Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Reasons I Hate Wal-Mart

I have always hated Walmart, but lately I have increasingly tried to avoid it. And it's not just because I'm a grocery snob...because I'm not! And it's not that I just don't like to shop there...although I don't. I would go as far as to say that I'm anti-Walmart, and here are some reasons why:

1. The economy. I don't think I really need to say much more here, do I? They have driven so many locally-owned and family-run businesses into the ground, and that has put so many people out of work. And has caused more people to rely on Walmart more. It's sad.

2. The way they treat their employees. I recently watched a documentary called "Walmart: the High Cost of Low Price" (it's an Instant Netflix, if you have it!) In the documentary, they interviewed many past Walmart employees, and it made me cry. They don't pay their employees well, and they purposely have less people working at a time than they should, in order to save money. Have you ever noticed how there are about 80 check-out lanes and only 3 are open at any given time? (okay, so I'm exaggerating). So people are working harder than they should have to because they are always short-staffed. Also, they don't pay their employees enough to pay for health insurance. BUT, they do offer information on all kinds of government programs to help with affording insurance, food, etc. So although I'm sure they have plenty of funds, they are not giving them to their employees. Instead, they would like to help their employees mooch off of the government. Yuck...this disgusts me.

3. They use cheap labor. The documentary I watched actually filmed some footage of factory workers in China. They work terrible hours, every single day. The conditions were horrible...I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Again, I literally cried.

4. They make you spend money without you even realizing it! Have you ever noticed that when you check out at Walmart, your total always ends up being higher than you anticipated?? I know I have. It's because of the way the store is laid out. The personal care items are in the far side of the store, the electronics are in the back of the store, and the food is on the opposite side of the personal care items. So basically, you have to walk through what feels like miles and miles of brightly colored crap, essentially, trying to draw you in, while you try to find the items you need. Maybe if you wear blinders you can make it from one side of the store to the other without picking anything useless up :-P I have a really hard time with it, though. Also, the store is so big and they just have so much STUFF, I tend to not realize all the little $5-$10 itmes piling up in my cart. I mean, I guess this is a great marketing strategy, but I don't appreciate it! :-P

5. Items of Poor quality. I'd rather pay a couple extra bucks for something that will last a little longer, thankyouverymuch. (Okay, so maybe I AM a little bit of a shopping snob :-P)

6. Poor customer service. Please let me say that I don't blame the employees for this...as I wrote before, there are not enough of them working at one time, so you're not going to get the one-on-one attention that you might get somewhere else. Also, they are overworked and underpaid, so I might have trouble bing super friendly, too (And in all fairness, I have had some people check me out who were super sweet there).

7. I just plain don't like shopping there. I hate that no matter what time of the day or night, I have to park 10 miles from the entrance (more exaggeration :-P). I hate that it's crowded and impossible to navigate through. I hate the way it's laid with all kinds of dead ends in the rows, trying to get me to buy more useless crap. Yuck. I just hate everything about the Walmart shopping experience! And really, if you take time and effort, you can easily find most items for the same price or cheaper elsewhere. Especially when it comes to groceries if you use coupons!

I hope I didn't make myself sound like too much of a snob. But I think there are some real issues with the business, and the way it's run (see #1-3). I have only shopped there twice since I watched the documentary about a month or so ago, and I still think that's two times too many. I would rather support smaller or more local businesses.

I hope this made you think! Is there anyone else out there who is anti-Walmart like I am?


  1. My husband actually worked at Wal-Mart this past year and he never once felt like he was treated poorly. In fact he was making more than minimum wage starting out and they said if he was staying around longer they would have given him a raise based on how efficient of a worker he is. They also said they would consider him for a management position if he wanted one because he was a good worker.

    I agree with all your other points, but I just wanted to point out that not all of their workers are treated poorly. If the job is done correctly and to the best of one's ability, they are paid well and treated fairly. They also have a discount program after you've been there for 30 days which benefits your entire family.

    Thanks for including all the other points, I agree with all of the rest! I love that documentary, we watched it in high school in a Contemporary America class!

  2. To correct my previous comment, it's after 90 days...don't want to pass along false information!

  3. THey've also been caught using human trafficking victims to make their clothes and still refuse to open up their lines of production to the public so that watchdog organizations can ensure that these abuses are put to an end!

    I refuse to shop there until they clearly demonstrate that people's lives are more important than their almighty dollar. Saving money is not worth enslaving anyone to me.

  4. Ashley: Thanks for sharing that...obviously the documentary was probably a little biased, and so am I. haha...so thanks for sharing another side...I'm glad your husband was treated well there

  5. i used to hate walmart, the one in my city seems ghetto like it doesn't fit in with the rest of the city so i NEVER shop there. as in i hadn't shopped there in probably 5 plus years. i went to one a neighboring city recently and since then i have gone back. it's clean, nice and the people are kind. i will probably keep going there. although not replacing it for target!! target is my most favorite place and i prefer to grocery shop there as well ;)

  6. I'm the same way. I know it's more affordable, but I just avoid it at all costs! It drives me nuts! I'm so bothered by the store, the stock, the clients, and the customer service every time I walk in Wally World's doors.

  7. I'm not all that thrilled with Wal Mart either. I try to avoid shopping there at all costs. :P I went in once and tried to use printable coupons and they wouldn't take them because it was on colored paper instead of white. That made me mad. haha The only way I will shop there is if I have a coupon and I can get whatever item I want to purchase cheaper there than anywhere else.

    I agree with most of your points. They make you walk all over and that is their way of trying to make you spend more. And their products just aren't all that great. Although, I love their spaghetti mix! ;) I can get way better deals by shopping the sales and using coupons as opposed to just buy their generic brands.

    {sigh} Nope, WalMart and I do not get along well! :P

  8. I totally understand why so many people are anti-Walmart... but when push-comes-to-shove, their grocery prices are usually cheaper than the other stores in town. Money is so tight that I have to shop where it's the cheapest. 'Nuff said.

  9. Anne: I like to shop where it's cheapest too! I've found by using coupons, though, that I can actually spend less money at my local grocery store than I would have at Wal-Mart. Because even though the regular-priced items at my local grocery store are not great, their sale items on name brands are usually cheaper or as cheap as Walmart's off brands. So with a coupon, I'm getting a better product for less money, plus I avoided the Walmart shopping experience :-) (Plus in my experience, a lot of Walmart employees don't know their own company's policy on coupons, and sometimes won't accept them when there should be no problem!)

    You know what..I think I might do a little study of my own on Walmart vs. Giant Eagle sales to see if my thinking is really correct or not! I think that will make a fun post in the future :-)

    And I also shop at the really cheap stores like Aldis or Marcs whose prices are usually even cheaper than Walmart. Like I said, it's not that I'm just a grocery snob. lol...I just don't like Walmart!

  10. Hmm, I'm going to have to disagree with you about Walmart . . . I love it.

    I can get most items for much less than at other stores, and I happen to think the quality of their grocery items in particular is just fine. It helps in a tough economy to be able to save that much money. I would probably pay at least 1/4 to 1/3 over my current grocery budget if there were no Walmarts. And for those of us who have a hard time with coupons (that would be me), Walmart is really a time-saver.

    In all fairness though, I think our Walmarts are generally nicer than they are out East - we have alot of Super Walmarts and they really are nice here.

    There are always people with poor customer service skills at any business, and I don't think the customer service is really any worse at Walmart than anywhere else.

    I can't comment about the way the treat their employees since I don't know too much about that, but I've talked with one or two Walmart employees who are perfectly happy with the way they are treated. If any of their employees don't like the way Walmart treats them there is nothing saying that they can't look for a job elsewhere as well (though I know people need jobs, but they don't HAVE to stay there forever).

    As for Number Four, that's just smart business practice on Walmart's part, so I'm not sure you can blame them for that! :-) I usually keep a tally running in my head of how much everything costs so that I don't end up spending too much.

    LOL, I think we're just going to have to disagree on this one, Jess! :-) We'll just not talk about Walmart if we ever meet (ha!). I'm just teasing you. ;-)

  11. Callie: I was just going from what the past employees said on the documentary because I've never known anyone who has worked at Walmart, and I'm sure it was a little biased. I just don't like supporting a company that promotes using government-funded programs instead of paying more. The people who were interviewed were not just high school kids working part time or something, but they were a lot of single-parents and things like that.

    Also, as far as #4 goes, I'm not blaming Walmart, but I just hate that they do that. So that's why I don't like to shop there, I guess.

    Yes, agree to disagree! Haha..usually I think I share your viewpoints on most things, so I guess this is the one area that we don't see eye-to-eye :-)

  12. Well, I'm with ya on the government-funded programs - I dislike that attitude of having the government take care of people instead of promoting individual initiative. So yes, I agree with that. And I haven't talked to many Walmart employees either (one or two? I can't remember), but I do recall one employee at least telling my mom and I how she was pretty happy with her job. Maybe the next time I'm there I'll take a poll or something! LOL.
    Hmm, I didn't want the "can't blame Walmart for that" part to come across accusatory or anything - but I know most retailers do all kinds of research and come up with plans of how to lay things out to make people buy more, so I know it's pretty common. That's why they get mad at you if you take pictures in the store - they don't want their competitors getting any ideas!
    I knew there must be something, someday, that we disagreed on! Ha! Well, this one is pretty minor really, so I think we still score pretty high in like-mindedness. *grin*


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