Wal-Mart | TeenInk

Wal-Mart MAG

By Jeneen G., Belmont, MI

     Success is earned by effort, perseverance and sacrifice. Wal-Mart is no different; its massive success started the same way. Today, however, it thrives on the sacrifices of its workers and suppliers. Even consumers suffer because of Wal-Mart, which is the world’s biggest company and growing fast. We need to do something to get fair treatment for its workers and to find a way to keep this retailer from harming other companies. Wal-Mart does not necessarily need to be stopped, but it does need to end its harmful operations.

Wal-Mart causes many problems for the economy. A recent USA Today article reported that 70% of its merchandise is imported from China. Consequently, fewer sales of U.S. goods hurts our economy. Much of Wal-Mart’s infamy comes from the way it stamps out competitors. According to one Michigan news source, when K-Mart filed for bankruptcy in 2002 and closed over 600 stores nationwide, the major cause was pressure from nearby stores, mainly Wal-Mart. Studies have shown that when Wal-Mart moves into a town, the life expectancy of local businesses decreases.

You would think that Wal-Mart would take care of its suppliers, but it doesn’t. They often pressure suppliers to lower prices, which causes suppliers to lose money. If a company refuses to lower the price, Wal-Mart will buy elsewhere. According to Fast Company magazine, Vlasic, who supplies Wal-Mart with pickles, was forced to lower the price of their 12-pound pickle jar to $2.97. Sales soared, but because of the low price, Vlasic lost millions.

Steve Young, Vlasic executive, recalled asking Wal-Mart for help. “They said, ‘No way,’” Young remembers. “We said we’d increase the price and they said, ‘If you do that, all the other products of yours we buy, we’ll stop buying.’”

Wal-Mart also makes bad decisions when paying employees. Jon Lehman, a former Wal-Mart store manager, suggests people “look behind that yellow smiley face and see what’s really happening to workers.” A Wal-Mart employee typically earns $8.23 an hour, while the average supermarket worker makes $10.35, according to a report by a California congressman. These low wages often force workers to turn to welfare including government housing and medical care, as well as free school lunches for their children.

Wal-Mart officials often permit employees to commit unfair or even illegal acts. Over the last few years, well over 100 unfair labor practice charges have been lodged against Wal-Mart around the country, with 43 charges filed in 2002 alone, according to a report for the World Trade Organization. Business Week reports that Wal-Mart pays women less than men. The New York Times found that often Wal-Mart does not promote women equitably. Each year, Wal-Mart is sued 4,700 times, an average of 13 times each day, according to the Cleveland Scene. Most of the problems could be cleared up if Wal-Mart stopped worrying about who is the cheapest to pay and decided to hire people for honest wages.

Wal-Mart is one of the worst places you can spend your money. You may find low prices when you shop there, but you are ultimately paying a higher cost for the terrible things you are funding. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the world, and it will take something big to make them change. Avoid shopping at Wal-Mart. Combined, consumers like you and I can make the big change happen.



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This article has 16 comments.


i love this so much!

zgull said...
on Feb. 16 2017 at 9:05 am
zgull,
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
very very very very very very bummy indeed

Todd said...
on Jul. 20 2014 at 11:10 pm
I was a Refrigeration Technician working on WalMart's Refrigeration and Air Conditioning some years ago and I had the task as the assistant to the Service manager where I worked. Walmart told us what to charge them on service calls and installing equipment in their stores. I told Walmart that isn't how we worked that we charge market prices for the areas in which the service call was placed. That was the free enterprise system and we are not working for $14 less per hour on your equipment and the demands you place on us 24 hours a day. We had a company meeting and dropped the 11 Walmart stores we were doing for them. They even own the company that makes the control system, computers, etc. that run all the refrigeration and air conditioning systems too and you have to buy all the parts from them for no markup on materials.  I myself hate Walmart, I dont shop in their stores. I try to buy all American made products at the local stores that give you better service. We need tariffs again for foreign products coming into the USA. Walmart hurts this country.

Sarbear GOLD said...
on Apr. 3 2010 at 7:16 pm
Sarbear GOLD, Milan, Ohio
10 articles 4 photos 489 comments

Favorite Quote:
--Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away from them and you have their shoes.
--When life gives you lemons, squirt them in people's eyes.

lol yeah...

on Apr. 3 2010 at 6:17 pm
Lola_Sveroski, Manschef, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 35 comments

Favorite Quote:
I am an author. Normal was out of the question by the age of three.

Ahh yes... WalMart does just kinda SUCK.

Sarbear GOLD said...
on Apr. 3 2010 at 12:10 pm
Sarbear GOLD, Milan, Ohio
10 articles 4 photos 489 comments

Favorite Quote:
--Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away from them and you have their shoes.
--When life gives you lemons, squirt them in people's eyes.

i agree... this is a really great opinion essay and i like how you presented the issue. i hate how ppl just randomly go to walmart like its some kind of amusement park though! we know someone who does that, don't we lola??

on Apr. 2 2010 at 10:06 pm
Lola_Sveroski, Manschef, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 35 comments

Favorite Quote:
I am an author. Normal was out of the question by the age of three.

I thought it was an absolutely brilliant display of a persuasive article. I certainly don't want to go to Wal * Mart. Not that I wanted to anyways... I mean, why's everyone like, "I'm bored... Let's go to Wal * Mart!"?

on Nov. 22 2009 at 10:26 pm
Elizabethm BRONZE, Hulbert, Oklahoma
3 articles 0 photos 28 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe. –Albert Einstein.

Oops. I meant when Jeneen, refers to local business closing. Sorry!

on Nov. 22 2009 at 10:00 pm
Elizabethm BRONZE, Hulbert, Oklahoma
3 articles 0 photos 28 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe. –Albert Einstein.

Obviously the above comment was directed at 'Alex C.'

I loved this article, very true, very good.

Awesome writing, good job!

on Nov. 22 2009 at 9:58 pm
Elizabethm BRONZE, Hulbert, Oklahoma
3 articles 0 photos 28 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe. –Albert Einstein.

Purchase of foreign goods= higher local costs= lower possibility of a company/business affording it= Economic degradation. (LOCAL as in THIS country as in that's-the-reason-for-the-recession) Best option in the short-term when your consumers are ignorant? Yes. In the long-term survival of your business? Maybe, most likely not. Survival of the fittest? NO. Not when you play dirty. NOT when your business model is only to make money for yourself. It's not because of too many regulations and laws, it's because of too few. Sure other companies should adapt, and they are. It's just not easy, again, the ignorance issue. It may be easy for YOU to say that. But YOU aren't an owner of a local business. Are you? YOU aren't trying to make an honest living. YOU shop at Wal-Mart and probably (I'm not assuming anything) Voted/Would vote Republican. When Annabelle refers to local businesses, that's referring to local chains, and stores that aren't chains. They've been hit hardest. So when you do shop at any sort of a chain store, let it be clear to you, you are NOT funding your own economy, you are NOT helping the economy. Why is that important? Because the local economy IS your livelihood, it is your neighbors, family, and friends. Let me ask you this, when we run out of fuel, and have no method of transportation, how are they going to transport goods from China? Do you think perhaps they'll use advanced Chinese technology? Because they, unlike 'us', are not ignorant?

on Oct. 10 2009 at 5:37 pm
SilverAngel SILVER, West Carollton, Ohio
8 articles 0 photos 63 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is an open book, we take the journey until the end." ~Me

Of course! Go to K-Mart!

on Sep. 21 2009 at 8:05 pm
morgie7<3 PLATINUM, Tremont, Illinois
34 articles 0 photos 93 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
~Michael Jordan

Wow i can tell u really know a lot about what your writing about and i appreciate seeing that!!! :) My family shops at Walmart all the time because it has everything for great prices...but this article gives me something to keep in mind. Great work (:

on Sep. 13 2009 at 2:05 pm
Annabelle7614, Nunyabusiness, Georgia
0 articles 0 photos 98 comments

Favorite Quote:
This is my favorite personal quote.

I would like to read your comment, but I don't understand it. Could you please explain it in different words so that I can know what you are saying?

Thanks!

Amber1994 GOLD said...
on Jul. 11 2009 at 11:57 pm
Amber1994 GOLD, Roanoke, Illinois
15 articles 6 photos 47 comments
WOW great job! this is why our family shops at meijer.

Alex Coleman said...
on Jul. 11 2009 at 12:05 am
Alex Coleman, Mesa, Arizona
0 articles 6 photos 19 comments
This is an excellent article, however I feel that I need to repudiate many of these claims:

Purchase of foreign goods: Capitalism in its most basic form, a higher quality good that can be purchased at a lower price will obviously be the best option for a company.

Pressuring surrounding stores: An example of survival of the fittest: other companies have to adapt and evolve to survive, they have been coddled by anti-monopoly laws, and now by bailouts too much. If a company can't make it, why are taxpayers called on to support shoddy business with ineffective plans? This practice violates one of the tenants of capitalism,that the government is not to be involved in private businesses, something which has clearly been thrown to the wind, with Obama, and the executive branch becoming the virtual CEO, and board of directors of a major company: GM.

trouble BRONZE said...
on Jul. 9 2009 at 7:26 pm
trouble BRONZE, Mason, Tennessee
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
great work Jeneen