I happened to notice a story about protests against a new Walmart in Washington D.C. Here's a link to the protest website. As a regular Walmart shopper, I find hatred of the company silly and in some cases downright stupid. Since it's the largest retail chain, almost everyone knows people who hate Walmart and refuse to shop there. I break-down Walmart-haters into four broad categories. Some people fall into more than one.
1. Ideological haters. Although there are some on the right, ideological Walmart hate is found mostly on the left. For example, Walmart's anti-union stance is an obvious negative to the left, whereas it is a positive on the right. I find ideological dislike of corporations generally pretty irrational. If you look at most huge companies, you are probably going to find practices you don't agree with for whatever reason. Is that a good reason not to shop there? Not for me it isn't. I view people who make shopping decisions based primarily on ideology as naive and silly.
2. The well-off. By well-off I mean people who have enough money that they shop wherever they like best, without really caring about price differences. They regard Walmart and most discount retail stores as unnecessary to their lifestyle. They wouldn't be caught dead in Walmart because they think it's for poor people.
3. Snobs. These differ from the well-off in that their dislike of Walmart is based on their perception of who shops there. Unlike the well-off, these snobs could stand to save some money; but they'd rather pay more because they just can't stand the idea of shopping at Walmart.
4. The ignorant. These Walmart haters will tell you that it sells nothing but cheap junk. They claim they'd rather pay a little more for quality products. I laugh at these people who apparently don't know that Walmart carries name-brand products just like other retailers, if that's what you are looking for. But if you are dumb enough to pay more for toilet paper, paper towels, pet food and numerous other identical products, feel free. I'm sure the higher-priced retailers appreciate your ignorance.
Unlike Walmart-haters, I love Walmart and have to laugh anytime someone starts ranting about how bad the company is. I live in a small town with one grocery store. It's a very nice, well-stocked store. But it's expensive. About ten miles away is a regular Walmart, unfortunately not a supercenter. Within the past year it added produce to its selection, so it has pretty much everything but butchered meats and deli. The selection of grocery items isn't anywhere near as good as the supermarket, but it has many of the items that our family buys. Here's just a couple of examples of why I love Walmart.
Breakfast cereal. The cereal I eat costs about $5.50 at the grocery store. At Walmart it's $4.
Apples. I eat at least one apple every day. At the grocery store apples go for around $1.69 to $1.99 a pound. Apples are heavy. At Walmart I can get a bag of around a dozen apples from about 2.75 to 3.95 for the entire bag depending on apple variety.
I know there are many poor people in Washington D.C. They'd benefit greatly from having a Walmart to shop at. Hopefully they won't be stupid enough to join in union-organized protests.