Friday, April 07, 2006

Wal-Mart: "Pre-Restitution"?

Normally when someone commits a financial crime part of the punishment involves restitution: the compensation awarded the crime victim that attempts to make him whole for his losses. Well, Wal-Mart is taking this principle to a new level.

As the SI Advance reported yesterday, in a followup to the Financial Times story the day before, the company is looking to pay out grant money to small retailers in and around their new stores in order to help these little guys to compete against the store that is trying to take away all of their business.

If all of this sounds crazy it's because it really is. And the retailers on Staten Island certainly get the picture Listen to Vincent Campitiello, a local pastry shop owner: "It's great propaganda, but how can it be true? Once they open they're going to destroy other businesses."

Wal-Mart is what it is and no new wrapping is going to change this. When the "present" is opened up what you have is a small business destroying behemoth. As the Advance accurately points out, Wal-Mart "has been responsible for hundreds of small business closings." And, it is the store's "all-in-one retailing" model that is the cause of these destructions. No grant money will ever change this and those who believe it will are truly gullible.