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?