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Less than you'd think.

Using food-stamps as a way for corporations to subsidize their payroll, keep people at minimum wage, and profit from tax-payer funded low-income support programs, has become an increasingly well documented phenomena. But how much would it cost companies like Walmart (the largest that takes in food-stamps from their workers) to just pay their employees a living wage, and what impact would that have on the prices? [via] [more inside]
posted by quin on Apr 7, 2014 - 66 comments

 

Shelf-Reading

How many of the groceries sold at Walmart would be banned by Whole Foods? (SLSlate)
posted by box on Feb 19, 2014 - 163 comments

Behind scenes look at Daily Show minimum wage segment

Barry Ritholtz has a finance blog (Big Picture) and writes a column for Bloomberg. He was on the Daily Show with Samantha Bee and Peter Schiff discussing minimum wage in the American economy. He claims Wal-Mart and McDonald's are the two largest beneficiaries of welfare because a large percentage of their workers couldn't afford to work there without it. [more inside]
posted by bukvich on Jan 29, 2014 - 145 comments

"it's like trying to sleep in a beehive"

"[Walmart]'s policy of allowing overnight stays in their parking lots is intended to boost sales, but has the tangential effect of creating a subculture around its locations... The two separate Walmart parking lots in Flagstaff, Arizona are specifically known for their long-term residents, and this past summer photographer Nolan Conway spent several days making a series of portraits of both the overnighters and the people who call these asphalt grids a temporary home."

Waking Up At Walmart (via)
posted by Atom Eyes on Nov 6, 2013 - 89 comments

Low-wage workers fight to make bad jobs better.

A growing number of Americans is realizing that “good jobs” aren’t coming back, and that for things to get better, they’re going to have to fight to turn their McJobs into something better. (Via Jacobin) [more inside]
posted by klue on Oct 5, 2013 - 103 comments

Dolla Dolla Bill, Y'all

Zachary R. Mider writes about how the Waltons avoid paying the estate tax. There is a follow-up interview at Bloomberg TV.
posted by Going To Maine on Sep 12, 2013 - 163 comments

Goose, Gander, etc.

An editorial in the Nation recently argued in favour of higher wages for WalMart employees, many of whom make only the minimum wage. WalMart responded by pointing out that the Nation employs its interns at less than the minimum wage. The Nation replied that since interns are at the beginning of their careers, the situation is different.
posted by modernnomad on Aug 8, 2013 - 75 comments

Walmart news of the week

Wal-Mart doesn’t have enough bodies to restock the shelves, and in not-unrelated news, is considering a radical plan to have store customers deliver packages to online buyers.
posted by latkes on Mar 29, 2013 - 181 comments

"They have 50 pound bags of chicken nuggets"

[slyt] The war between art and commercialism is over, and art lost. Here's Jewel singing The Walmart Song.
posted by dontjumplarry on Feb 18, 2013 - 158 comments

The Bribery Aisle

How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico (slnyt) [more inside]
posted by elizardbits on Dec 18, 2012 - 36 comments

"The company at this point isn’t just a key purveyor of lower labor standards and a globalized and concentrated supply chain, it is a key tell for policymakers."

Wal-Mart legal troubles mount as Black Friday walkout looms [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 4, 2012 - 98 comments

#ExilePitbull

#ExilePitbull / Bullfrog On The Moon: Boston Phoenix music writer David Thorpe discovers that WalMart will send internationally-renowned musician Pitbull to whichever WalMart location gets the most Likes on facebook; he enlists the internet to send Pitbull to the most isolated WalMart he can find, and learns a little something about building his personal brand in the process.
posted by Greg Nog on Sep 25, 2012 - 23 comments

'At 123,000 square feet, the new Main Library may very well be the largest single floor public library in the nation.'

The McAllen, TX Public Library won a 'Best-Of-Category' award in Interior Design for its new layout. It's in an abandoned Wal-Mart. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 18, 2012 - 38 comments

Uncle Sam's shopping cart rolls into India

After years of severe setbacks, plans gone awry, limited backdoor entry, millions of dollars spent lobbying and a truculent audience, Wal-Mart finally gets a green signal for the Indian market. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced lifting of restrictions on foreign investment in India's retail and aviation sectors as an economic boost. Many are sceptical. The truculence remains. What happens next?
posted by infini on Sep 15, 2012 - 25 comments

Totnes: the town that declared war on Costa Coffee

"Like a lot of locals, he says that one of his big fears is Costa serving notice that Totnes is ready to be colonised, and sparking the arrival of Caffe Nero, Subway and all the rest." A town declares war on Costa Coffee.
posted by DarlingBri on Aug 17, 2012 - 58 comments

Widespread corruption and bribery by Wal-Mart in Mexico

"Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. [...] The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation. Instead, an examination by The New York Times found, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down."
posted by reductiondesign on Apr 22, 2012 - 46 comments

Worst Company in America 2012

Just beating Bank of America, Consumerist readers have voted Electronic Arts the worst company in America
posted by Artw on Apr 4, 2012 - 96 comments

I hope his face hurts too.

They make Girl Scouts tougher these days.
posted by Diablevert on Mar 5, 2012 - 51 comments

Layaway In A Manger

From Michigan to Nebraska, from Washington State to North Carolina, anonymous donors have been paying off "layaway" tabs for holiday-shopping families.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 16, 2011 - 82 comments

No, you put your tea in a petrol can

Alex and Liam Do Walmart
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Aug 4, 2011 - 109 comments

"It's like, okay, I could spend thirteen cents less on a mop..."

Comedian Louis CK on the Opie and Anthony radio show discussing consumers and commercialism: (part 1) (part 2) (part 3). [more inside]
posted by spoobnooble on Jul 8, 2011 - 35 comments

What is this, I don't even...

Mr. Ghetto's New Orleans Bounce (Wal-Mart rap) has created quite a stir. Others comment that at least the Wal-Mart that the video takes place in is clean, and well-stocked. New Orleans bounce music has been mentioned previously.
posted by domo on Jun 18, 2011 - 93 comments

Buy-N-Large Pledges to Promote Healthier Foods

Why Wal-Mart Is Making Our Health Its Problem - "So what's behind the [healthier-eating] initiative? In a word: scale. In a recent article in HBR, Chris Meyer and I argued that we'll see companies taking more and more ownership of externalities they could ignore because of changing sensibilities and better sensors (meaning detection and reporting of impacts by third parties). But we also identified a third driver: the scale of modern business. Whereas in the past, a single grocer could not have much impact on society, in today's highly consolidated market, Wal-Mart touches a significant percentage of the nation's food intake. Once you reach a scale where your decisions have ramifications for millions, it is hard to pretend that the impacts, even as distant ripples, are not your problem."
posted by kliuless on Jan 24, 2011 - 75 comments

teenager opening fire on two West Memphis police

"At this point, his 16-year-old son Joseph Kane comes out shooting with an AK-47." A dashcam video from a police SUV shows a teenager opening fire on two West Memphis police officers before taking off in a van with his father. Subsequent helicopter footage reveals a third occupant of the van escaping unharmed. The Game and Fish Officer who rammed his truck into the van most likely saved the lives of two wounded officers. Full Text. [more inside]
posted by thisisdrew on Jun 30, 2010 - 77 comments

Dead People of Walmart

"Generously sized, the Star Legacy's Regal Wide Body has extended dimensions width combined with an adjustable bed. Exceptional quality, sleek design and squared corners add to its contoured look. The hand-tailored white crepe interior and hand-painted, high gloss antique gunmetal finish is complemented with classically designed hardware and premium swing bars. it is the perfect match for the person who lived life to its fullest." Yep, Walmart now does caskets.
posted by unSane on Feb 24, 2010 - 72 comments

Slashing...prices?

In a story broken by the New York Times, unsold clothes were found in trash bags outside of H&M and Wal-Mart, apparently cut up so as to be unwearable, in a city with 16,000 homeless people currently in the midst of a recession and a very cold winter. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 on Jan 10, 2010 - 284 comments

In Wal-Mart's Image

How Wal-Mart's values are shaping America's economy -- and why this is a very bad thing:
Around the time that the young Sam Walton opened his first stores, John Kennedy redeemed a presidential campaign promise by persuading Congress to extend the minimum wage to retail workers, who had until then not been covered by the law. Walton was furious. Now the goddamn federal government was telling him he had to pay his workers the $1.15 hourly minimum. Walton's response was to divide up his stores into individual companies whose revenues didn't exceed the $250,000 threshold. Eventually, though, a federal court ruled that this was simply a scheme to avoid paying the minimum wage, and he was ordered to pay his workers the accumulated sums he owed them, plus a double-time penalty thrown in for good measure. Wal-Mart cut the checks, but Walton also summoned the employees at a major cluster of his stores to a meeting. "I'll fire anyone who cashes the check," he told them.

posted by acb on Sep 14, 2009 - 259 comments

It is available through churches and at Wal-Marts....

“They are brands that may not be considered cool by the often elitist and self-absorbed standards of New York media,” she said. She had taken a car from Manhattan that morning, and wore a pink wool shirt-dress, patent leather Manolo Blahnik heels, and diamond hoop earrings.

Reader's Digest jumps the shark. (NYT)
posted by squalor on Jun 19, 2009 - 177 comments

"So I lost the baby, but I totally got the last Wii."

SighFilter: In light of other Black Friday tales of horror or posts urging a more sober consumerism, now comes this story of a worker trampled to death at Wal-Mart and a woman who miscarried in a stampede. They ought to have read FEMA's Black Friday Advisory.
posted by resurrexit on Nov 28, 2008 - 135 comments

Watching the Growth of Walmart Across America

I am Walmarticus! [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jul 31, 2008 - 62 comments

A new jug ships clean

Wal-mart/Sam's Club and Costco are in the process of switching to a re-designed milk jug. [more inside]
posted by dirtdirt on Jun 30, 2008 - 196 comments

Worst Practices in Corporate Video

For 30 years, retail juggernaut Walmart used a small video production company to capture footage of its top executives -- sometimes in unguarded moments. Two years ago, they stopped using the company. But Walmart never signed a contract with the company...and now the material is "proving irresistible to everyone from business historians and documentary filmmakers to plaintiffs lawyers and union organizers."
posted by VicNebulous on Apr 9, 2008 - 46 comments

They actually read Omnivores Dilemma

Checkout: Where all lanes are open. NYT article article on Walmart's new blog written by their buyers with uncensored commentary on Walmart products. "After heeding the lessons of Wal-Mart’s earlier blogs and consulting with several well-known bloggers from sites like the Huffington Post, the buyers decided the site would succeed only if they wrote in their own voice, free from censorship and corporate review." [more inside]
posted by Xurando on Mar 3, 2008 - 55 comments

I Told You Not To Kill That Albatross!

Disaster at Sea!! A collection of dozens & dozens of photographs of misfortune striking those GIGANTIC shipping vessels, the kind that bring goods from China to Wal Mart. Every kind of affliction imaginable, from shipboard fire to heavy weather to grounding amidst crushing waves to capsizing from ill balanced loads to random explosive cargo to terrorist attack to so much more. Descriptions of the vessels and what brought them down are included in the first link.
posted by jonson on Jul 15, 2007 - 57 comments

You might be a Walmart shopper...

Proported [Leaked] Walmart Internal-Marketing Presentation. Hate Walmart? Well, you're now a Conscientuous Objector (14% of their market). Read up on the Price-Value Shopper, the Brand Aspirationals, and the Price Sensitive Affluents, and see if you can figure out where you are in the Walmart Universe.
posted by rzklkng on Mar 6, 2007 - 46 comments

There's a reason that yellow smiley is so happy

Wal-Mart sells hentai now? (link SFW) Strange activity for a retailer well known to ban men's magazines (of both the pornographic variety and almost-but-not-quite pornographic variety), music with explicit lyrics, or pretty much any book they don't like. One can only assume that they were trying to get into the market for these newfangled Japanese comics that are suddenly all the rage, and didn't pay attention to precisely which ones they were ordering.
posted by Target Practice on Jan 21, 2007 - 24 comments

Does the Smiling Yellow Orb See the Light?

Wal-Mart and the Light Bulb [NY Times link] - Wal-Mart officials admit their push to sell 100 million compact fluorescent lights per year is at least partially a marketing ploy, but if successful, it would increase the number of the energy-efficient bulbs in use by 50% while "saving Americans $3 billion in electricity costs and avoiding the need to build additional power plants for the equivalent of 450,000 new homes." Wal-Mart's environmental record is less than perfect, of course, but if they managed to pull this off it would be hard to see it as a bad thing.
posted by mrbula on Jan 2, 2007 - 111 comments

Wal-Mart Sells T-Shirt with Nazi SS Logo

Blogger goes to Wal-Mart and finds t-shirt with Nazi SS logo. Wal-Mart apologizes and promises to pull the shirts. But have they been doing a good job? [via] the consumerist
posted by paulinsanjuan on Jan 2, 2007 - 112 comments

Walmart Shoplifing Complaint

my3cents.com is an addictive read. It's for people to air their grief about various retail stores (Walmart is the clear favorite). This particular complaint is a riot.
posted by DougieZero1982 on Nov 6, 2006 - 66 comments

Breaking the Chain.

Breaking the Chain: The antitrust case against Wal-Mart. Barry C. Lynn argues Wal-Mart is a monopsony, and should be dealt with the same way A&P and Standard Oil were many years ago.
posted by chunking express on Nov 2, 2006 - 32 comments

Harry Potter and Lord Wal-d-mart

Harry Potter and Lord Wal-d-mart: The Late Night Players entertain us this friday: Harry Potter combats the low low prices of Wal-Mart.
posted by cjoh on Oct 27, 2006 - 8 comments

Black Racism?

From WalMart's latest PR campaign: "I think they've ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it's Arabs..." The author? Former MLK lieut, Andrew Young.
posted by mischief on Aug 18, 2006 - 46 comments

Can't set up a snitch line? We're outta here.

"Workers were also told not to flirt with one another." After eight years of "fiasco", Wal-Mart bails on Germany.
posted by telstar on Jul 29, 2006 - 55 comments

WalMart Tries to Be MySpace, Badly

Pending Approval, WalMart Horns in on MySpace, Badly
WalMart wants in on MySpace's lock on teen minds. So they've launched schoolyourway to give kids a place to "express their individuality" so long as the WalMart censors approve of it.
posted by fenriq on Jul 18, 2006 - 43 comments

WalMart, a Christian company

WalMart Manager: We feel that as a Christian Company it was inappropriate to carry things associated with morally corrupt themes.
posted by skwm on Mar 29, 2006 - 228 comments

L.A. South Central Farm Receives Eviction Notice

L.A. South Central Farm Receives Eviction Notice 350 families have been growing organic produce on 14 acres in inner-city LA for over a decade. Now the owner wants them out -- so a warehouse for Wal-Mart can be built on the site. LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says he wants to see the farm saved, but the city can't afford to buy the land.
posted by Artifice_Eternity on Mar 4, 2006 - 53 comments

The Man Who Said No to Wal-Mart

Choose your own adventure! You are the manufacturer of a premium product. Wal*Mart wants it. They want it cheap. Do you buckle to their demands and out-source, reduce the build quality, and make money on volume? Turn to page 67. Or do you keep your American employees, increase quality, and make money by targeting the higher-end market? Turn to page 28. The Man Who Said No to Wal-Mart.
posted by five fresh fish on Jan 19, 2006 - 55 comments

The Lord's Wal-Mart

"This is the day that the Lord has made! We shall rejoice and be glad in the new Wal-Mart that the Lord has made."
posted by thisisdrew on Nov 30, 2005 - 45 comments

Documentary journalism? Activism?

Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Price, the latest film by Robert Greenwald, director/producer of last year's Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism (mentioned here and here), is being screened across the country this week in a private activist-driven model used by Outfoxed. The campaign is driven by Wake Up Wal-Mart, a UFCW-driven campaign to change the retail giant's reputation and unionize its employees. The film's trailer has gotten a reaction from Wal-Mart's PR division. Is the political documentary a new form of journalism, or a form of disinformation?
posted by graymouser on Nov 15, 2005 - 71 comments

from the unlikely-headline dept.

Wal-Mart urges Congress to raise minimum wage and "unveiled a series of initiatives designed to present a kinder, gentler face for the world's biggest retailer... exploring ways to use the company's heft and resources to have a more positive impact on society." In its bid to turn over a new leaf, Wal-Mart also announced it's going green and lowering health care costs for its workers. Is this a new sign of rethinking the social responsibility of business where the kind of growth matters as much as the amount? Or is it right to be skeptical of it as a ploy to help open more stores like its critics charge?
posted by kliuless on Oct 25, 2005 - 60 comments

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