Friday, December 02, 2005

Poll Says Wal-Mart is Bad For America

According to Reuters:

Some 56 percent of U.S. consumers think Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is bad for America, according to a Zogby International poll released on Thursday by one of the retailer's most vocal critics.

The national poll -- commissioned by, a union-funded group that has been pressuring Wal-Mart to raise employee wages and benefits -- surveyed 1,012 randomly chosen adults on their attitudes toward the world biggest retailer.

Respondents were asked to choose which of two statements more closely fit their personal opinions.

The majority, or 56 percent, picked: "I believe that Wal-Mart is bad for America. It may provide low prices, but these prices come with a high moral and economic cost for consumers." Thirty-nine percent agreed that "Wal-Mart is good for America. It provides low prices and saves consumers money every day."
It is interesting to see how national campaigns from groups like Wake Up Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart Watch and local efforts from groups like ours, have so thoroughly affected the image of the world’s largest retail. But the question still remains whether the 56% that disapproves of Wal-Mart also refuse to shop there? People increasingly may dislike Wal-Mart’s treatment of its workers or the fact that it buys so heavily from China but we wonder whether the lure of bargain still outweighs these concerns.

What we're sure of is that Wal-Mart will critique this survey as biased and, admittedly, they will have a point. However, this is the same company that touts its own biased polls that say New Yorkers unequivocally want Wal-Mart. The world’s largest retailer needs to learn it can’t have it both ways: either its surveys are just as unreliable or Wake Up Wal-Mart’s is just as valid.