Comments about ‘Letter: Why we need to avoid Walmart’

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Published: Saturday, March 29 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Bountiful, UT

Interesting comment.

My experience is that WalMart has many of the same products as both local "Mom and Pop" stores as well as other big chains. So the idea of cheap labor to make the products being a WalMart issue is incorrect.

Does WalMart sell generic food products? Yes, but so does Safeway and other supermarket chains. So that argument is moot.

One MAJOR reason that WalMart is able to sell products cheaper (thus putting local shops out of business) is that buy buying in great volume, they pay less, therefore they can sell for less.

Nevertheless, if you want to pay more for things and ensure that you paycheck doesn't go as far, enjoy.

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

No question that Walmart has issues. Last Thanksgiving, it had a "food drive" for its employees, which symbolized its low wage business model.

Walmart has, however, been doing some social good.

One, it is forcing its cosmetic suppliers to end the use of toxic chemicals in various make-ups and beauty products, which benefits women's health. Two, it has implemented programs to ensure better clothing factory worker rights/safety in developing countries after the Bangladesh fire disaster. No other retailer has power and might in the supply chain to force such change.

Three, it has revolutionized retail building energy and environmental impacts with the increasing use of renewable energy (e.g., wind and rooftop solar) and savvy building construction (e.g., hand driers over paper towels; natural light) to drastically cut its carbon footprint. It's also implemented fuel efficiency measure for its trucks and safe climate-safe refrigerants in its retail outlets.

Some may scoff as such things, but given Walmart's size and clout in the marketplace, it offers opportunities to enact global good where others have to follow suit. I personally support these initiatives.

Nan BW
ELder, CO

I agree with this letter. Abby's critique of Walmart is accurate and astute. I have shopped at Walmart a few times in the past decade simply because I needed items not available at local stores, but I avoid Walmart as much as possible. The large Walmart that is near a town where I used to shop extensively has caused more local businesses to quit than I can name. I would not consider buying an appliance there, or anything of significance. The way Walmart treats employees is deplorable, as stated in the article. Let's quit entering Walmart doors entirely!

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

Abby should get a refund on her college tuition because she didn't learn much. Walmart provides less affluent members of our society access to goods they otherwise may not be able to afford. There is a reason very few poor people shop at Nordstrom's stores but they do shop at Walmart. To demand people not shop at Walmart is to deny poor people access to goods only the rich can afford!

Moab, UT

Fortunately Abby. Walmart is not like Obamacare. We are not forced to shop there.


And this is what a college education gives us?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Stores are in business to make a profit, including Wal-Mart. The reason that I don't shop at Wal-Mart is that I want profits to remain in Utah. If I shop at Peterson's in Riverton, a family owned grocery store, the profits made by that store help the community. If I buy at Wal-Mart, the profits leave Utah, sucking dollars out of our local economy.

Mom of 8
Hyrum, UT

I appreciate the idealism, and I hope she can hold on to it. I hate Wal-Mart, but it's my only alternative. If I have only $60 to replace a microwave, I have to buy the cheap one at Wal-Mart. My noble intentions can't go any further than what's in my bank account, because I shouldn't be using that credit card.

I've done extensive market research for my family and have priced shopping at Wal-Mart vs. shopping elsewhere. Right now I do 1/3 at a local grocery story, 2/3 at Wal-Mart because I save $150 each month buying detergent, toothpaste, TP and cereal at Wal-Mart.

Now, $150 may not sound like much to the letter writer, but for a family my size it's the difference between paying the car insurance and not. We never eat out, we can't afford movies outside of Netflix, and we live bare-bones, but we live. Regrettably, we have to do that living through buying at Wal-Mart.

If mom-and-pops can help me, great. But so far they simply can't.

Durham, NC

A recent survey of national grocery chains found Wallmart came in 55th - out of 55 in terms of customer satisfaction. And yet, Wallmart flushes. What that points to is that many either have to, or are willing to sacrifice quality in exchange for cheap prices.

I choose not to shop at Walmart. I don't think of it as an evil company - I actually sit on an energy advisory board on renewables with a member of the Walmart executive staff. Walmart is extremely dedicated to renewable energy and is aggressively working to make their stores as carbon neutral as possible. The family has also done much for the arts and education in their home state.

But "cheap" comes at a cost. It comes at a cost in quality. It comes at a cost of service. It comes at a cost of US jobs and local businesses. It is each individuals rights and responsibility to weigh those cost in their own mind. To me personally, that cost is too high.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Walmart is Communist China's greatest creation! Through Walmart Communist China is able to finance weapons of mass destruction, armies, and navies. So naturally, the right wing posters, like Thid/MM would adore and worship it.

Isn't it about time we treat Walmart as the enemy of the state that it truly is? I say all companies that have operations in China be hit with a major tax increase. Hopefully we can force them to move operations back here (or at least out of a communist regime) or force them into bankruptcy. Wouldn't that be grand? I'd love to see Walmart gone!

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT


Mark today on the calendar.

I agree with both Real Maverick AND Mike Richards!

Mike is Correct in buying local to keep the profits local.
Mavis right in that WalMart [and other businesses] are fueling and funding COMMUNISTS in China!

I am sick and tired of hearing the bemoaning of "Socialism" from posters who are in fact Fund and Growing COMMUMISM.

Salt Lake City, UT

Mike Richards, so do you shop at Lowes, Home Depot, JC Penney's, Macy's, Smith's, Ace Hardware, Shopko, Nordstrom's, MacDonald's, Dillard's, Target, or many other stores that don't keep their "profits in Utah"? Walmart has prices that most of need to survive. Walmart has the exact same products as any other store. It just seems to be OK to target Walmart. The new store on Parleys has provided many needed jobs and has cleaned up a building that was deteriorating into disrepair. They have been admirable neighbors. If I spend $100 at the local store then go to Walmart it costs me $79.00 for the exact same items. The money I save allows me to shop neighborhood stores and put more of my hard earned money back into the economy. I think Walmart shoppers provide a better return to our economy than you do.

Salt Lake City, UT

Peeps at local Walmart $1.08

Same Peeps at Fresh Market today $1.99

So are the peeps at Walmart communist? And the other Peeps are Tea Party?

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

I seldom shop at Wal-Mart, but I also don't support those who seem to hate them.

Remember back when we had small towns (and small mom and pop stores)all around the country?

The "malls" showed up and basically eliminated most of the older downtown stores.

I don't remember much "outrage" from the masses then.

Now, here comes Walmart with an even cheaper (from consumer point of view)model and people seem outraged.


liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

It seems our country has made a pact with the devil, we get low cost consumer goods, but the middle class, and manufacturing have been out sourced over seas!

Salt Lake City, UT

Walmart is convenient, in my area it's clean, and the prices are low. Those shopping in Walmart run the spectrum from wealthy locals to not-so-wealthy immigrants. We all want to make our dollar go further and judging us is sanctimonious. I often buy from local mom-and-pops in order to help them, but that won't change the reality. Retail patterns change and book stores, DVD rentals, milk man delivery, doctor home visits, typewriters, film cameras, blacksmiths, etc go out of business if they do not adapt. The good old days won't return, so think of a better alternative to Walmart.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I don't shop at Walmart, but this anti-Walmart rant used the worst logic I've ever heard. And there are so many REAL reasons to frequent local family stores.


Unless the product is home-made, mom-and-pop stores sell the same products as Walmart or any other retailer. And I've never heard of a home-make microwave. The guy selling them isn't out making microwaves in his garage... all microwaves are made in Mexico and China (whether you purchase it from Walmart or Joe's microwave store).


Walmart doesn't employ the people who make microwaves. GE, Westinghouse, Frigidaire, etc, employ the workers (so if there's child labor involved... Walmart didn't force GE to hire children to make the microwave).

In reality... there's more chance of children (family) working at a family operated store than there is at Walmart. I know, my family ran a business and I started working there very young (for almost nothing).

But there are GOOD reasons for skipping Walmart and going to a local family store...

If we like having that store around... you have to shop there once in a while or it will be gone.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Thid Barker
"Walmart provides less affluent members of our society access to goods they otherwise may not be able to afford."

But it's the same cheap goods that keep workers wages low thus increasing the number of people who can't afford much than there would be if everyone in that sector was paying employees like Costco. So there's not a very simple answer there.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

to LDS Liberal

Practicing for this coming Tuesday are you?

I have my own reasons for not shopping at Walmart. Without divulging details, one is substandard service which caused a major inconvenience and some financial trauma then shafting me when I complained. Two, There hijinx in getting new stores. Why build one at 93rd & 9th when there is more than ample space on 94th & 7th? Not to mention, there is already one on 75th & 13th.


I've almost never shopped at Walmart.In many cases, the vaunted savings aren't as great as claimed, and, yes, often you can buy the same product for the same price, or less, w'o going to Walmart.

I still recall my wife buying a cell phone at a Walmart store assuming it was usable in Utah. It wasn't! and they didn't want to give a refund. On close examination it stated on the packaging the phone could only be used in certain states. Why did Walmart sell it in Utah then? Why did they fight my wife over the return? Fortunately she is a fighter when it comes to getting her rights, and they begrudgingly gave her money back.

I recall that K Mart used to sell goods made in Taiwan and other alternatives to Communist China and that Walmart deliberately places itself near to existing chain stores to do them out of business.

The problem is that most people would rather save a buck than almost anything else so W'Mart thrives.
OTOH domestic industry might sometimes try harder. Can't someone manufacture American shoes at less than $160 a pair? I'd pay eighty - but $160?!

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