Wal-Mart finds its way on the list of unfair labor practices the unions pass out every year. That is not because they are non union, you have to earn your way on this list by screwing your employees one way or another.
In fact I remember seeing them in the top 10 worst offenders in the US.
[This message has been edited by gundog (edited 09-09-2004).]
[This message has been edited by gundog (edited 09-09-2004).]
I buy from the chain stores also, but I always give the local lumber yard a shot at my business. Recently I bought a very expensive door for my house. Local guy was within about $100 dollars of the Lowes price, on the high end. I bought the more expensive door from the local guy because when he was trying to sell it, he asked the right questions of me. Do you want right or left? What's your RO so we size the side lights correctly? When do you need it? ... He knew much more about the product. I got the impression that if I had a problem he would know how to deal with it. As luck would have it, the door didn't come in when he said it would. I had people scheduled to help me. He said I'll definitley have it on Friday (3 days latter). Friday came, door was in, when I paid the bill he knocked an additional $200 off the price. Said he appreciated my business and the fact that I didn't act like an Ass when the door didn't arrive the first time, and he realized that had I been closing on a new house he could have been really jambing me up. I've bought lots more since then.
Evan, I have read that story before and find it hard to believe. I just can't believe a company would be such a slime ball to do something like that. Many years ago I sold life insurance for a large company and I remember you could not insure a person unless a good reason like your livelihood really depended on them. If you had a buisness partner, perfectly ok to insure him. One employee to wally world would mean nothing. Maybe laws have changed.
Going to HD or Lowe's in the daytime borders on Masochism and going there on the weekend is just an out and out nightmare. If I have to go, I try to go after nine during the week and after midnight on the weekends - this way I avoid the herd of dumbasses that seem to be there all the time. As for the "quality" of the employees, well when HD first opened, they hired tradesman, then promptly screwed them over. Now, the place is filled with retirees and getto kids who don't know one end of a hammer from the other. I know somebody who worked there at one point and quit after a month. They were willing to give him more because he had "experiance". 11 bucks an hour. Would you work for that? When my brother does side jobs, he figures on making at least $250 for four hours worth of work. Me, I lowered my demand at a job interview Tuesday and asked for $17/hr.. Now about getting oddball hardware - am I the only one here with a Grainger, MSC and McMaster Carr all within a 30 minute drive? I guess I'm spoiled living in the industrial Northeast.
See this link:
Also a quote from another site about Walmart:
"Like its marketing plan, Wal-Mart's legal strategy is value-oriented. The company often saves money by using outside lawyers who usually are paid a flat fee of about $2,500 to $10,500 a case. The company routinely files motions to have cases shifted to federal courts, where judges do not need to run for re-election. Protective orders keep key company papers private. If it has to pay a settlement, Wal-Mart keeps the amount secret through a confidentiality pact."
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Wal-mart also is reported to be notorious for the "hour shaving" scam. They aren't alone, apparently the fast-food places do it too.
They told the managers to reduce labor costs, and specifically told them to keep averyone in "part time". That way, no expensive benefits.
Then, they "let it be known" that one way to do that is to get into the payroll computer and manually reduce hours worked for anyone over the max for the week. They also "let it be known" that the manager's job depended on keeping everyone under the part time max.
Then they demanded more work be done per employee.
Classic rock and hard place.
So, guess what the managers had to do? Yep, they got in and illegally changed the hours worked.
This technique relies on the fact that the hours are not printed anywhere, they just exist in the computer. Also on the fact that the average Wal-mart employee wouldn't know if a few hours were "shaved" off their check.
Apparently some DID know, and the $hit hit the fan a few months ago.
Wal-mart is all about the money for the bosses and owners. You, as a customer or employee, are just a tool.
I shop at Home Depot, Lowes...where ever I can find the part, when I need it. That is the biggest problem. I have a real nice hardware store 5 minutes from my house, the problem, they close at 6. I'm rarely home by six, so, I drive 20 minutes to Home Depot.
I have a lumber yard 7 minutes from my house. If I go and say I need eight 2x4's, they'll go out the yard with me and pick good ones. I love shopping there...unfortunately, they close at five, unless I plan ahead, it's hard to get there before they close.
I'd love to keep my money in the community, but often, it's the business that makes it difficult to do. I understand that it costs a lot of money to stay open, but if they were to do it once or twice a week, I would plan my "work" nites around them, so I could run when I need.
Walmart just plain sucks. No music with drug references, no R rated movies..."a real family store". I stay away.
I live in a town where the stores left in droves to move to a bigger city up the valley. To buy underwear, or even socks, or anything clothing related, and anything that resembled anything more than paper plates, we had to drive 30 minutes one way, and deal with traffic there for up to another 30 minutes.
Bedroom community with too many empty store fronts, killed by mini mall developers who pretty much tore all the business out of any small town near them.
At one point, two hardware stores, and to buy lumber "up the valley" at a lumber yard, the price was still less and time better spent to drive the 1 hour round trip. Most anything else came in one or two styles say - cabinets, faucetts, handles.
Mine is NOT a small town, just economically challenged for many years a few back.
Walmart came in, and for this as a shopper I am a bit more glad. We can actually buy items without making an expedition or a full day trip. General basics, but no longer do we need to "trip" for the good items either. The clothing shops are returning, three now, they are great substitutes for Walmart, and they know it. People come in looking for an item, then go to one of these shops within the block area - all three are within about 100 yards from the Wally world entry. Car parts? same thing, two stores within 200 yards of Wally world, and an oil change and general repair and tire sales place right there. A new pharmacy 200 yards away.
No businesses closed in our city due to Wally World, and in fact the people that used to leave town in a nightly traffic jam to go 30 minutes "up the valley", now stay in town - first because some items became accessible, and then because other stores had the confidence to believe that people were not traveling as much.
All opened and all since Wally world came in.
A few of our remaining businesses that weathered the storm have profited as well, for now we also draw TO our city, and not just from within our city, which the draw within to keep people here was our first concern, and the hope this might occur was great as well. The normal "ebb and flow" of businesses still occurs, as 90% of independent biz shuts down in two years, but our rate is probably 50 to 60% right now, and we are actually restoring a downtown district with this confidence.
The "Upper Valley" stores and such are a bit irritated about this, especially the ones that opened on the end towards our city, believing that we would be as big a draw as the main city they are in would be.
In the Home Depot center, a cabinet maker has inquired about a spot for a store. The same guy has done this next to two other HD's. Says they draw business.
Wally world and such may not be the best for employees, they do have their faults.
I also wrote some things people may not want to hear, an this story is not the rule but an exception. Wal mart is no longer the "only game" in town, maybe like they wanted to be, but they did get a foothold back in our city for business, and created the first draw we had had in ten years for people to shop in our city, and to stop and look at other stores as well.
Steve, Nice post and I feel your pain regarding 1/2 day for this, 1/2 day for that. We have a few more choices in Concord but sometimes they all start to look the same. And forget about machine tools, metals, other materials and real hardware. We're both in a machinery challenged state. If there were a Wal-mart of the machine world, I'd probably have a cot in one corner
[This message has been edited by nheng (edited 09-10-2004).]
Well there you have it. Every single town in North America is looking exactly the same! I live in ontario canada and when you go into any town they all look the same. Home depot here, Chapters there, Walmart here.............. I think I am going to be sick. Please pay the extra dollar for something at the local hardware store. The comunity will be much better off!!