Wal Mart Raises Ire
March 24th, 2009 at 11:39 am by Anne Schieber under Uncategorized
As I expected, there was strong response when I reported last night that WalMart’s food prices came in 28% lower than the competition.
GVSU Marketing Professor Ben Rudolph told me about this love/hate relationship that America has with its largest company:
“…there are so many people that hate Wal Mart, actually. People can get bargains and actually raise their standard of living by shopping there and if you’re having a hard time making a living, it’s wonderful what they do. On the other hand if you’re affluent, it is sort of bare bones.”
Here’s one letter from a viewer:
Your story on the price of a list of groceries at various stores in an area of Grand Rapids just ran on the 5 o’clock news. What you failed to mention is that, although WalMart had the lowest price for the items on your shopping list, they use a BIG hammer to force their suppliers to reduce their prices down to a point that very nearly leaves the suppliers with no profit. The other stores in your story, since they are smaller and have less “buying power,” do not have the access to a “big hammer.” Years ago, WalMart made it a point to advertise that most of their products were “Made In The USA.” Just go in any WalMart store now, pick up ten items at random, and see where they were made. You will find that most of the items were made in China. Although manufacturing employees in the US must become comfortable with earning less of an hourly wage than what they have been enjoying for years, US employees will not be willing to accept the 10-to-20-cents-per-hour that Chinese employees receive. The bottom line is that WalMart will do anything to maximize the difference between their buy prices and sell prices for all of the products they sell (the WalMart bigwigs are just as greedy as any of the bigwigs on Wall Street). The citizens of the US who have understood this reality about WalMart have already stopped giving WalMart business. Many citizens of the US could care less–they want the LOWEST PRICE irrespective of other considerations. The rest of the citizens of the US have not yet realized what WalMart is doing. It is VERY UNFAIR for your station to characterize WalMart as being the low-cost source when you look only at the bottom line. If you are not willing to look at the TOTAL PICTURE, do not do the story. You have a responsibility to your viewers, and to the public in general, to provide an ACCURATE picture of EVERY story you do!
My response, I play no favorites. Our survey looks strictly at price. There are other factors that may be more important to shoppers and the retailers know that, I believe. We will be staying on top of prices on all things and I welcome your suggestions for future comparisons.
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