in turn will kill the local businesses that have contributed to the tax base.

  • One of these days we (America) will pull our heads out of our butts and start charging higher import taxes to get goods from out of country. I know there would be a lot of ramifications of that, and no, I don't know what all of them are, but it's something that has to be done sooner or later or else the average American will soon be just as poor as the average Chinese person (though they will climb some to a middle point, but much below where we currently live.)

  • @brianluce I bought them to house gifts I was planning to give to principal crew members of a film I'm in production on.

    I also used to live in a state that successfully prevented Walmart from coming in (Vermont), but frankly, you always had to drive over a hour into New York or Massachusets to buy any sort of camera supply, electronics, or frankly anything other than groceries or maple syrup. Perhaps a Walmart would have been convenient (not to mention saved a lot of gas use)