One of the fun things about living in Asheville is all the protestor’s around. One common thing I’ve noticed about most of the protestor’s is their passion. Another thing I’ve noticed is they tend to let their passion outrun their intellect. asda.walmartone.com login
Take WalMart for example. While I’ve not noticed any protestors standing outside the WalMart Super Center here in town, almost everyone I meet is anti-WalMart.*
I think that here in Asheville, like much of America, it’s become “fashionable” or “cool” to be anti-big business. You know, kinda like the people that claim to be vegetarian – not because of health or ethical reasons, but – because all their friends are doing it.
Sure, when a WalMart Super Center comes to town, there’s some negative things happen along with some positive things. But I can sort of imagine there was some good and bad with the arrival of first the railroad and the Sears Roebuck Catalogs.
Both instances put a damper on the local business owners. The small mom-and-pop stores that figured out ways to adapt survived the arrival of the railroads along with the cheap northern made fabrics and wares that the boxcars carried. The same with the Sears Roebuck Catalog. The small store owner who insisted on carrying on business as usual soon closed up the store.
The same will happen in pretty much any town that good ol’ Sam’s family come to live in. The store owners who will take an objective look at the situation and figure out ways to adapt and live along side the giant will not only continue to do business, they will thrive. The ones that want to keep to the maxim, “we-never-did-it-that-way-before” will go the way of the horse and buggy. Makes me wonder…did people in Asheville get all up in arms when the first auto dealership was opened and the ol’ grey mare was put out to pasture?
Take a look at some of the things that the big-bad-wolf named WalMart has done.
After Katrina in September 2005, WalMart donated $20 million in cash, 1,500 truckloads of free merchandise, food for 100,000 meals and not one employee lost their job!
In October 2005, WalMart announced that it was taking several steps to help improve the environment. Some of the initiatives are:
Spending $500 million a year to increase fuel efficiency in their truck fleet by 25%
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in seven years
Reduce energy use at stores by 30%
Cut solid waste from US stores by 25% in three years
They also take care of their workers
On March 20, 2009, WalMart announced that it is paying a combined $933.6 million in bonuses to every full and part time hourly worker of the company. Also, an additional $788.8 million in 401(k) and stock purchase plans as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in merchandise.