Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Shapley » Mon May 26, 2003 11:41 am

Glenn,

I am aware of the quality issue, but I never thought to blame Wal-Mart for that, since quality was on the decline some time before Wal-Mart became a major player in our area. "They don't make it like they used to" was a common complaint for as long as I can remember (which, unfortunately, isn't all that long).

Internet sales and mail-order sales have long been used by retailers involved to "dump" merchandise they couldn't sell to people who had the opportunity to look at it before purchase. Jewelry is just one example. Also, the lesser quality stuff used to be sold by guys standing on New York City Street Corners. It still is, only those guys have a web-site, and are selling it to a lot more people than just the unsuspecting tourists who happen by their street corner.

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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Bones » Mon May 26, 2003 4:01 pm

"Also, the lesser quality stuff used to be sold by guys standing on New York City Street Corners."

You mean that $25 Rolex I bought from that guy at Times Square might be one of those "lesser quality" Rolex's? (Rolexes? Rolexs? Rolei?)

<small>[ 05-26-2003, 05:03 PM: Message edited by: Bones ]</small>
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Shapley » Tue May 27, 2003 9:43 am

Actually, No. Rolex has always preffered marketing their product through shady street corner retailers to reduce overhead. <grin>

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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Nicole Marie » Tue May 27, 2003 12:01 pm

Seems like the Evil Empire of Wal Mart is trying to expand further and enter the banking business. They want to offer loans and other services in banking to its customers. Now you can get diapers and that home owners loan in the same place - disturbing. But this may not be a good thing for consumers, if Wal Mart fails at banking they are not protected by FDIC - consumers will have to appeal on a state only level, and many consumers will not be protected the same way a "real" bank would protect their banking interests. Many states are blocking Wal Mart from even entering the banking business. Sears tried it in the 70's and it failed then - they were dipping into their banking divisions to make up for retail loss.

And in other news Wal Mart pays their female employees less then the male counterparts. Hmmm... now I really don't want to give them my business.

http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0305/23/ltm.12.html

Here's some links about the evil empire and banking:

http://www.msnbc.com/news/917319.asp?cp1=1

http://sacramento.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2002/09/30/daily16.html

<small>[ 05-27-2003, 01:02 PM: Message edited by: Nicole Marie ]</small>
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Shapley » Tue May 27, 2003 12:23 pm

Nicole,

Is the point that all lenders should be FDIC insured, or that you don't like retailers getting into the loan business. All retailers that issue their own credit cards are in the loan business to some degree, Wal-Mart apparently wants to expand the level of the loans, which they apparently in are in the financial position to do.

I won't bank with them, for reasons of my own. I'm sure there are some, particularly in these one-bank communities, that might welcome a little competition in the loan business, particularly if their leary of doing their banking with an on-line lender or a street-corner loan shark, which may be their only alternative.

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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Nicole Marie » Tue May 27, 2003 1:37 pm

I don't think they should be in the banking business at all. Stick to selling toliet paper. As for getting credit cards for a specific business - JCPenny, Wal MArt, Target cards etc. What a racket that is! They set extremely high interest rates. So if you buy toliet paper on the card you end up paying for it three times over. I think credit is a major problem in this country, if you can't afford it in cash then you shouldn't be buying it. With the exception of homes and cars, the average person couldn't afford a car or house out of pocket.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Jeff Dutton » Tue May 27, 2003 3:03 pm

So "buyer beware"! We have a free market economy. It may be a "racket" in your opinion for Wal Mart and Target to have credit cards, but it is up to you and me to make wise decisions. I would prefer to allow the competition in order to keep EVERYONE honest. If Mom and Pop have a better product and/or a better deal, then shop there. If Wal Mart is not FDIC insured I would never deposit my money with them, but if someone else chooses to do so, that is their business.

On the other hand, I agree 100% that people go WAY too far in debt. But that is not the fault of Wal Mart, Target, or any other business or lender. It is the fault of the individual. Nobody twists the arm of the person who charges his or her 20%+ interest credit card up to the max. It is a matter of personal responsibility.

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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Nicole Marie » Tue May 27, 2003 3:30 pm

I never siad it was the fault of the credit lenders. But they do make it to easy to get credit and people in this country view it as free money and abuse it. Teenagers can get credit limits of a few thousand, in college I was offered a credit limit of $5,000. Come on now! I was in college, I owned nothing and they want me to use this credit with a 23% interest rate. I'll be in debt enough after college due to my student loans. To many people abuse it and I feel it's due, in part, because it so easy to get a credit card in this country.

Japan is currently facing the same debt issues the US has been facing for years. US credit companies are offer the same easy credit to young people in Japan and these generations are now facing debts that they find difficult to get out of. It's happening every where and there needs to be some responsible control put on credit lending. I think it starts with teaching people responsible spending habits, and telling credit companies that not everyone should be eligable for a credit card.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Jeff Dutton » Tue May 27, 2003 4:20 pm

I agree that there needs to be more education about good spending (and borrowing) habits. Unfortunately, parents who have bad borrowing habits are often the main educator (other than experience).

I understand that part of the reason interest rates went sky-high in the late '70s was due to government efforts to decrease personal debt. That was nasty, but effective.

I'm not sure who should be telling the lenders to whom they can and cannot extend credit. To the extent that the lender assumes the risk, they should be able to lend to whomever they wish.

There is always the risk that people will overextend themselves, but lenders are in the business of making money. They don't want people to default, so they are generally careful to qualify their borrowers. However, in my opinion if a lender has a government bailout program as a fallback, they should be restricted appropriately in order to limit the extent to which the government would need to step in.

<small>[ 05-27-2003, 05:22 PM: Message edited by: Jeff Dutton ]</small>
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby dai bread 1 » Fri May 30, 2003 3:50 am

I hope you're all aware of the trap of compound interest. It's great stuff when you're an investor. When you're a borrower it's disastrous if you fall behind with your payments. Each payment collects interest, and the interest collects interest, and the interest on the interest collects interest........

Compound interest cost my grandfather his house, because he was silly enough to believe a relative who told him he could pay "as & when". Compound interest on a student loan was set to sink my son, so being aware of the trap, I paid it off for him. Beware!
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby barfle » Mon Jun 02, 2003 8:15 am

I've been on vacation, so this is really in reply to Shapley's post from 5/23.

When I was in high school, I worked at a literal "mom & pop" hardware store. And not very many people with decent eyesight call me "cute." We were open on the weekends and closed at 9PM during the week, so there really wasn't any good reason for someone to not be able to make it in if they found a need for something we carried. And we carried a heck of a lot for a 1000 square foot store. We could tint paint any color you wanted, we had toasters and nails and motor oil, and we cut and threaded pipe to length and had paint thinner in a 50 gallon barrel out back. The owner went around to all the housing developments (new ones were being built all around there in the early 1960s) and found out what kind of plumbing fixtures, locksets, and screen doors were being used and bought up a good stock of repair parts for all those types of regular repairs that he expected his local clientelle to be needing. He also was a member of a hardware cooperative, so he could order just about anything the big guys could, too.

He did a good job, and was competitive with a handful of large building centers that didn't last as long as he did. Eventually, he retired and sold the place. I ran across him one night at a chamber music concert, and he was with one of the wealthiest people in Orange County, so he did well in getting out when he did.

Yes, people smoked in his store, but they did that in just about every store in those days. They didn't have a cat, at least not one for the store.

Mom and pop stores can compete with the giants, but it takes work and homework.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Nicole Marie » Tue Jun 10, 2003 1:38 pm

They're doing it again. Censor Cosmo - don't they have better things to do?

http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/South/06/06/offbeat.wal.mart.mags.ap/index.html
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby bignaf » Tue Jun 10, 2003 1:44 pm

"That's to accommodate those customers who are uncomfortable with the language on some of the magazine covers"
that makes sense to me. i don't think the people who are comfortable with the language "have" to see it.
and they are not censoring, they are putting blinders on the cover.

<small>[ 06-10-2003, 02:46 PM: Message edited by: bignaf ]</small>
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Nicole Marie » Tue Jun 10, 2003 1:52 pm

What you see on the cover of Cosmo and the other mags is the same thing you see at the beach. And phrases like "Top 10 Bedroom Secrets" are not that big a deal. People need to lighten up and get over themselves. This article came from the "Offbeat" section of CNN where they post stories that show the ridiculous. What about the customer who wants to see the headlines? It's not like it's Playboy.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Jeff Dutton » Tue Jun 10, 2003 4:20 pm

Originally posted by Nicole Marie:
What you see on the cover of Cosmo and the other mags is the same thing you see at the beach. And phrases like "Top 10 Bedroom Secrets" are not that big a deal. People need to lighten up and get over themselves. This article came from the "Offbeat" section of CNN where they post stories that show the ridiculous. What about the customer who wants to see the headlines? It's not like it's Playboy.
...in your opinion.

To which you, like WalMart, are entitled. When you sell these magazines, you can display them as you wish.

Nicole, why does someone else's non-invasive, absolutely harmless action bother you so much?

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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby OperaTenor » Tue Jun 10, 2003 5:19 pm

Originally posted by Nicole Marie:
It's not like it's Playboy.
...which is not like it's(Playboy's) Hustler. So, if we're going to draw a line, where should it be drawn?

IMHO, if a retailer starts playing moral censor, I start looking for other places to shop. It is their right to arbitrarily choose what to sell as much as it is my right to take my business somewhere else.

<small>[ 06-10-2003, 06:20 PM: Message edited by: operatenor ]</small>
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby bignaf » Tue Jun 10, 2003 5:21 pm

Originally posted by Nicole Marie:
People need to lighten up and get over themselves.
obviously you are trying to force your views and sensibilities on other. unlike wal-mart who are a lot more liberal.

<small>[ 06-10-2003, 06:23 PM: Message edited by: bignaf ]</small>
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Wed Jun 11, 2003 10:01 am

I'm quite comfortable with the notion of masking the covers of magazines by the checkout stands - I'm even more comfortable with the notion of keeping magazines in a magazine aisle instead of at the checkstands.

I'm not really interested in what other people read, and I'm fairly relaxed about what gets published in Cosmo or anything else. It's siting pictorial covers with clearly adult content in the checkstand lane that can be annoying. I'd just as soon not deal with "What's that word, Gramma" from the cover of Cosmo. It's occasionally a word I'd just as soon not define for a 7-year-old.

The maskage of the covers is a compromise to avoid enriching the vocabulary and knowledge base of underage customers, while keeping the magazines easily available to the adults who want them. Positioning a magazine at the checkstand is a highly favorable sales location, and the cover mask is clearly marked with the magazine title - anyone who wants the magazine can just pick it up. Masking the cover seems a reasonable position for a family marketer like Wal-Mart to take, in that the magazine keeps the checkout line location, and the adult content is less visible for those who'd as soon not see it.

I've always thought censoring was control of what was PUBLISHED. Decisions by a vendor to carry, or not carry, a given publication, or decisions on how to display publications in their stores, don't fit that definition. However, a publisher surely considers market preferences when they make editorial decisions about magazine content.

I'm sure that Wal-Mart pays attention to the opinions expressed by customers; if a lot more complaints come in about the cover masks than come in about the adult covers, the masks will come off. Conversely, if a lot of customers express appreciation of the masks and only a few complain about them, the masks will stay on. I tell retailers what I like and don't like and I encourage everyone to do the same.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Marye » Wed Jun 11, 2003 10:51 am

What about the customer who wants to see the headlines?
Presumably, if it is Cosmo, we already know the headline - ten top ways to do something ... ;)

I rather agree with everyone on this board. Wal-Mart makes its choices, so do I.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Jeff Dutton » Wed Jun 11, 2003 1:00 pm

Originally posted by operatenor:
It is their right to arbitrarily choose what to sell as much as it is my right to take my business somewhere else.
Exactly!!
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