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View Full Version : We'd be better off if Wal-Mart owned *everything*


Iamme
3rd March 2005, 08:59 AM
I kind of think we would. The idea for this thread came to me a couple minutes ago as I heard Neal Boortz say that Wal-Mart is trying to excercize police powers yet again in trying to confiscate private property in Colorado, for one of their stores. This is a subject in itself. But for now, I am going to concentrate on the ongoing debate as to whether Wal-mart stores are good for communities or not. (If you want to focus instead on iminent domain issues, that's up to you...or start a new thread if their already hasn't been one.)

I was in a local hardware store the other day and concidered the reality of how much higher priced *the very same product* is than what is being sold at Wal-Mart. This is nuts. What a goofy system we have where you go one place and the product costs $X...and you go somewhere's else and the *the very same product* might cost $2X!!! That's nuts.

This is the year 2005 people, not 1875. Can't we figure out some way as to create equality in pricing? And the solution to me seems obvious. Simply allow wal-Mart to grow and take everything over. Forget *anti-trust*.

Now, before you jump all over this post, consider that I would also insist that the government , in allowing Wal-Mart to do this, set guidlines for Wal-Mart pricing. They could not simply allow Wal-Mart to buy up everything, and then jack-up the prices. Ohhhh noooo. No. The goverment would make them sell products at prices reflective of what they are charging now.

Do you realize how much money we could save? All product distribution would come and go from only a few places. All correspondences would only be to a few places. Heck...after thinking of this further, perhaps the government could put in a clause that says that when Wal-mart profits reach a certain level, that they must lower their charges even further by passing along their savings to the consumer.

I like this idea, don't you?:D (smiley in anticipation of arguments.)

aerocontrols
3rd March 2005, 09:05 AM
Or, you could go to Wal-Mart for your shopping and never have to face the local hardware store pricing, and let me also choose for myself which store I prefer to visit.

Unlike you, I am not so much bothered that a smaller store has more overhead, and thus higher prices.

PogoPedant
3rd March 2005, 11:30 AM
I'm fairly certain that you're describing communism. It doesn't work. Sorry.

aerocontrols
3rd March 2005, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by PogoPedant
I'm fairly certain that you're describing communism. It doesn't work. Sorry.

It could have worked, if it wasn't for those meddling kids.

http://www.rowanatkinson.org/images/roles/scoobietoon.gif




On a side note, wasn't there another reply here earlier? Something saying that what's good for China is bad for the West, overall, and expecting others to make the argument that it's not a zero sum game?

MattJ, making the pie higher.

rustypouch
3rd March 2005, 12:32 PM
To use the hardware as an example, I prefer to shop somewhere that has employees you can find, care about their jobs, know where everything is in the store, and can actually give good advice on whatever project is being worked on.

kimiko
3rd March 2005, 12:41 PM
There's always buying stuff online; they have even less overhead!

aerocontrols
3rd March 2005, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by aerocontrols
On a side note, wasn't there another reply here earlier? Something saying that what's good for China is bad for the West, overall, and expecting others to make the argument that it's not a zero sum game?



Never mind. I was getting my threads (http://www.randi.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=53455) confused.

aerocontrols
3rd March 2005, 12:43 PM
Originally posted by kimiko
There's always buying stuff online; they have even less overhead!

I've found Wal-Mart to generally be cheaper than online shopping, probably because it costs extra to bring stuff right to your door.

Of course, Wal-Mart's online store is quite thrifty.

roger
3rd March 2005, 12:45 PM
So, your reasoning is that unfettered capitalism and competition has produced extremely low priced goods with efficient distribution, therefore we should kill off unfettered capitalism and competition, replace it with monopolistic restrictive government control, so we can have extremely low priced goods with efficient distribution.

Whaaaa? :confused:

Charlie Monoxide
3rd March 2005, 01:05 PM
This is really economics 101, supply and demand. Any store is free to set their own prices. If the customers stop coming then you need to do some adjustments (price being just one parameter).

I hate the predatory practises and union busting that Wal-Mart does. I'm especially irked at the local tax breaks that are given to Wal-Marts to open, and their subsequent closings after the tax breaks end. IMHO Wal-Mart as well as other chains have sucked the lifeblood of many towns and cities historic shopping areas. Yes, I know we all migrated to the suburbs and love those ubiquitous strip malls.

Still business is business.

Charlie (not really saying anything) Monoxide

Ladyhawk
3rd March 2005, 01:15 PM
If price were the only issue that consumers were concerned with, than the 'let Walmart take over everything' approach might not seem too exaggerated.

But, the truth is that many people place almost equal value on things like:

* selection
* customer service
* location
* convenience (hours of operation, for example)

There is a WalMart not far from me and I tend to purchase mostly cleaning and household products there along with personal care items. While they tend to have the lowest prices,

* I end up waiting 20 minutes in line to check out
* A certain brand is there today, gone next week
* I always have to look for a sales clerk to help me

* The stores are too large. Not the kind of place you can just run in and run out of quick.

Hokey as it may sound, I've often frequented local businesses even though they're more expensive because they're closer, they carry more of what I want and they usually recognize me. My local ACO Hardware person knows far more about the best cleaning product to use on a stain or what paint to use for what purpose than anyone I've ever talked to at a WalMart.

Number Six
3rd March 2005, 01:41 PM
I agree that stores an be too big. I can't speak for all Wal-Marts but the nearest one to me is way too big. It is a big pain to get in and out and consequently I don't go very often.

And they've added a big food section too. I don't get this at all. If Wal-Mart wants to sell groceries too and have separate stores for them then fine. I may shop there depending on if it's convenient, cheap, etc. But to add a big grocery section to an already huge store just doesn't cut it for me. I go grocery shoppng every single week and the last thing I want to do is have to wade through a million non-food items every single time I go.

So I do my weekly grocery shopping at a a grocery chain but even it is getting too big, going from food to non-food instead of the other way around like Wal-Mart. More and more when I go I'm walking past bath towels and grills and all this other stuff. I like big grocery stores if they're big because they have a large selection for my weekly food purchases but not if they're big because they're trying to sell me all these other things when I'm doing my weekly food shopping.

hgc
3rd March 2005, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by Iamme
...

This is the year 2005 people, not 1875. Can't we figure out some way as to create equality in pricing? And the solution to me seems obvious. Simply allow wal-Mart to grow and take everything over. Forget *anti-trust*.

... Just put it in your next 5-year plan, Stalin.

Iamme
3rd March 2005, 03:29 PM
(rustypouch)

To use the hardware as an example, I prefer to shop somewhere that has employees you can find, care about their jobs, know where everything is in the store, and can actually give good advice on whatever project is being worked on.

-----------------------------------------------------

Do you really believe what you are saying, or are you using a cliche from ages past?

I live where we still have the mix. The mix of having places like Wal-Mart Super Center, Target Superstore, Menards huge home building center...yet have places like Thompson's hardware, Elliott's hardware...and many many other mom and pop small businesses.

But to be honest with you? I can't recollect where any of these places has provided the information that you don't seem to think is available at Wal-Mart or Menard's, let's say.

At one time, that used to be true. These large retail giants were known for hiring kids out of school who were lucky if they knew what the store had on their shelves...let alone the intracacies of each product or helpful tips. But times have changed. Take Home depot; they feature instore demonstrations even.

I would like for you to provide me with some concrete examples of what you are talking about. I am not being overly testy, as I once took your position myself. I can see how you might think that if Wal-mart sold tropical fish, for example, that their help wouldn't be able to answer the questions that the ma and pop tropical fish store could. Well, years ago, I'd agree with you...but I think now that from the experiences I have had, that they would hire and school people in knowing something about what they are selling. Also, because we are in the computer age now, it is too easy to get lmost any information you really need to know.

After all; if this did not happen?...If the Super Centers were *not* helpful?...what would happen is that ma and pa businesses would actually start to thrive, once again, if the demand was there for such services.

Obviously they aren't thriving well enough, where Wal-Marts are... and many businesses are scared ******** when they find out Wal-Mart is coming to town. They know that their loyal customers who appreciated all that useful free help simply will run to where the price is the cheapest. And that is a fact. If you go to our Wal-Mart Super center (has groceries also) on a weekend?...it resembles a bustling city inside!

This is getting lengthy, but I'd like to add one more thing; I'd like to see Wal-Mart take over supply houses. Those places are rip-offs. Those are the places where the professional goes. Where they have all those pricey tools hanging on the walls, that nobody ever seems to buy. They lure in the pro with their freindly service people, have chairs at the counter, and may have bowls of popcorn out, and they may feature a yearly 'feed' for their patrons. A seemingly $29 part for something costs like $150 at these places!

CBL4
3rd March 2005, 04:31 PM
Services varies from store to store and city to city. If we are talking hardware, Walmart clearly sucks. Home Depot tends to be bad. Lowes is mediocre to bad. Local hardware stores vary tremendously. In Eugene, Oregon there is a local hardware store, Jerry's, which has a store bigger than most Home Depots, great service and not too bad prices.

When you receive help from someone at Jerry's, they put their name and phone extension on the product you buy. If you have problems installing a door, you can call the guy who sold it to you. Not only is this helpful, it is great incentive for the guy to give you good advice.

They also care about their employees. They send their floor managers (e.g. plumbing) to the same manager training that a moderate sized software company did.

CBL

Tmy
3rd March 2005, 04:51 PM
The problem with walmart is that their size causes them to have a greta influance over other companies. They are so big that they get other compaines to supply them with a lower whoelsale price. They even get music companies to change the content of CD's!! Its kinda scary.