Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wal-Mart Myths and Realities

In yesterday's NY Sun, the paper had an Op-ed piece that defended the Walmonster against the charge that it imports too many of its products from China: "We do not need another outlet for cheap Chinese crap," one guy said at last month's public gripe session, summing the zeitgeist: That too many of Wal-Mart's bargains are imported." The author then proceeds to stick a pin in this argument by pointing out that importing cheaper goods is part of the successful adaptation America has made in a post-industrial economy.

We don't think that this is such a bad argument, we just don't think that the whole "Chinese goods" animus is the ultimate reason why so many folks are not fans of the giant retailer. As we have said before, there are a plethora of reasons why people oppose the Walmonster-and for the Alliance it's all about neighborhoods and the importance of independent stores. The company's union practices, however, certainly adds to the antipathy.

But the impact of the Walmonster on the neighborhood is the reason why the store was rejected in Staten Island and, hopefully why it will be rejected in Monsey, NY. And that ain't myth, but the reality of the judgement of the folks in small towns and neighborhoods all over the country.