Saturday, April 04, 2009

Wal-Mart Facts

According to Forbes, Wal-Mart was the most generous corporation in America in 2007 (probably the world too), 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.

This week,
Wal-Mart announced that it: Stepped up charitable giving globally from February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009 with more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts, an $85.6 million increase over its global giving in the previous year. Last year, Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart Foundation gave millions of dollars to numerous national and local charities including the Institute for Higher Education Policy ($4.1 million), YouthBuild ($5 million), Children’s Miracle Network ($4.7 million), The Salvation Army ($3 million), Special Olympics ($3.6 million), the National Urban League ($1 million) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation ($3.4 million).

Other Wal-Mart Facts:

1. Wal-Mart directly employs more than 2 million associates worldwide, including more than 1.4 million in the United States. Through its relationships with 56,000 U.S. suppliers, Wal-Mart spent $200 billion on merchandise in 2007 and indirectly supported more than 3 million American jobs. The 4.4 million Wal-Mart-related jobs represented 3.2% of total U.S. payroll employment in 2007.

2. Wal-Mart is a diverse employer, employing more than 165,000 Hispanics, 251,000 African Americans, 39,000 Asian Americans, 5,000 Pacific Islanders, 16,000 Native Americans, 355,000 associates age 50 or older, and 856,000 women (61% of Wal-Mart's workforce).

3. Wal-Mart insures more than 1.1 million associates and family members making it among the nation’s largest providers of private sector health insurance. 93% of Wal-Mart associates reported having some form of health coverage – either through Wal-Mart or another source.

4. Wal-Mart offers the opportunity for a career: More than 75% of Wal-Mart's store managers started as hourly associates.

5. In 2007, independent research from Global Insight shows that the reduction in the price level due to the presence of Wal-Mart translates directly into savings for consumers amounting to $287 billion in 2006. This corresponds to savings of $957 per person and $2,500 per household, regardless of where consumers choose to shop. That is, even consumers who shop at Target, Best Buy or Office Depot save money from the presence of Wal-Mart, due to the competitive pressure of Wal-Mart's "Everyday Low Prices."

Here's a case that Wal-Mart deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.


At 4/04/2009 9:07 AM, Blogger Shakes The Clown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4/04/2009 9:24 AM, Blogger OneCleverCookie said...

Yeah, but you're missing the point, Grasshopper. Wal-Mart is not giving to the charities that the Socialist want to fund, i.e. SEIU and their chosen cronies.

At 4/04/2009 9:28 AM, Blogger Shakes The Clown said...

I read something a few years back that when a Super WalMart (with groceries) enters a market the price of groceries go down to such an extent that it translates into four free weeks of groceries during the course of a year.

That was just groceries. Imagine if every the average household does save $2,500 a year just by the presence of WalMart in the marketplace. With a weekly grocery bill of $250 that is ten weeks of free food every year. What politician could give every family such a wonderful gift?

We could also add that WalMart was first on the scene with food and supplies after Hurricane Katrina.

From Jonah Goldberg’s book “Liberal Fascism”..

“For years both Wal-Mart and Microsoft boasted that they had no interest in Washington. Microsoft’s chief, Bill Gates, bragged that he was “from the other Washington,” and he basically had one lonely lobbyist hanging around the nation’s capital. Gates changed his mind when the government nearly destroyed his company.

In response, Gates hired an army of consultants, lobbyists, and lawyers to fight off the government. In the 2000 presidential election, Wal-Mart ranked 771st in direct contributions to federal politicians. In the intervening years, unions and regulators began to drool over the enormous target the mega-retailer had become. In 2004 Wal-Mart ranked as the single largest corporate political action committee."

That passage stuck with me. Even if you don’t want to play the big government game they will find you and force you to ante up. Everyone must bow down and pay homage to big government. You can’t afford not to be a lobbyist. You can’t afford not to buy off your congressmen because your competition will. Even actors that pride themselves on being outside the beltway are dragged kicking and screaming into the game.

Great blog Mark. You are an inspiration.

At 4/04/2009 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not the job of Wal Mart's CEO
to give the shareholders money to charity.

At 4/04/2009 10:11 AM, Blogger like such as said...

but it is the CEO's job to lay a foundation for the future health of the company by building goodwill and brand name recognition.

I'd like to second "shakes the clown"'s sentiment - this is a great blog. It has really helped me.

At 4/04/2009 10:51 AM, Blogger QT said...

Shakes the Clown,

Right on target.

The same also applies to the individual. Can anyone remain above office politics and succeed? "How to win friends & influence people" has not been a best seller for the last 70 years for nothing.

At 4/04/2009 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here in Mexico, Walmart is a great competition-maker. Before Walmart came to our town of Cordoba, Veracruz, we had a handful of big stores who more-or-less fixed prices on many items (it is an old tradition in Mexico, dating from the Aztecs)
Walmart doesn't play this game, and so prices everywhere started dropping when WM came to town.

At 4/04/2009 5:09 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Their other actions are what keep the horns on Bentonville.

That 93% figure of health insurance? I'd wonder how much of that is them leeching off of government programs versus the pared-down private programs.

How about the cash used towards their "labor relations" and "development" efforts? That is, the thugs who come in to shove the store down the community's throat or to kill off a labor union attempt a la Jonquiere, Quebec and Colorado.

How about the repurchase/return rates due to the shoddy quality of the products?

No thank you, Bentonville. You're not welcome. You have too much to fix, and too much influence from China.

I've known of diverse employers that are quite large that still manage humanity.

At 4/04/2009 5:44 PM, Blogger QT said...

Sounds too big to fail! Can you imagine the size of the bailout/"government backed loan" that would be required to support this behemoth.


Inhumanity (Oxford definition: brutal, unfeeling, barbarous) seems to be a bit of a stretch. So Wallmart doesn't have a union and although the wages are decent they don't provide comprehensive health benefits. Can't really see how either rings the bell?

What references from credible, unbiased sources (ie. something other than Walmart Watch) can you offer to substantiate your claim? Would like to understand what has lead you to this conclusion.

At 4/04/2009 6:25 PM, Blogger OneCleverCookie said...

Sethstorm said
That 93% figure of health insurance? I'd wonder how much of that is them leeching off of government programs versus the pared-down private programs.

How about the cash used towards their "labor relations" and "development" efforts? That is, the thugs who come in to shove the store down the community's throat or to kill off a labor union attempt a la Jonquiere, Quebec and Colorado.

How about the repurchase/return rates due to the shoddy quality of the products?

At 4/04/2009 7:26 PM, Blogger 1 said...

Funny how sethstorm is long on the anecdotal and short on the factual...

one clever cookie asks the following (rhetorical?) question: "How about the repurchase/return rates due to the shoddy quality of the products?"...

Interestingly enough I've quit using Costco for that very reason...

I've only had to return one electronic item (could it have been merely the odd chance happening?) to Wal-Mart whereas it seemed that Costco employees seemed to be rather careless repetitivly with their handling of electronic items...

At 4/05/2009 5:44 PM, Blogger QT said...


I guess sethstorm does not remember when american cars were so bad that one owner set his cadillac on fire in front of the plant nor the recall on rancid Starkist tuna.

Chinese quality will improve. The American economy, however, has been shedding manufacturing jobs for the last 40 years as it shifts to a service based economy. Upside: better air quality & much safer jobs for Americans; downside: the transition for the least skilled, least educated workers is a big challenge.

At 4/05/2009 7:42 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

WalMart used to promote Made in USA products when Sam Walton ran the company -- and built the power house it is. But the next generation decided to go Made in China in a big way because of the advantage of price. This price advantage is the result of Chinese currency manipulation, forced labor of prisoners, environmental degradation, export tax credits, pervasive counterfitting, out right tariffs and a growing array import non-tarrifs such as non-sensical inspections.
Appaarently QT and Shakes have not read the newly issued National Trade Estimae Reportm on Foreign Trade Barriers for 2009. The section on China alone will back you away from the glitter of WalMart's product price offering.

At 4/06/2009 4:49 AM, Blogger OA said...

People vote with their dollars with Wal-Mart. For all the claims of shoddy imports, they carry mostly branded products. Their low end products aren't as good quality, but for some people that's a trade off they are willing to make in droves.

And I've had enough GE, Zenith, Hamilton Beach, Sunbeam, other kitchen electrics, and other crappy US products that I don't buy those anymore. Well some of those went out of business so I couldn't if I wanted to.

You guys want unions, then open a union shop that can compete.

At 4/06/2009 9:39 AM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

sethstorm always attacks the quality of "cheap" wal-mart products. Two things, 1) Unless your buying Great Value brand products you are buying the same stuff sold in every other store. 2) Not all of us have trust funds to afford whatever expensive crap it is that you buy

At 4/06/2009 9:42 AM, Blogger Thomas Blair said...


pervasive counterfitting
What is this--putting something together backwards, pervasively?

No one with even a passing knowledge of counterfeiting and its implications on foreign trade would make this mistake.

That list sounds like you copies it from Wal-Mart Watch.

At 4/06/2009 10:45 AM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

Thomas Blair,
Thank you for the opportunity to correct counterfeiting and it's pervasivness in China. No, I did not "copies it" from Wal-Mart Watch. Here are to better ways to phrase what China is doing in the "copies it" trade.

From the 2009 Report to Congress of U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission: "China made scant progress in reigning in rampant counterfeiting and piracy that deprive legitimate foreign businesses operating in China of their intellectual property, while they provide an effective subsidy to Chinese companies that make use of stolen software and other advanced technology".

From the National Trade Estimate Report on Froeign Trade Barriers by the United States Trade Representative: "First, the lack of IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) remains a major challenge, as counterfeiting and piracy remain at unacceptably high levels and cause serious economic harm to U.S. stakeholders the economy".

At 4/08/2009 9:32 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

That person who torched their Cadillac probably bought it on the proverbial "wrong day".

What you're thinking is "high-end" today was middle-of-the-road and US made.

Well, that's what makes Sam's version good and the successors unmentionably evil.

We wouldn't be hearing as much about unions if they cared to be the "Buy American" store that Walt built. They'd be helping our nation, not undermining it.

My support for that company died with Sam Walton. Now, I look forward to the day it is humbled by our nation.


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