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drunken monkey

I'd looked at this book and wondered if it was worth reading; thanks for writing about it. I think I'll pick it up before I go on vacation this month.

For clothes, I think that the reason Wal-Mart can't make inroads in this area is because unlike so many of the other departments, this is one that other retailers can provide better and cheaper. The clothing at Wal-Mart is not the least expensive option in the market, at least not in Canada. I can go to Old Navy and get basics like tshirts and underwear for about the same price. I can go to H&M and get fashion pieces for about the same price (and they do a better job of being on trend; there's always something about Wal-Mart's trendy items that seem off to me). Americans can go to Target and get both of those things, for about the same price. Why go to Wal-Mart, then?

The NYT had an interesting article about how Wal-Mart has gone wrong with their international efforts. I found the bit on the situation in Canada interesting.



Americans are funny that way - they want to shop at Wal-Mart to save money, but they don't want to look like they shop at Wal-Mart. And with Wal-Mart fashions ("there's always something about Wal-Mart's trendy items that seem off to me") you always will. We love our dirty little secrets here.

Our local newspaper ran a piece on Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market (essentially Wal-Mart's grocery chain) a couple of years ago. I remember how interviewees were (bragging? grateful?) that they could save $10 a shopping trip. I guess that's significant for many families, but to me it seems a small premium to pay to help prevent the spread of this behemoth. There are simply too many stories about their shoddy treatment of employees to ignore. I'd rather spend $10 extra today than see the average income in my area drop hundreds of dollars a month - or more - from the Wal-Mart influence.

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