Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wal-Mart Gives Consumers a $400 Million Holiday Gift This Year, Exceeding Its 2007 Charitable Gifts; Wal-Mart Deserves the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

WAL-MART PRESS RELEASEWalmart announced Friday another delivery of weekly savings to help families across America cut the cost of Christmas. Operation Main Street initiatives have saved shoppers an estimated $300 million thus far this holiday season. In the remaining days for holiday shopping, Walmart projects it will save its customers another $100 million over and above its every day low prices.

Weekly savings beginning in stores on Sunday, Dec. 14 underscore Walmart’s promise to provide shoppers with savings that matter when they are needed most. With Christmas two weeks away, Rollbacks and more new savings are focused on gifts and preparing for the holiday, from gifts for him at $10 and $20 to entertainment products and brands, including a 2GB Toshiba laptop and 32-inch Sharp LCD HDTV both priced at $398 starting Sunday.

According to Forbes, Wal-Mart was the most generous corporation in America in 2007, giving away $301 million in cash gifts to the Children's Miracle Network, Feeding America, The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, the United Way of America, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Wal-Mart was almost twice as generous as the most profitable company in the world, Exxon, which gave "only" $173 million in 2007, and was #3 in the Forbes ranking.

MP: Wal-Mart has done more to benefit local communities and consumers around the country with $400 million of savings just during this holiday season (over and above Wal-Mart's already every day low prices) than through its generous charitable giving during the entire last year of "only" $300 million.

By itself, Wal-Mart's $400 million "holiday gift" to American consumers around the country from extra-low prices will probably make it the most generous, charitable corporation in the U.S. this year, and that's not even counting the estimated $300 million it will give away to charities in 2008 (assuming it matches last year's gifts). Gotta love "Saint Wal-Mart."

Here's a case for Wal-Mart getting the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize (it's too late now, but maybe 2009?), for lifting so many people out of poverty, benefiting so many poor people with "everyday low prices," selling prescription drugs that are almost free ($4), lowering inflation, and creating more than a million jobs.

19 Comments:

At 12/14/2008 9:48 PM, Anonymous Ralph Short said...

Mark, there is one thing about this we can depend upon. This will not be recorded in the main stream media nor will the chosen one and his groupies mention it. At the same time the multitudes will shop at Walmart while they vote for the people who vilify them.

Pretty pathetic in my view.

 
At 12/14/2008 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enter Walmart haters.

It continues to amaze me how people beat up on Walmart. I do not enjoy the shopping experience in general but I love the prices. Even if you are well off the savings are not anything to turn your nose up at. I do well and continue to shop at Walmart - I can use the savings to invest, to spend, etc.

I do think a lot of the bashing of Walmart works because some of their stores are simply miserable to shop in. The decent ones are in more rural areas where the parking lot is never more than 10-12 cars deep.

 
At 12/14/2008 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God for WalMart - they don't do everything, but what they do, they do well.

Put this story into the "Why local businesses choose to fail, while blaming the WalMart and the big box stores for their demise" bin.

The hardware store owner in a nearby town complains about WalMart, Home Depot and Lowes for his losing business. The owner and his wife abuse my wife and I simply because my son is an assistant manager for WalMart in a city 40 miles away.

Several years ago, the nursing home built a new assisted living facility and needed appliances - cooktops, ovens, dishwashers and clothes dryers/washers for each of 22 units. The local hardware store refused to give a discount and refused to deliver them. My wife sought bids from both Home Depot and Lowes - not only did she get a significant discount, but also got free delivery and help with installations.

The owner of the hardware store was pissed - they felt they were owed the business because they were local. Never mind the lack of service and lack of discount. Never mind the nursing home is a non-profit that's strapped for funding.

I hope to see the hardware store go under - with that attitude, it won't be long.

What's odd, is that virtually every business in that small town has the same attitude - which explains why their business district is more or less dead.

You can go ten miles in the other direction and find a town with a relatively vibrant business district with two hardware stores that are both extremely helpful and pride themselves on service.

 
At 12/14/2008 11:43 PM, Anonymous poor boomer said...

I eagerly await Wal-Mart's entry into the housing sector, which sorely needs some WMT-style price rollbacks.

 
At 12/14/2008 11:46 PM, Anonymous poor boomer said...

Ralph -

We have a new mayor like that. I think he coined the phrase:

Veni, vidi, vilifidi

 
At 12/14/2008 11:55 PM, Anonymous poor boomer said...

Anonymous said:

"Thank God for WalMart - they don't do everything, but what they do, they do well.

Put this story into the "Why local businesses choose to fail, while blaming the WalMart and the big box stores for their demise" bin."


As a woefully undercapitalized owner-wannabe, I see an obvious problem not of the local business owner-s choice:

How the heck to you out-compete Wal-Mart on price when WMT has you beat by a light year on cost?

While I agree that far too many business owners have fumbled the ball on service and other areas on which they COULD successfully compete, for many consumers (e.g. me) price is non-negotiable.

Since I am essentially fixated on price, it's really hard for local businesses to attract me away from Wal-Mart - and I can't blame the locals for not being able to outcompete on price.

 
At 12/15/2008 2:25 AM, Blogger 1 said...

"Wal-Mart was the most generous corporation in America in 2007, giving away $301 million in cash gifts to the Children's Miracle Network, Feeding America, The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, the United Way of America, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation"...

That was the main reason I dumped my Wal-Mart stock...

They are giving away shareholder money to these questionable outfits...

 
At 12/15/2008 7:10 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

I don’t like to be a Wal-Mart basher because I like a lot of what they do, but they are not exactly a model employer. The Nobel Peace prize deserves someone who obeys the law. Maybe their $2 billion fine can find its way to GM's coffers :)

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Labor has fined Wal-Mart $135,540 in civil money penalties for violating the youth employment provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The department's Wage and Hour Division found that Wal-Mart allowed teenage workers to operate hazardous equipment resulting in one teenager being injured while operating a chain saw.
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2005)


Did they change since 2005? It doesn’t look like it. Here's a 2008 article.

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. broke Minnesota labor laws, a state judge ruled, handing the world's largest retailer its third straight defeat in a wage-class action trial and the possibility a jury may order it to pay $2 billion.

The company required hourly employees to work off the clock during training and denied full rest or meal breaks in violation of state laws, Minnesota District Judge Robert King Jr. ruled yesterday. He said Wal-Mart broke labor laws more than 2 million times and ordered the company to give employees $6.5 million in back pay.

"Wal-Mart's failure to compensate plaintiffs was willful," the judge wrote. "Wal-Mart was on notice from numerous sources of the wage and hour violations at issue and failed to correct the problem."
The lawsuit is one of more than 70 cases, including class actions, or group suits, in which Wal-Mart has been accused of wage law violations. The retailer lost a $78 million jury verdict in Pennsylvania in 2006 over rest breaks and unpaid work and a $172 million verdict in California in 2005 over meal breaks. Both verdicts have been appealed.
"They are involved in more litigation over alleged violations of wage and hour laws than any other company," said professor Carl Tobias of the University of Richmond School of Law in Virginia. "They might want to reevaluate their policies."

King's decision means Wal-Mart will face a second trial in Minnesota state court, this time before a jury. Minnesota labor law allows a fine of up to $1,000 per violation of wage and hour rules. With 2 million violations, that may total up to $2 billion. At the Oct. 20 trial, jurors will determine how much each violation is worth and consider punitive damages.

Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., may appeal, said a spokeswoman.
The lawsuit was filed by four women on behalf of about 56,000 Wal-Mart and Sam's Club employees.
(Source: Bloomberg News / July 2, 2008)

 
At 12/15/2008 8:48 AM, Blogger RightMichigan.com said...

Mark, this doesn't count as "giving." If it isn't a government program offering the services then the charity doesn't count and the corporate donations are utterly worthless.

You're a savvy guy. You should know better!

--Nick
www.RightMichigan.com

 
At 12/15/2008 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walt G.,

Wa!

 
At 12/15/2008 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I shop at as many mom and pop traditional stores as I can. I don't like sending more and more money to Communist China via Wal*Mart. Keep making the Chinese stronger and richer, you morons... I only do WM if I have no other choice, and pretty soon there will be no other choice.

We are turning into a "few employer" country, we are hooked on low quality and sometimes dangerous goods from China. More and more food is coming from polluted China. Much apple juice is made from Chinese apples. Many frozen vegetables are coming from there as well. Where do you think the polluted rain and water end up? All of those heavy metals and such? In the food that is grown there. Eat it up, people, eat it up.

So let's all sing the WM employee song, since pretty soon there will be no more industrial OR technology jobs left on these shores, thanks to globalism and all of this so called efficient economics that Perry likes to talk about.

Now make so mistake. I am no Democrat or socialist, and I am against high taxes and over regulation, but I am also against wanton corporate greed and short sighted outsourcing and massive deindustrialization. When does all of this become a security concern, when all of the heavy manufacturing that won WW2 is in Asia and all of the technology that brought us such prosperity is also over there? Only a few corporate execs will be living the American dream and the rest of us can eat grass? At some point it stops making sense.

 
At 12/15/2008 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How are consumers "saving" when they buy crap they don't need like $400 LCD T.V's and laptops?

They are being enticed to spend with deep discounts and the illusion of "saving".

 
At 12/15/2008 2:47 PM, Blogger bobble said...

"By itself, Wal-Mart's $400 million "holiday gift" to American consumers around the country from extra-low prices will probably make it the most generous, charitable corporation in the U.S."

i'm glad to hear that they gave $300 mil to local charities. that's great.

but, the $400 mil christmas savings are just marketing. maybe they want to clear out inventory, who knows. LOL, it ain't charity, and its a bit disengenous that they imply that it is charity.

 
At 12/15/2008 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark,

Dream on re the Nobel Prize for Walmart. But the secular-socialists in the USA and their fellow partisans in Europe and Sweden will have a collective heart attack.

So I say, dream on, since its still legal in our grand Republic.

John

 
At 12/15/2008 6:05 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"The Nobel Peace prize deserves someone who obeys the law"...

Well walt g if that's the case then explain Arafat and Gore both winners...

One was mass murderer and the other is running an ongoing fraud...

"I don't like sending more and more money to Communist China via Wal*Mart"...

Are you saying those, 'traditional' stores aren't buying goods from China?

"If it isn't a government program offering the services then the charity doesn't count and the corporate donations are utterly worthless"...

What?!?!

"How are consumers "saving" when they buy crap they don't need like $400 LCD T.V's and laptops?"...

Thanks for that bit of socialist engineering anon @ 12:34 PM...

Unreal!

"but, the $400 mil christmas savings are just marketing"...

So does that mean you are disappointed bobble that Wal-Mart isn't charging more?

 
At 12/15/2008 7:04 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

1,

I said deserves the prize. And I want to make it clear that I think Wal-Mart has many practices that other businesses should use. If you combined Deming, Taylor, Ford, Toyoda, and Wal-Mart's strengths you would have a company that could not be beat.

 
At 12/16/2008 10:56 AM, Blogger 1 said...

"I said deserves the prize"...

I know what said walt g but what I'm saying is that law abiding people don't get the Nobel Peace prize, just thieves, murderers, and seditious swine seem to make the final cut for the Nobel...

 
At 12/16/2008 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the number one reason my friend suffered two heart attacks and lost his marriage before the age of 30?

Working as management for Wal-Mart.

Nobel Peace prize worthy indeed.

 
At 2/09/2009 12:05 AM, Anonymous Gifts Ethnic and Regional said...

Hey Mark,
Sounds great that you know all about your stuff! Its intriguing when you speak to someone who knows what they speak about, as oppose to reciting it from someone else they learned from. I can see you are very experienced and with your credentials it is quite obvious that you will make it far in life, or have already made it far in life :)

 

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