Goodness gracious. Getting on my soap box now.
It's a free country, thank goodness. When it's your money, you can choose to buy what ever where ever you want, as long as it is legal. When it's my money, allow me the privilege of doing the same.
Folks love bashing Walmart but they provide inexpensive goods that increase the standard of living for the public they serve. The fact is that for every dollar that a family saves by shopping at Walmart, it is another dollar they can spend on food or books for their children. Walmart bashers never consider that fact, do they?
I read an economic study some where that Walmart lowers the prices on consumer goods by about 5% on average. That lowers the overall inflation rate of the consumer price index. They put downward pressure on everyone. If you are a consumer, that is great news. But if you are a competitor, that is bad news.
Here's a study that shows a new Walmart Supercenter forces other grocery stores to lower their prices. Before Walmart Supercenters that sell groceries, large grocery store used their pricing power to increase their % profit by over 50% over a 10 year period. Every consumer benefits when a Walmart opens, even if you don't shop at a Walmart.
"Over the ten-year period from 1991 to 2001 margins increased in supermarkets as the price of food sold at supermarkets grew at approximately twice the rate of the Producer Price Index (PPI) for food. Over this period the PPI for finished food increased by 13.9 percent while the CPI for food at home increased by 27.7 percent. Profit margins for supermarkets also increased over the same time period, with Kroger’s operating profit margin growing from 3.3 percent to 4.7 percent and Safeway’s operating profit margin growing from 3.5 percent to 7.9 percent.
Various studies have demonstrated that food items at WalMart are 8 to 27 percent lower priced than at the large supermarket chains, even after discounts for loyalty card and other special promotions are taken into account. After entry by Wal-Mart, conventional supermarkets typically decrease their prices (or do not increase them as much as in non-Wal-Mart markets) because of the increased competition."
Folks, there is no free lunch. I would bet that the same folks that complain about Walmart also complain about the overall cost of living. Here's a news flash. The price you pay for goods is
the cost of living. Competition is the American way.
As the above economic study shows, without Walmart or a store like Walmart, life would be more expensive in the USA. To see the life without a Walmart, consider what is happening with air travel prices and service as there are fewer airlines. Now consider that prospect with something that is as basic as food and clothing.
BTW, I did ace my economics class at Stanford. We cannot choose what we like about the free market (better and cheaper products) and then complain about the negative results that affect us personally. If they are competing within the law, it is their right to do so.
Getting off my soap box now.