Wal-Mart: Love it or Hate it?

I recently received an email from a loyal reader, expressing anger over my sometime promotion of discount giant Wal-Mart. Although I don’t believe that Wal-Mart is a corporate saint, I also don’t think they are the devil hiding behind a yellow smiley face. Their Faded Glory jeans, retail $14.95, are some of the best jeans I’ve ever bought. It’s easy to bust on the store when you live in a major metropolitan area, but if you live in a small town like Elizabeth City, NC- Wal-Mart is the only shop in town. Regardless, the reader brings up a very interesting question. As budget shoppers, what do we do when what’s good for our pocket book conflicts with what’s good for our community? Is there a happy medium? Do you think Wal-Mart gets a bad rep because it doesn’t have cool ads and fashion week shows? If Wal-Mart was featured in an episode of Sex and the City, do you think that Wal-Mart would be the “spot”?

Read her email and post your own comments.


Here’s her email:

“I really am a fan of your site and what you represent but I will not
continue to call you “fashionable,” in the least or share your site
with others if you spread the word of such a morally irresponsible
company as Wal-Mart(especially when if comes to Women’s Rights…shame
on you) as a place to shop for deisgner discounts. You’re promoting
the sale of sweatshop produced clothing that is in turn sold for so
low because of corrupt business practice. Basically you’re telling
your bevy of readers that saving a few dollars for the sake of fashion
is cool no matter what the putting those savings into their pockets
AND keeping their employees from having health benefits, proper rights
like bathroom breaks… if you consider this stylish in your book,
then I may not be buying yours afterall. Take responsibility for what
you preach.”

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  1. Erin says

    If Wal-Mart was featured on Sex and the City, of course it would be the hot spot.  Everything that those four ladies touched blew up.  For instance, Door Knocker earrings started to be manufactured all over again when Carrie wore them.  Sex and the City boosted hundreds of companies gross sales, designers, restaurants, boutiques and city streets included.

  2. Abby says

    I am not going to agree OR disagree with what she feels about Walmart, but, I also think that if someone is going to be so harsh and serious about a touchy topic they should also supply some information to back up their opinion.  So, lady, where can I read up on your declaration of evilness that is Walmart?  I know two people that work for Walmart, one of which became a manager in a year, and she likes it.  Doesn’t sound so bad to me.  But, if there is some truth to what you say, please fill me in. I’ll be quick to shop Target, which I prefer anyway.  :)

  3. Aida says

    We’re all going to have to make up our minds on what works for us in U.S.
    Is price the ultimate decision? If it is & you
    Love Wal-Mart then No complaining when wages don’t
    The only way to get those Cheap prices is to go overseas to magnufacture .We Can’t have it both ways, low prices & great American jobs!
    Let your concious be your guide…

  4. says

    I’m no fan of WalMart, but your letter-writer is an ###. I am so weary of that kind of rude, smug pomposity that it’s enough to make me go out and buy something at WalMart just to spite her (though personally I’m more of a Target kind of girl). Self-rightous thugs like her offend me far more than “evil corporations” do, and I think they’re more corrosive to the fabric of society.

  5. Jane says

    I am a little surprised by some of the comments. Do people really not know what she is talking about? I thought it was well-known that Wal*Mart uses sweatshops in third world countries that rely heavily on child labor. This is a deplorable practice. The conditions are shameful and most of the time these kids get paid less than the minimum wage. I don’t think Wal&Mart’s lack of a good PR department is to blame for its socially irresponsible image. That said everyone’s free to do what they please. I do think the letter is harsh. I don’t buy Wal*Mart either but I don’t think it’s my place to police those who do. Doesn’t hurt to patronize companies with more ethical practices though.

  6. M says

    WalMart sucks. Plain and simple. Sucks to work there, sucks to work for their manufacturers, sucks to live near ‘em, and personally I think it sucks to shop there, too. Skanky stores through and through.

    Target ain’t saints either, but Walmart’s business practices are worse. I’m sure Target will get worse and worse to compete, if they haven’t already.

    Oh, and for the ##### wit’ her head up her ### in the comments, asking for “evidence”—if you’d pull your head out of there maybe you would hear about all Walmart’s OSHA violations, sweatshop manufacture practices, and abuse of state and local welfare and charities (the places their workers end up going to in order to get their health insurance and make ends meet—they are told to do this by Walmart company policy. That’s right, it’s a written policy that Walmart workers shoudl resort to welfare and charity in order to live). Walmart’s expansion and massive profits came (and continue to come) at the expense of the taxpayer. And I for one am sick of paying for your $14 jeans. Bye.

  7. says

    In my opinion walmart is not a very good place, I think that they will screw you as soon every time they can, I also think they don’t care about their consumers, and if you follow this link, this is backing it up   http://www.lamanaphotography.com/walmart2.htm
    I tried to work a deal with them to pull the shoes & I would shut up, they wouldn’t do it, not even temporarily til we knew if there is a problem, oh, it is only one reaction you say? Not so look here http://www.lamanaphotography.com/walmart3.htm and I am up to around 40 emails saying same problem.

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