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Aporkalypse

Wal-Mart

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I thought we need a threat to discuss Wal-Mart and its policies as it pertains to Arkansas, not the bashing threads you see elsewhere.

I am posting this for mcheiss and anyone else that's interested. This was a very good article by John Brummett with some points I had thought but had never seen written, that Wal-Mart is the victim of class snobbery. I thought you'd find it interesting. I agree with the premise, BTW.

Wal-Mart and class snobbery

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I thought we need a threat to discuss Wal-Mart and its policies as it pertains to Arkansas, not the bashing threads you see elsewhere.

I am posting this for mcheiss and anyone else that's interested. This was a very good article by John Brummett with some points I had thought but had never seen written, that Wal-Mart is the victim of class snobbery. I thought you'd find it interesting. I agree with the premise, BTW.

Wal-Mart and class snobbery

I certainly agree. I'm not saying Wal-mart doesn't ever do anything wrong, but it takes all the blame for everything. Like was mentioned in the article there are other chains very much like Wal-mart. Target really is pretty much just a slightly different form of Wal-mart. I have considered that one aspect people might see negatively is just the simple fact that Wal-mart is from Arkansas. Wal-mart also takes all the blame even though all the other chains are basically doing the same things. I don't think I'd say Wal-mart is the blame it's simply following the trend that all businesses seem to be following. But since it's the biggest it seems to take all the heat. We seem to have some weird perspectives here in the US. We pride ourselves on being able to move up and be successful compared to some countries. But if you get too big or sucessful then a sort of tall poppy syndrome occurs and everyone is ready to tear them down.

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I certainly agree. I'm not saying Wal-mart doesn't ever do anything wrong, but it takes all the blame for everything. Like was mentioned in the article there are other chains very much like Wal-mart. Target really is pretty much just a slightly different form of Wal-mart. I have considered that one aspect people might see negatively is just the simple fact that Wal-mart is from Arkansas. Wal-mart also takes all the blame even though all the other chains are basically doing the same things. I don't think I'd say Wal-mart is the blame it's simply following the trend that all businesses seem to be following. But since it's the biggest it seems to take all the heat. We seem to have some weird perspectives here in the US. We pride ourselves on being able to move up and be successful compared to some countries. But if you get too big or sucessful then a sort of tall poppy syndrome occurs and everyone is ready to tear them down.

I think Brummett's point regarding Target and Wal-Mart is that they generally have all of the same negatives, it's just that Target caters to incomes $10-15k a year higher. The only reason to hate WM but not Target that I can see is the perception that one is lower class and one middle class.

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:offtopic:

WM is often targeted in the media simply because it's the largest. If Target was the biggest and Wal-Mart the up and coming star, then we'd see Target getting all the bad publicity.

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The only reason to hate WM but not Target that I can see is the perception that one is lower class and one middle class

Well that, and Target is usually much cleaner and more organized than Wal-Mart. A Wal-Mart seems to become dumpy within 3 months.

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Well that, and Target is usually much cleaner and more organized than Wal-Mart. A Wal-Mart seems to become dumpy within 3 months.

-_-

I'm not going to get into another argument about this.

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Well that, and Target is usually much cleaner and more organized than Wal-Mart. A Wal-Mart seems to become dumpy within 3 months.

I don't know, maybe it's just the ones here, but many of the Wal-marts up here seem to be well maintained. Maybe it's just because we're in their 'backyard' but I've also seen many Wal-marts in other areas as well that seen okay and they've been open well over a year.

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I don't know, maybe it's just the ones here, but many of the Wal-marts up here seem to be well maintained. Maybe it's just because we're in their 'backyard' but I've also seen many Wal-marts in other areas as well that seen okay and they've been open well over a year.

Exactly. A lot of the newer Wal-Mart's are nicer and clean yet there are some "dirty" or not as nice stores across America. Every company is like this. I've been in targets that look like scumholes and Target's that deserve awards for how nice they are.

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Indeed. The last comment of mine wasn't necessary but it was indeed true based on my experience with Wal-Marts new and old.

hehe. I didn't come in here to stir trouble. I thought this was the general coffee house, but it looks like it's a more local rendition. I'll be leaving now. :)

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Sorry.

I've been arguing this in the Oklahoma subforum and I'm a bit frustrated with it. I don't mind someone stating their opinon at all, especially in the Coffeehouse Subforum. I guess not everyone has nice Wal-Mart's like us in Arkansas so people's perceptions of Wal-Mart in area's with bad stores is more than likely negative.

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Indeed. The last comment of mine wasn't necessary but it was indeed true based on my experience with Wal-Marts new and old.

hehe. I didn't come in here to stir trouble. I thought this was the general coffee house, but it looks like it's a more local rendition. I'll be leaving now. :)

I didn't take it as being offensive. For all I know maybe there is a problem of that with Wal-marts in other areas of the country. I guess I've also seen enough of your posts around UP to know how you meant your statement. :D

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I don't know, maybe it's just the ones here, but many of the Wal-marts up here seem to be well maintained. Maybe it's just because we're in their 'backyard' but I've also seen many Wal-marts in other areas as well that seen okay and they've been open well over a year.

I've been to Wal-Marts in northwest AR, in Little Rock (at Chenal and Cantrell), and here in Dallas that make are as nice as any Target. As a matter of fact that LR WM I'm referring to is much nicer than the Target further up the parkway. WM tailors to the market. You won't see Targets in smaller towns thus the conventional "box" image of smaller Wal-Marts that is stuck in people's minds.

Mcheiss, I just brought up the article because I thought you would find it interesting. I favor Brummett's explanation that WM is being unfairly targeted because of class differences.

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Mcheiss, I just brought up the article because I thought you would find it interesting. I favor Brummett's explanation that WM is being unfairly targeted because of class differences.

I have no problem with that at all Apork, it's fine with me. I've just been a little sick of arguing this whole thing the past week.

I like Brummett's explanation about Wal-Mart, it makes sense to me.

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I have no problem with that at all Apork, it's fine with me. I've just been a little sick of arguing this whole thing the past week.

I like Brummett's explanation about Wal-Mart, it makes sense to me.

In general I've always seen it as "liberals vs Wal-Mart". To some degree now you have a lot of liberals responding favorably to Wal-Mart's labor and environmental policy changes and you're seeing a different breed of anti-Wal-Mart sentiment. It's almost just snobbery.

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Well that, and Target is usually much cleaner and more organized than Wal-Mart. A Wal-Mart seems to become dumpy within 3 months.

I think in many markets across the country this is the sentiment. I have only been to Walmart maybe 6 times in my entire life. They just feel different than Target...pronounced Tar' jay...lol. Years ago and the first 2 of the times I went to Walmart, they did appear clutered and the people seemed to be like bag people looking for food to eat in dumpsters. These Walmarts were also located in further suburbs than were I grew up. I was totally turned off by the appearance and the clothes were atrocious. I vowed never to step foot or be caught dead in a Walmart. Then years later a Walmart opened in the suburb of Atlanta were I was living as a child...Dunwoody...surely if Walmart can land in Dunwoody then things must have changed. Well yeah, some things had changed and some things seemed to have stayed the same. The clothes were still atrocious.

To me....please understand this is my personal feeling...Walmart just feels like it's on a lower level than Target. I'm sorry to say. I don't even think it's because it's from Arkansas either. As a young girl, when Walmarts entered into the Atlanta market, I could have cared less where it came from. My world was Dunwoody and Sandy Springs....going up to Alpharetta was like a trip. Like anyone else, I value my money. I'm a stay at home mother with five children and my husband works hard to provide a certain lifestyle for us. I have friends who can't understand my rationale...why I have no problem shopping at Target yet I will not step foot in a Walmart. For heaven's sake, I'm a member of Costco and BJ's but not of Sams Club. It makes no sense.

In defense of the cleanliness and organized nature of Walmart, I will say that I have gone to one that was really nice. There was a new one that opened about the time that the Mall of Georgia opened on GA 20 at I-985. It's a Super Walmart and it really does live up to it's super title. I got some of the best peaches I had ever had from that store. I guess it's stores like this where some people seem to make trips to Walmart like family outting. The parking lot is huge. If it's full, you better not wear heels.

Even with this store as a model, I still do not shop at Walmart. Mine is not a protest for wages or benefits for the workers (it would make more sense if that was my reason) but rather the image that Walmart has in my mind is very hard to shake. It just feels...ummm.....cheap. Like I said earlier, I do not think it's a snob thing because I have no problem in shopping Target for school supplies, hose pipes, paper towels or incidentals like that. I even will get my children underwear from there.

It's not because Walmart is from Arkansas. It can't be. I can only speak for myself, but I know others may feel the same way, who cares that it's from Arkansas. I felt the same way as a child about KMart when they were once big. If my mother even thought about going to KMart, I would rather stay home with my daddy. While I was a "daddy's little princess," my mother and I are really close and I enjoyed every minute shopping with her. For me to turn down such an outting was a clear indication of my disdain for KMart as well.

I have done personal accessments of the items at Target and Walmart. On one of the visits to Target, I wanted to end my unfair snub of Walmart. I bought a set of bedding, 600 thread count, seafoam green for my eldest daughter's bed. I went to Walmart to see if I could find something comparable to my purchase at Target. I even went to one of the nicer Walmarts in Boca Raton. On comparison, the sheets at Walmart seemed to be of a lesser quality. The colors weren't as vibrant even though they were the same thread count. To top it off, Walmart was only about $3 cheaper. The $3 was not worth it. I walked out the store and I have not been back since.

One thing that is good about Walmart....there are some here in the Atlanta metro area that are opened 24 hours. I don't think there is a Target that is opened later than 10pm. I can't imagine what a person would need from Walmart at 2:30am but it's good to know that they are opened late for those insomniacs that need a late night shopping fix.

I'm probably not going to be liked much around here any more but I must speak as I find. I'm sure that in time my feelings may change....until then it's off to Tar' jay for my shopping needs.

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In general I've always seen it as "liberals vs Wal-Mart". To some degree now you have a lot of liberals responding favorably to Wal-Mart's labor and environmental policy changes and you're seeing a different breed of anti-Wal-Mart sentiment. It's almost just snobbery.

Yeah and with Fayetteville being a rather liberal city it would also explain why there seems to be more anti-Walmart sentiment than anywhere else I've been in Arkansas.

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Celeste, like you I generally prefer not to shop at Wal-Mart. It's not for any compelling social reasons or lack of cleanliness, etc, it's generally just because I prefer Target's merchandise, especially foods and beer/wine.

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Walmart in west memphis= dumpy.

walmart in hot springs= pretty nice.

target= still nicer in general.

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I think in many markets across the country this is the sentiment. I have only been to Walmart maybe 6 times in my entire life. They just feel different than Target...pronounced Tar' jay...lol. Years ago and the first 2 of the times I went to Walmart, they did appear clutered and the people seemed to be like bag people looking for food to eat in dumpsters. These Walmarts were also located in further suburbs than were I grew up. I was totally turned off by the appearance and the clothes were atrocious. I vowed never to step foot or be caught dead in a Walmart. Then years later a Walmart opened in the suburb of Atlanta were I was living as a child...Dunwoody...surely if Walmart can land in Dunwoody then things must have changed. Well yeah, some things had changed and some things seemed to have stayed the same. The clothes were still atrocious.

To me....please understand this is my personal feeling...Walmart just feels like it's on a lower level than Target. I'm sorry to say. I don't even think it's because it's from Arkansas either. As a young girl, when Walmarts entered into the Atlanta market, I could have cared less where it came from. My world was Dunwoody and Sandy Springs....going up to Alpharetta was like a trip. Like anyone else, I value my money. I'm a stay at home mother with five children and my husband works hard to provide a certain lifestyle for us. I have friends who can't understand my rationale...why I have no problem shopping at Target yet I will not step foot in a Walmart. For heaven's sake, I'm a member of Costco and BJ's but not of Sams Club. It makes no sense.

In defense of the cleanliness and organized nature of Walmart, I will say that I have gone to one that was really nice. There was a new one that opened about the time that the Mall of Georgia opened on GA 20 at I-985. It's a Super Walmart and it really does live up to it's super title. I got some of the best peaches I had ever had from that store. I guess it's stores like this where some people seem to make trips to Walmart like family outting. The parking lot is huge. If it's full, you better not wear heels.

Even with this store as a model, I still do not shop at Walmart. Mine is not a protest for wages or benefits for the workers (it would make more sense if that was my reason) but rather the image that Walmart has in my mind is very hard to shake. It just feels...ummm.....cheap. Like I said earlier, I do not think it's a snob thing because I have no problem in shopping Target for school supplies, hose pipes, paper towels or incidentals like that. I even will get my children underwear from there.

It's not because Walmart is from Arkansas. It can't be. I can only speak for myself, but I know others may feel the same way, who cares that it's from Arkansas. I felt the same way as a child about KMart when they were once big. If my mother even thought about going to KMart, I would rather stay home with my daddy. While I was a "daddy's little princess," my mother and I are really close and I enjoyed every minute shopping with her. For me to turn down such an outting was a clear indication of my disdain for KMart as well.

I have done personal accessments of the items at Target and Walmart. On one of the visits to Target, I wanted to end my unfair snub of Walmart. I bought a set of bedding, 600 thread count, seafoam green for my eldest daughter's bed. I went to Walmart to see if I could find something comparable to my purchase at Target. I even went to one of the nicer Walmarts in Boca Raton. On comparison, the sheets at Walmart seemed to be of a lesser quality. The colors weren't as vibrant even though they were the same thread count. To top it off, Walmart was only about $3 cheaper. The $3 was not worth it. I walked out the store and I have not been back since.

One thing that is good about Walmart....there are some here in the Atlanta metro area that are opened 24 hours. I don't think there is a Target that is opened later than 10pm. I can't imagine what a person would need from Walmart at 2:30am but it's good to know that they are opened late for those insomniacs that need a late night shopping fix.

I'm probably not going to be liked much around here any more but I must speak as I find. I'm sure that in time my feelings may change....until then it's off to Tar' jay for my shopping needs.

You mention some interesting things. I imagine the fact that is is from Arkansas doesn't bother many. Perhaps more so in the south. Although I do wonder if people from other parts of the country do have some of that in the back of their mind. But overall Target has been successful focusing on a market above wal-mart. That is changing, perhaps more slowly in other parts of the country. But I do think Wal-mart sees this as more the future and is making a move to try to go after some of Target's market. I think maybe we see more of that here in Arkansas and NWA than other areas. I think Wal-mart is still in the early stages. I wonder if Wal-mart stores aren't all run quite the same way. Perhaps in some instances as you move further and further away from the HQ. That's just speculation though. I can't say I really know how they are set up or run. I also think Wal-mart is becoming more concerned about it's image than it was in the past. But then again it's also probably because it's going to be harder for them to further expand. They've filled in many rural areas and now mainly have the more urban areas for significant growth. But that's not going to happen with the way Wal-mart has been. I had a feeling Wal-mart would start changing but I admit I've been a bit surprised how quickly it seems to be changing, at least around here. They're already doing things I didn't think would happen for years.

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Celeste, like you I generally prefer to shop at Wal-Mart. It's not for any compelling social reasons or lack of cleanliness, etc, it's generally just because I prefer Target's merchandise, especially foods and beer/wine.

Perhaps I should also point out that I hardly ever shop at Wal-mart. It's not because I hate them or anything. In many ways it's not convenient for me. I don't tend to stock up on groceries and they tend to be rather busy and a bit inconvenient for me to buy the way I do now. Overall I tend to think I've somewhat open-minded to Wal-mart though. I probably live in the one Arkansas city that seems to have some strong anti-Walmart sentiment. But I also don't see Wal-mart being the 'evil empire' many people make it out to be either.

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Perhaps I should also point out that I hardly ever shop at Wal-mart. It's not because I hate them or anything. In many ways it's not convenient for me. I don't tend to stock up on groceries and they tend to be rather busy and a bit inconvenient for me to buy the way I do now. Overall I tend to think I've somewhat open-minded to Wal-mart though. I probably live in the one Arkansas city that seems to have some strong anti-Walmart sentiment. But I also don't see Wal-mart being the 'evil empire' many people make it out to be either.

Same here. It's not convenient and doesn't have things I can't find elsewhere. It's not that I dislike it.

I don't think WM won't ever succeed in the upscale suburban/urban niche it wants. It's just too tough for one organization to do well there and also in the nation's rural and exurban markets. It does the latter so well, though, that Target will never come close to catching up. Ultimately, Targets are a tiny portion of sales in the markets they serve. Wal-Marts absolutely dominate towns under 30,000. In many cities they probably outsell the entire rest of the community's retail establishment. These cities will never have malls, so the Supercenter provides everything the market will support in one location.

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Same here. It's not convenient and doesn't have things I can't find elsewhere. It's not that I dislike it.

I don't think WM won't ever succeed in the upscale suburban/urban niche it wants. It's just too tough for one organization to do well there and also in the nation's rural and exurban markets. It does the latter so well, though, that Target will never come close to catching up. Ultimately, Targets are a tiny portion of sales in the markets they serve. Wal-Marts absolutely dominate towns under 30,000. In many cities they probably outsell the entire rest of the community's retail establishment. These cities will never have malls, so the Supercenter provides everything the market will support in one location.

I always though that Wal-mart should have more seriously considered a slightly different store for more urban areas. Still owned by Wal-mart but named and run separately from Wal-mart itself. I think a seperate line of stores would have had a better chance at having a better image and maybe been more successful comepting against Target.

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I'll agree that non Supercenter Wal-Mart's are aweful. I hate stepping in them because it doesn't feel like a Wal-Mart to me. I'm so used to seeing nice WM's that I often forget they're are thousands of regular Wal-Marts across the nation.

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I always though that Wal-mart should have more seriously considered a slightly different store for more urban areas. Still owned by Wal-mart but named and run separately from Wal-mart itself. I think a seperate line of stores would have had a better chance at having a better image and maybe been more successful comepting against Target.

I always thought the same thing. Brand it and design it completely differently, just use WMs' well-established distribution system.

I know a lot of people that almost never shop at WM but shop at Sams' all the time. I'm in that category. The same could be true with an urban Wal-Mart.

WM's attempts at becoming more urban are interesting. In terms of better appearances inside and out they succeed. It's in the content (merchandise, Starbucks vs McDonald's, etc) that you only see minimal differences.

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I don't think Wal-Mart's PR problems have much to do with the fact they're from Arkansas. In fact, I bet if you take a poll (outside of Arkansas, of course), the average person couldn't tell you where Wal-Mart is headquartered. They'd probably say Atlanta or something. Maybe I'm wrong, that's just my impression having never lived in Arkansas.

It's weird how public opinion seems to have suddenly turned against Wal-Mart. I think it's easy to kick a dead-horse -- mob mentality or something. But I'll tell ya -- the Wal-Mart in Cordova (Memphis) is as busy as ever, mob mentality notwithstanding. Target (tar-jjaaay) may be appealing to the middle class better than Wal-Mart, and Wal-Mart could indeed be a victim of classism. I don't know, but that would not surprise me. Socioeconomic discrimination is a larger problem in the U.S. than I think any of us realizes.

But on the other hand, did anybody think Wal-Mart would keep growing forever? Think about it, opening 200 new stores every year is completely unsustainable. At some point growth rates have to taper off (the same is true for cities. Rapid growth in the U.S. is unsustainable. We still have too much land).

I do think Wal-Mart miscalculated when it decided to open the same type of stores that had been so successful in rural areas. The differences between rural and suburban shoppers are distinctive and I don't think Wal-Mart sufficiently anticipated that. A different type of store, a Starbucks-look-alike that sold toilet paper, would have been much more successful for suburban areas. But assuming that what worked in the rural areas will work in suburban areas was classic mistake #1. Just my opinion. And I love Wal-Mart.

Long live Wal-Mart!!! :ph34r:

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