I've read very little about the economic issues with Wal-Mart and really haven't formed an opinion. But there are 2 reasons I do not shop at Wally World:
the WalMart cult
1. I totally believe they are a cult. A destructive one? Probably not. It's just their cultiness that irritates me. They do a Wal-Mart cheer every a.m., and all the employees must do it. The management is constantly asking employees pointed questions to determine if they still have a totally positive attitude about the company--they do not tolerate "independent thinking" or suggestions about improvement if it means making a negative observation. I saw someone get fired once when the mgr. asked in a staff mtg how they could improve business and he said the prices were too high. They press staff to wear their employee ID badges out in public and to do informal witnessing, I mean, create opportunities to indoctrinate the public. They press the employees to invest in company stock and have an entire brainwashing scheme about how they will all be millionaires because of the profit sharing. They press employees to love bomb new staff and to brainwash the new ones into the profit sharing doctrine. Not that this isn't a successful business method, it just annoys me.
2. The Wal-Mart by me is a totally sucky place to shop. It is not in a bad neighborhood but since the store created a bus line from the hood, it is scary. I've seen plenty of break-ins to parked cars in progress when I drove by. Mini gangs just walk around their lot after dark with crowbars and steal stereos. There is often someone being taken out of the store in handcuffs for shoplifting. Inside the store is messy, has the worst quality crap, totally disorganized, and has extremely rude staff. It is loud too--tons of announcements and people shouting. In the fish section, there are lots of floaters. There is no benefit to shopping there. The prices they advertize are only pennies less than Target, and Target has the sense to actually stock the items they put in their ads instead of never having them on hand. The line at customer service is terribly long and the staff at the desk won't hesitate to take personal calls or stand there and chit chat while ignoring customers.