April 2006 Archives

Wal-Mart protest photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/walmartmovieThis is a good one...

Wal-Mart, the largest seller of rifles and shotguns in the United States, has announced that it will stop carrying firearms in about one-third of its stores, essentially those where there's not much of a market.

The chain, most likely trying to match some of the appeals of Target, recently opened a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Plano, Texas, an upscale suburb of Dallas, where it offers microwbrews, sushi and coffee. This is the kind of market where guns apparently don't really fit into the picture. (Yes, even in Texas!)

I've always considered Wal-Mart hypocritical for selling guns but not explicit-labeled CDs (edited versions are offered instead). Additionally Wal-Mart does not carry FXM or Maxim, but does stock R-rated movies. Strange country values...

The National Rifle Association isn't too pleased with the gun decision, worried that rural areas that only have a Wal-Mart might be cut off from gun access! Heaven forbid someone might actually have to drive 30 minutes or even an hour to purchase a firearm! But even in all seriousness, their concern is unwarranted, mainly because these are the areas where Wal-Mart will continue to sell guns (unless they completely discontinue them chain-wide, which I doubt). Furthermore, if for some bizarre reason Wal-Mart were to end gun sales where there is a demand, some mom-and-pop store would take over.

The United States and firearms... Always a fun topic.

Further Reading:

This is a followup for "Ultra-Capitalism Strikes Again" and "Ripped Off, Cut Off, Drove Off."

That's right, Steve and Barry's at the Carousel Center (and many other locations) currently has its entire store reduced to $6.95. That includes pants, shorts, sweaters, and even coats. A recent pair of pants I purchased was manufactured in Botswana. A previous pair was made in Malawi. Apparently African labor is even cheaper than that of the Pacific Islands, allowing for these ridiculous prices.

However, it's possible to have such cheap production in the United States too... Just not with people, but with chickens instead. Wegmans, the Rochester-based, growing super-regional supermarket chain is being accused of abusing its 750,000-plus chickens that live in cages on its chicken farm in Wolcott, New York. No, they don't whip them or anything, but instead force them to live in ridiculously overcrowded cages where they often get their heads stuck, fall and rot in manure, etc.

Wegmans 39-cent eggsTwo years ago Wegmans was chosen as the "Best Company to Work For" by Fortune Magazine (last year they ranked #2). This obviously doesn't apply if you're a chicken though. The result of the abuse? Wegmans can afford to have sales such as a dozen eggs for 39 cents. That's 3.25 cents an egg. Wegmans' excuse for continuing caged-hen farming is that otherwise their eggs would be too expensive for their customers.

Apparently Wegmans doesn't understand its market very well, namely that of the suburban middle-to-upper classes. Many of their stores are essentially resort destinations, offering products such as truffles for $399 per pound. Those customers not wishing to pay the extra dollar (if even) per dozen, can always visit Aldi or Save-A-Lot. In fact, they probably already do.

Wegmans Cruelty (I wouldn't visit around meal time)

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