Wal-Mart Revisited


Remember my post about three weeks ago from a faithful TBF reader who was upset with me for providing shopping tips for Wal-mart? Well, she’s back with a surprising response. Like I said, we might not always agree, but I really do appreciate the correspondence I receive from each and every one of you. Who knew that shopping could inspire such a discourse?

Her email . . .

“I’m glad to see someone responded to the walmart post although I see that the comment on sweatshops overshadowed the greater concern which is the treatment of female employees. que sera. i thank you for allowing the discourse to take place. i did, in all fairness, visit the walmart closest to me (in the san fernando valley of los angeles it’s about 20 minutes from my home…we’re sprinkled with targets everywhere but walmarts are few and far between). I checked out the George line and was impressed with the quality and style for the price….



The drapey gaucho pant I was perusing on the anthropologie site in the same sort of acetate, the shrug sweater of the season, it’s the same look at a price a young woman could work at an after school job to afford…it is ironic that this walmart (there are 2 in the very large Valley, I don’t know if there are any others in LA) is in an area with a very high income level, most homes going for no less than $1.25 million, and most customers drive from out of the area to shop here…needless to say, I will admit that while I was there I picked up a few items in their camping department to round out my earthquake kits (Katrina had me in the mode to check up on all my supplies) with a few lanterns and flashlights and lots of batteries. I felt guilty at first given my emails to you and so I confess to the realization that corporate America can not be so easily packaged as good guys and bad guys, that it is about discussing the ways we can find those happy mediums, as you so well put it in. And so, I will try to find in Wal-Mart a silver lining, looking at their tremendous Katrina response and knowing that they give back to their communities in many ways. It will never be my first choice shop, but I will be glad it is there for those that must make it a first choice, and for the times when I may need it as well. Thanks again for your site and for teaching me a thing or two.”

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  1. Brenda says


    I live in LA, there is only one Wal-Mart in Los Angeles proper, in the Baldwin-Hills-Crenshaw Mall on Crenshaw Blvd., near Exposition.  It is only one of two (the other one is in Panorama City, in the Valley) that has three levels.  The other Wal-Mart in the Los Angeles area, which just opened is actually in Torrance on 190th Street & Normandie.  I also prefer Target, but I do shop Wal-Mart for beauty basics and undergarments.  I definitely plan on checking out the Faded Glory jeans.

  2. Jae says


    I hadn’t been on the actual website in awhile, so I missed the whole wal-mart tet-a-tete.  After reading all sides, it’s so wonderful and redeeming to see such a well-rounded conversation between TBF and the reader.  It takes openness (which is a gift) from TBF and and honesty (another gift) from TBF reader to actually take the time to reassess a judgement.

    As for my opinion on Wal-Mart, I’ll keep it short.  Very recently, it was found that both Wal-Mart and Target subscribe to the practice that many, many American corporations specialize in—the use of cheap labor, not just in third world countries, but right here in America.  A good book about this is and the workings of Corporate America is “Fast Food Nation”. 

    I think “Abby” who posted to the original letter from the TBF reader said it best, “let your conscious be your guide.”  It would be immobilizing for a socially-conscious person to boycott every evil-doing company in their city, especially in a major metropolitan.  I say pick your battles and fight the ones that you know can make a difference.

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