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      WARNING!   07/26/16

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reverbandwhiskey

Big box stores in Charlotte

44 posts in this topic

Someone's gotta get pics before Midtown Sq/Charlottetown is all gone! But yay for the Target uptown coming :)

Yea, just what Charlotte needs, ANOTHER bigbox store filled with crappy sweatshop made junk, staffed by the borderline retarded and frequented by morons.

At what point are we, as a community, going to start fighting to protect our communities from these types of stores?

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not really, Target is just following in the footsteps of Wal-Mart, but since Wal-Mart is the larger and the "leader" of the two it oftentimes has the worse reputation. People claim that the quality of goods is slightly better combined with a slightly higher price but Target is still paying employees slightly above minimum wage, and hurting local retailers around it. Target is really the same, people just don't mind them as much since they aren't as formidable a prescence as the "W' :-p

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personally, as much as I hate to admit it, Target is not that bad, its much better than Walmart, and have much differnet things that they sell, so Target won't be a bad addition, especially since it comes with a pretty good package (the rest of the developement)

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Plus the urban design of the Target will be quite exciting, as opposed to an ordinary Target box.

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Yea, just what Charlotte needs, ANOTHER bigbox store filled with crappy sweatshop made junk, staffed by the borderline retarded and frequented by morons.

At what point are we, as a community, going to start fighting to protect our communities from these types of stores?

That's a little harsh. Not everyone can land a high paying job in finance or be a doctor or lawyer. I'm not blindly defending all the practices of these retailers, but they do provide jobs for high school and college age kids, not to mention the elderly. Plus their very existence helps our tax base. I've had poor service in expensive restaurants and high-end stores as well, but I'd stop short of calling anyone borderline retarded.

If nothing else, this development will keep the center city/neighborhood 'morons' from having to drive their 13mpg SUVs to the Targets in Matthews, University, and Ballantyne and polluting our air even more.

Big box stores are nothing new. Sears and Kmarts littered the landscape for the better part of the last century, before that it was Woolworth's and before that, something else. People want a convenient place to by toilet paper and a desk lamp.

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That's a little harsh. Not everyone can land a high paying job in finance or be a doctor or lawyer. I'm not blindly defending all the practices of these retailers, but they do provide jobs for high school and college age kids, not to mention the elderly. Plus their very existence helps our tax base. I've had poor service in expensive restaurants and high-end stores as well, but I'd stop short of calling anyone borderline retarded.

If nothing else, this development will keep the center city/neighborhood 'morons' from having to drive their 13mpg SUVs to the Targets in Matthews, University, and Ballantyne and polluting our air even more.

Big box stores are nothing new. Sears and Kmarts littered the landscape for the better part of the last century, before that it was Woolworth's and before that, something else. People want a convenient place to by toilet paper and a desk lamp.

Very good points, especially about having do drive out to the burbs and the boxes being nothing new

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I'm not blindly defending all the practices of these retailers, but they do provide jobs for high school and college age kids, not to mention the elderly. Plus their very existence helps our tax base. I've had poor service in expensive restaurants and high-end stores as well, but I'd stop short of calling anyone borderline retarded.

Jobs are not created in the retail sector. They will only shift from one company to another. There is only so much demand for toilet paper to go around. SO the jobs already existed, just in a more pleasant environment.

You complain about the gas used to drive to Matthews, what about the tremendous amount of carbon used to import almost every single item from China?

Sears and Woolworth were much different companies in their heyday. They paid a much higher wage, offered more benefits, and were more responsible neighbors. Sadly both lost their profits due to American's prefering lower priced goods rather than higher quality ones.

I have not stepped foot in a Target or Walmart in over 5 years.

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So what if they do shift from one company to another? We need retail. People need entry level jobs. Idealism, always well intentioned, isn't going to change that. I don't think that we realistically could expect mass-market retailers with high turnover and selling at the lowest possible price-points to be able to afford to provide full healthcare, 401Ks, etc. So, we look at Sears in the 70's offering employee benefits and being better than today's Target, et. al. Sure that's true, but look where that got them. Make no mistake, Sears, Woolworth's, Kmart, etc sold the same sweatshop junk that people buy today only it was avocado green instead of espresso brown. Do we really think Sears was paying grandmas in Iowa $40K/yr plus benefits to handknit the sweaters found on their racks?

Man, don't get me wrong, I agree with a lot of the ideals that (I believe) you have, but unless we as a society are willing to pay handsomely for every single item we use (I mean, seriously.. think about that), or better yet, grow our own food and buy only certified organic hemp clothing, etc (don't laugh.. I have a good friend that does that and more), then we're gonna have to get used to this type of presence in our communities. How many people in our city have the financial means to pay $400+ for organic cotton sheets? The only feasible solution to the issue would be to establish a protectionist market. Wages increase slightly, the cost of market goods skyrockets.

I think I may have gone off on a tangent, but that's my point nonetheless.

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Do we really think Sears was paying grandmas in Iowa $40K/yr plus benefits to handknit the sweaters found on their racks?
ACTUALLY, the majority of clothes sold in Sears until the late 80's were made in the U.S and Canada. Remember all the textile mills that used to dot the landscape?

I don't think that we realistically could expect mass-market retailers with high turnover and selling at the lowest possible price-points to be able to afford to provide full healthcare, 401Ks, etc.

Why do we have to ahve the lowest posible price? Wouldn't you rather pay a fair price, that also allowed the employees and workers who created the item to have a decent life? Walmart makes an annual, post tax profit of around 7 billion dollars per year now. I think that they can, and other companies like Target, can afford to raise the quality of life across the board.

The question is where do we, as a society, draw the line. Is it ok for a company like Target or Walmart to use slave labor in order to drive prices lower? Is it ok to beat workers in order to get costs down? According to independent labor rights organizations in Hong Kong, a living wage in China would be about $0.87/hour. Minimum wage rates vary as they are set by each provincial government, however, they do not meet this living wage. Shanghai's minimum is $0.21/hour, and Guangzhou's $0.26/hour. ("Behind the Label: Made in China," March 1998, Charles Kernaghan/National Labor Committee.)

Would it really rise prices through the roof for a company to offer workers 1.00$ per hour to make the items you buy at Target?

People seemed to survive fairly well 40 years ago, when the majority of products bought in the U.S. were produced domestically. It is not unrealistic to believe that people can buy non-sweatshop products at a fair price. Looks at the rise of Fair Trade coffees and teas. They provide a better quality of life for third world workers, while keeping the retail price reasonable.

I have not purchased a single article of clothing made in a sweatshop in almost 3 years now. This, while making a whopping 10$ per hour and helping to put someone through college. Everyone on this board is here because, on some level, they want to see a better Charlotte. One powerful way we can do that is by making sure that we support comapnies who produce/sell responsible products.

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Why do we have to ahve the lowest posible price? Wouldn't you rather pay a fair price, that also allowed the employees and workers who created the item to have a decent life?

Simple. Most Americans aren't willing or able to pay any more than they have to, even if it does mean their neighbor loses his job because of it.

According to independent labor rights organizations in Hong Kong, a living wage in China would be about $0.87/hour. Minimum wage rates vary as they are set by each provincial government, however, they do not meet this living wage. Shanghai's minimum is $0.21/hour, and Guangzhou's $0.26/hour.

True, but this is China we're talking about. It's not like it's Canada and if a disgruntled factory worker didn't like what he was doing, he could just leave for greener pastures. It's going to take a lot more than store boycotts to shift the fundamentals of a repressive Communist society. I'm not justifying US-based retailers using this labor pool, but if they weren't and these people had no job at all, what other options would they have?

I have not purchased a single article of clothing made in a sweatshop in almost 3 years now. This, while making a whopping 10$ per hour and helping to put someone through college. Everyone on this board is here because, on some level, they want to see a better Charlotte. One powerful way we can do that is by making sure that we support comapnies who produce/sell responsible products.

Amen. If only the other 99% of the population lived the same way, we'd be a lot better off to be sure. The pessimist in me says it won't happen though.

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Getting way off topic here...

The shift to ultra-cheap goods was concurrent with the rise of the "disposable lifestyle." Time was, everything had value, down to the mere rags we wipe counters with. Clothes were expected to last a long time; if they tore they were mended. If a small appliance broke, it was fixed. If a piece of furniture became worn and threadbare, it was reupholstered. Even things like diapers were made of cloth - washed, bleached, and re-used.

Sure, goods were more expensive - but people made them last longer to make up for it. These days, everything is shrink-wrapped in plastic and either intended to be disposable from the get-go, or thrown away the second it breaks. Sure it's convenient to be able to 'toss it and buy a new one' but that attitude means an absolute focus on cost at the expense of longetivity and quality - the Wal-Mart way. In addition, lower prices mean we can't afford to build things in the US anymore. It fills our landfills, drains our natural resources, and in the end is not sustainable at all.

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Thank goodness for Target. It's an anchor at some retail centers (such as the Shoppes at Eastchase in Montgomery, AL, among plenty of others) that have mid-market and somewhat high-end stores. That bodes well for Midtown's future. I can't think of many Wal-Mart-anchored malls that have mid-market or upscale chains in them.

Morons frequent Target? Maybe some do, but Target's demographics are way more upscale than Wal-Mart's. Look at the vacant/abandoned Targets in declining areas of Charlotte- places where Wal-Mart is building more stores.

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Some malls in Cali have Wal-Mart anchor stores along with mid/upscale market stores... but it's Cali, can't really compare.

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"Morons frequent Target? Maybe some do, but Target's demographics are way more upscale than Wal-Mart's."

Stupidity is not income specific.

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R&W, you've made your feelings abundantly clear. Be it "stupidity", ignorance, or apathy, people have a right to shop where they please, and without taking your viewpoints into consideration first.

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I think big box stores are so controversial because they represent the convergence of issues like global sourcing, low wages, sweat shops, sprawl, disposable lifestyles, etc.

Target is viewed by most as being slightly better than Walmart, as it pays local employees slightly more, provides better health care benefits. It also does not have as much of a reputation of squeezing suppliers to wring every fraction of a penny out of the price, which Walmart has done, and has caused significantly lower quality, loss of US manufacturing, and probably a much higher instance of sweat shop labor.

Projects like Midtown feel like a win, because it includes the slightly better company, Target, and itself represents a slight shift in the industry from rejection of urban areas, and the building of sprawl-supporting stores with minimal spending on design and building quality.

Personally, I try to minimize my shopping at big box stores, and no matter where I am shopping, I pay attention to buy unimported, higher quality goods.

I'm still happy that midtown is getting a Target, though, because I think it represents an opportunity for the industry to support urban cores, and to be a competitor to Walmart, which already has two stores within a few miles of downtown.

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I'm glad it's a Target too. Just keep the personal attacks and insults to yourself if you don't want to support it. Be somewhat respectful when trying to promote your viewpoint. Otherwise, post on another site where they thrive on that crap.

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Honestly, I don't see any difference between Target and Walmart. Both are a symptom of a society gone mad with consumerism and willing to pay for items produced by slave labor just to satisfy momentary lusts to own "things". Nothing in either store is long lasting, good for the environment, good for improving the human condiditon, good for building a community, etc etc. They only exist to sell junk that serves momentary desires which will end up in a landfill in 6 months.

People like to put up Target as being better than Walmart, but from what I have seen, the only difference between these two stores is that Target "targets" the material lusts of a different demographic than Walmart. Does that make it better than Walmart? NO In fact it is worse because this group has more disposible income and credit and attempts to say Walmart is better is really just another symptom of a mad society that awards social status based on the items the individual owns. Classism based on Materialialism.

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Although I hear and read it often, even Walmart doesn't sell stuff produces by slaves! I think to equate low wages, or difficult manual labor as slavery is to diminishes the true negative of the word. Slavery is about ownership of another human being, which even though it happens in the third world, is not really that common in the world of manufacturing.

Right now, a significant percentage of goods come from China and India. People often look at the exchange rate and say the wages of those workers is a dollar a day or something like that. However, that doesn't mean that costs of living are the same as here. The low number is often simply because of manipulation of the exchange rate, especially by China. That means, China is intentionally limiting its international buying power in exchange for getting foreign investment for exports. That only really affects balance of payments internationally. As long as most living goods are produced domestically, the international exchange rate doesn't have much affect on the price of goods locally. That means the money those people get paid is often enough to live relatively comfortably in their society, even though looks absurdly low from our perspective.

Target pays higher wages than Walmart and higher insurance, and does not carry out the same blackmailing tactics with suppliers to get prices down. Granted, those are just a few of the many things wrong with the whole industry. But those are important factors and in my view differentiates them.

I think the problems associated with imported goods are a now a universal problem of all retailers. It is hard now to find US made goods in any major retailer.

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Communism = "Slavery is about ownership of another human being, which even though it happens in the third world, is not really that common in the world of manufacturing." = Slavery.

Lets not forget the Communists still run China, still do not offer basic human rights, and control the people at will. All of this the hallmarks of slave owners but done on a massive scale. In our lust to have things manufactured at the lowest possible cost, we are directly responsible for millions in China working in slave like conditions, where they are not allowed to leave, and have not rights beyond what their employer gives them.

We spent 7 decades fighting communism, now we embrace it as long as it serves our materialistic desires and puts money in people's pockets.

How much stuff in Target comes from China?

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"People like to put up Target as being better than Walmart, but from what I have seen, the only difference between these two stores is that Target "targets" the material lusts of a different demographic than Walmart. Does that make it better than Walmart? NO In fact it is worse because this group has more disposible income and credit and attempts to say Walmart is better is really just another symptom of a mad society that awards social status based on the items the individual owns. Classism based on Materialialism."

Exactly. People don't like to attack Target because more of them SHOP there. It's this type of slight of hand that prevents any real change.

It reminds me of the anti-SUV people. They attatch SUV's so that they can feel better about driving their car EVERYWHERE. "yea, I might have just driven the mile to Blockbuster instead of walking or riding a bike, but my car get marginally better gas mileage so it is ok."

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"Although I hear and read it often, even Walmart doesn't sell stuff produces by slaves! I think to equate low wages, or difficult manual labor as slavery is to diminishes the true negative of the word. Slavery is about ownership of another human being, which even though it happens in the third world, is not really that common in the world of manufacturing."

Actually the United Nations considers forcible debt bondage to be slavery.

http://www.devp.org/slavery/bondage.htm

There are quite a few products sold in Target and Walmart made by slaves.... Charcoal, for example, is often made by debt bonded slaves who are often beaten or killed for trying to quit.

Kevin Bales wrote an excellent book on the matter a few years back, "Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy"

The library has multiple copies. I highly suggest checking it out.

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After the dot-com bubble and 9/11 economic downturn, I worked at Target for just over a year.

Starting wage then was i think $6.20/6.25 and is kind of a "training wage". If you stay there/last 90 days and Target still wants you to work for them, they give you a $.75 raise and 50/50 group healthcare. Target does not offer benefits to everyone from day one because neither side knows how long the job will last. They are *very* anti-organized labor, though, which they pass off as being anti-productive, but try harder than most I've seen to promote from within and promote women and minorities, occasionally putting the afore mentioned "morons" in charge *** note -- morons come in all genders, races, ages, etc.

Target tried to do a better job of keeping stores clean, with shiny floors and nothing clogging the main "racetrack" artery. They sell end of aisle endcaps to the highest bidder to keep prices low vs. just lowest quality junk. Walmart forces you to walk by as much as possible, in the hopes you'll put something in your cart, or it just falls in. If more than two people are in every check out line, target will temporarily open another register till the rush subsides. Walmart assumes you will understand they don't have many registers open because that's how they keep their low low prices.

Walmart used to have "made in the USA" signs on racks of clothes made in mexico or overseas, until they were caught. This is when the "smiley" logo was brought in to replace made in america labeling. Target donates on average $1 million a week to various schools, charities, etc. This is mostly for PR, but is better this than just more ads, or no other community investment.

Traveling around North Carolina outside of the big cities show building after building of what used to produce various textiles, but now sit mothballed, or are somehow repurposed. I would *like* to buy american made products but don't see any options other than socks (gold toe), even at department stores like Belk, Hechts, etc. Every piece of clothing that I own averages 6-7 years of wear, if not more. I don't know who is buying aisles of everything, not just clothes but handbags, luggage, furniture, etc.

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