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Letters to the Editor

Wal-Mart benefit

June 6, 2007

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To the editor:

The city is always talking about being broke, and yet they spend thousands of dollars fighting Wal-Mart on the new store they want to build. This store would put a lot of people to work (maybe not at a great salary, but at least they would have a job).

Look at all of the revenue that it would bring into our city. Sales tax having to be paid by out-of-towners as well as locals. Additional business in our town helps us grow. We are no longer a little town. We are growing by leaps and bounds with new residents. Why not with businesses?

Wal-Mart is like TV; you can always turn off TV if you don't like it. You can do business with someone else rather than Wal-Mart if you don't like them. Also, other than the specials at the end of every aisle (the hook), Wal-Mart does not always have the best price.

Remember the consumer always benefits from competition.

Freda Hickam,

Lawrence

Comments

coneflower 7 years, 6 months ago

The writer says "Remember the consumer always benefits from competition."

This statement contradicts everything else in her letter.

We consumers need more choices - not more Wal-Marts.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

"Wal-Mart does not always have the best price." EXACTLY Certainly do not always have the best products for the money. Two very good reasons to stop shopping Wal-Mart as this household has done. Yes consumers can survive without Wal-Mart.

Ms. Hickam: Ever heard of Economic Displacement? It produces a negative economic growth. When a city has limited retail dollars all new retail development is NOT good. The current market is over saturated by around 30% according to some experts our city government paid to have a look around.

Eileen Emmi Jones 7 years, 6 months ago

"Wal-Mart is like TV; you can always turn off TV if you don't like it."

Especially because it is as small as a TV and can be invisible if you want it to be.

blackwalnut 7 years, 6 months ago

But Freda, competition is exactly what Wal-Mart seeks to eliminate in every way they can think of. Do a little reading up on the company.

Rightytighty 7 years, 6 months ago

West lawrence has made there decision on the matter no one is going to stop complaining about it until they decide to put it else where.

RKLOG 7 years, 6 months ago

"Wal-Mart is like TV; you can always turn off TV if you don't like it."

Except my TV doesn't devour local businesses or lower community living standards. I guess I should have bought it at Walmart.

blackwalnut 7 years, 6 months ago

Doesn't anybody have a tattered old copy of the Wal-Mart movie they could send this poor woman?

temperance 7 years, 6 months ago

I love letters that are comprised entirely of assertions. Did Wal-Mart pay her to write that?

I tried Ms. Hickam's magic trick while driving through Missouri this weekend. I just pretended the speed limit sign was a TV that I could simply turn off.

And I got a big fat speeding ticket.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 6 months ago

Much has been written lately about our drop in sales tax and about the Wal Mart that is going to be shoved down our throats. I'll bet if research was done, it would be clear that much of our retail sales are being lost to the Legends. It's not far, and many of our out-of-town shoppers are probably going there instead. So our answer to that is to build another Wal Mart? I'm real sure this is going to tear shoppers away from the Legends. People will drive from miles around for a unique shopping experience. We need to lower the property taxes on buildings downtown, and even (I can't believe I'm saying this) get more corporate stores to come in, but still encourage a mix of unique locally owned stores. Then advertise the shopping experience of downtown Lawrence in the surrounding cities. More events, like the Film Noir series will help. Also, has anyone considered opening a children's center where people can leave their children with caregivers while they shop? There are better ways to increase our retail sales then building a duplicate of a store that already exists. Even a Costco or a Lowes would be better than Wal Mart.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 6 months ago

Maybe I'm dense... and I admit to not knowing much at all about economics but I keep reading about all the new sales tax revenue that this second Walmart would bring to the city, and I just don't get it. Am I wrong in assuming that the majority of customers who would shop at a Walmart on 6th Street are people who are now shopping at the existing Walmart on south Iowa? I can't imagine that there is all that much new sales tax revenue from Lawrencians to be taken in by Walmart. And: as for out-of-towners, I see people talking about Perry and Lecompton. Are there really that many people in those towns and the surrounding areas that don't already come into Lawrence and go to the Iowa Street Walmart? Sure, some folks from those towns may be going into Topeka to a Walmart, but just how many might switch to a 6th Street, Lawrence Walmart?

I suspect that a 6th Street Walmart would increase sales tax revenues at least some, but who knows how much that would actually be? It could be considerably less than some of the pie in the sky projections.

I'm not opposed to another Walmart in Lawrence and my opposition to the proposed 6th and Wakarusa is only about it's proximity to Free State High and the increased traffic, but if you really want to compete with Topeka for sales taxes revenues from the out-of-towners why not offer them something that Topeka doesn't?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

Lowes will not come because we have Home Depot. There is not enough business for two self improvement stores.

"dorothyhr: We need to lower the property taxes on buildings downtown, and even (I can't believe I'm saying this) get more corporate stores to come in, but still encourage a mix of unique locally owned stores. Then advertise the shopping experience of downtown Lawrence in the surrounding cities."

You are right on all counts. Bear in mind,at least in my childhood, big names were anchors surrounded by small local business in downtowns. Your suggestions would encourage more walk by traffic for all concerned. JC Penney's and Sears were once part of downtown. 1-3 other big name stores located throughout dowtown Lawrence,not just the north end, would boost economic growth for all downtown merchants. Let's pretend a bit... Old Navy in the Allen Press building, a mini Comp(ton) USA in the Masonic Lodge Building, a new grocery will be opening in July(?), Sunflower expands the outdoor store and moves the bike store to 10th and Mass.

GardenMomma 7 years, 6 months ago

I would like to know what "out-of-towners" are going to drive all the way to Lawrence, KS just to shop at Wal-Mart on 6th street so that we can gather all that sales tax revenue.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

"....if you really want to compete with Topeka for sales taxes revenues from the out-of-towners why not offer them something that Topeka doesn't?"

A very valid point. Especially since this would bring shoppers from Topeka, which has a lot more people than Perry-Lecompton and other small area towns combined.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

Lawrence is basically a part of the Topeka and KCMO/JOCO regional retail shopping districts. Yes we are surrounded by tons of retail not that far away. Lawrence will be many many years into the future if ever before it will compete with those two retail giants to include Legends. Lawrence stores will not and do not offer the same wide selections and prices for the simple reason there are not enough retail dollars to justify such large stores.

Green collar and education should be the Lawrence industries of choice. Green Collars is the wave of the future and education is a solid industry.

KsTwister 7 years, 6 months ago

"I would like to know what "out-of-towners" are going to drive all the way to Lawrence, KS just to shop at Wal-Mart on 6th street so that we can gather all that sales tax revenue."

Try Lecompton, Perry, Oskaloosa,McClouth,Winchester and farm communities like Grant and Williamstown,and Stull for starters.

WWoftheW 7 years, 6 months ago

FYI In order to be able to support all the development along 6th street including Wal-MArt the city is requesting a 40 parcel acre be annexed at the County Commission meeting tonight so that the city could pay and build a pumping station for development along 6th street and North of 6th. It is in the hardcopy on the 2nd page of the Lawrence & State under Briefly at the bottom of the page. The city is in such a financial crisis and yet we keep on paying and building for developers.

WWoftheW 7 years, 6 months ago

KsTwister;

Try Lecompton, Perry, Oskaloosa,McClouth,Winchester and farm communities like Grant and Williamstown,and Stull for starters.

They already do so this is not new monies for Lawrence.

Oracle_of_Rhode 7 years, 6 months ago

Wal-Mart will do absolutely nothing to boost Lawrence's overall sales tax receipts or expand the number of visitors coming to the city to spend money. It will simply take already-existing business away from already-existing retail stores, like the unique ones downtown that actually drive visitation to Lawrence.

Crossfire 7 years, 6 months ago

Wal-Mart... Reminds me of an old Limeric.

about....old hermit named Dave, and what he kept...in a cave. ...what was lacking... And the smell. but... Think of the money he saved.

Things that lack quality also lack value.

commuter 7 years, 6 months ago

Merrill:

Hey when are you going to start a "green" company you keep telling us Lawrence needs so badly? Or are you afraid of taking a risk and would rather other people do it for you and demand rewards?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 6 months ago

"Try Lecompton, Perry, Oskaloosa,McClouth,Winchester and farm communities like Grant and Williamstown,and Stull for starters."

Many of these communities would probably prefer a Wal Mart in North Lawrence, not West Lawrence. Stull is so close to Toepka, I can't imagine they would go in the other direction, unless they worked in Lawrence.

Bubbles 7 years, 6 months ago

Get rid of WM and let the 80,000 residents of Lawrence flock downtown for their purchases.

Get real.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

"Bubbles (Anonymous) says: Get rid of WM and let the 80,000 residents of Lawrence flock downtown for their purchases.

Get real."

There is a 207,000 sq ft Wal-Mart at 33rd and Iowa...

Not all of the 80,000 residents are shoppers cuz so many are children not to mention all residents do not shop at the same time nor everyday.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

"commuter (Anonymous) says: Merrill:

Hey when are you going to start a "green" company you keep telling us Lawrence needs so badly? Or are you afraid of taking a risk and would rather other people do it for you and demand rewards?"

We already have one. We pull weeds rather than spray them with toxic herbicides. Don't suggest toxic chemical fertilizers as well.

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 6 months ago

A new Walmart is completely unnecessary. All those small communities you mention go to KC and Topeka as much or more than Lawrence, so it's delusional to think they are going to swarm Lawrence if we get a new Wally's.

Walmart sales are down for two reasons: 1. People that can't afford to shop anywhere else can't even afford to shop there as they have due to high gas prices and how that increases the cost of everthing else you buy. (High end stores like Nieman Marcus, Saks, etc. sales are jumping though so we truly see who's really benefiting from our current economic circumstances). People are having to make a choice between gas to get to work and what grocery and sundry items they can buy; and 2. People are wising up that Walmart sells crap products that are mostly from China. BUY AMERICAN whenever you can. You aren't saving money if your stuff doesn't last! I happily pay more for something that's going to last and Walmart crap doesn't last.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 6 months ago

Bubbles Were not talking about getting rid of Wal Mart. We're talking about the lack of common sense in adding a second Wal Mart. And not everyone in Lawrence shops at Wal Mart. There is a Target, Kohls, Westlakes, Cottins, several auto parts places, as well as downtown. Unlike places like Ottawa, Wal Mart isn't the only option, so why 2?

Michael Throop 7 years, 6 months ago

Prior to Wal Mart, many of those beloved small-town merchants were underpaying employees,save for the "favored ones", family members, or members of the opposite sex who "gave in" for the boss.They overcharged their customers except,again,the favored ones of those they couldn't control such as the beloved small town banker.A lot of people couldn't hop in the car and head to the big city with more choices at the drop of the hat. Wal Mart has cleared out the deadwood,and has made the retail survivors work for a living, for a change. I am always amazed at the wrath that Wal Mart brings out,when there's nary a peep about Super Target or even Dillons. I recognize that Target management gives generously to Democratic candidates to keep big labor off their back, and Dillons has union representation elsewhere in the system. Wal Mart has the audacity to stand up to labor thuggism and they have survived the left wing media and personal onslaught that has come from there. I for one enjoy shopping at Wal Mart when I can

Linda Endicott 7 years, 6 months ago

I suspect that there wouldn't be a lot of new sales for a second Wal-Mart. In fact, they'd probably be hurting their OWN sales at the Wal-Mart that's already in Lawrence.

Jamesaust 7 years, 6 months ago

"Wal-Mart is like TV; you can always turn off TV if you don't like it."

The consequences of a major commercial development hardly disappear into the aether just because one does not patronize it.

Such a comparison is a silly as summarizing major surgery by an allegory about growing daisies.

peppermint 7 years, 6 months ago

The new Walmart that will be built on 6th street is intended by the corporation to take business away from Target.

Bubbles 7 years, 6 months ago

So how many of you are going to start a business to replace what WM has to offer?

Don't all answer at once,

Bubbles 7 years, 6 months ago

Just as I thought.

The argument is the second WM will destroy the little guy.

So again, what business will any of you start if the second WM is not built? An ammo store? Cheap lawn furniture outlet? Plastic container boutique?

Don't all answer at once.

commuter 7 years, 6 months ago

Merrill:

I have nothing against green businesses. The question was when will You start up a green businesses instead of just talking about them?

peppermint 7 years, 6 months ago

Bubbles,

Your question is predicated on an assumption that a store that sells cheap crap in high volumes is needed at the NW end of town.

Your assumption might be wrong.

Ergo, your whole post is vacuous.

What we know will happen is this: Half the people from inside and outside Lawrence who now shop at Iowa Walmart will instead shop at Sixth Street Walmart. Walmart's dream is that some people who shop at Target will also shop at Sixth Street Walmart (but they haven't been too successful lately trying to tweak their model in various ways in the face of declining growth.) No new revenue for Lawrence. But lots of new traffic will overburden a corner near two schools and a community swimming pool, as well as cut through a neighborhood filled with families.

peppermint 7 years, 6 months ago

I think there is no way around it, due to the alliances of the current city commission with the developers. A Walmart will come to 6th/Wak. They should just make it the 200,000 store and get it over with.

Then the citizens of Lawrence and homeowners in the neighborhood and families with kids who attend the schools and pool will realize we weren't blowing smoke when we told everyone they would ruin that neighborhood and hurt our town.

This city commission is going to ruin Lawrence. The same cabal that built South Iowa is at it again.

peppermint 7 years, 6 months ago

commuter (Anonymous) says: Merrill: I have nothing against green businesses. The question was when will You start up a green businesses instead of just talking about them?

Another dumb statement along the lines of "if you don't like it move" or "if you don't want it buy the land" and so on.

If you don't like us and our activism, why don't you offer every single one of us so much money for our homes that we'll retire and move elsewhere, instead of complaining in this forum?

Bubbles 7 years, 6 months ago

bubbles, you're being an idiot. the argument is that we don't need a second wal-mart. and we don't.

another brilliant rejoinder from the WM haters.

You guys need to regroup and send out the A team to make your case for economic regression.

Kat Christian 7 years, 6 months ago

You can't fault WalMart for low wages - that's the state of Kansas for not raising the State Min wage to match the Federal Min wage level and the town of Lawrence for allowing businesses to pay such low wages. Of course this is an opportunity for Wal mart because they can pay their employees lower wages then other areas because that's the norm here.

Bubbles 7 years, 6 months ago

You can't fault WalMart for low wages - that's the state of Kansas for not raising the State Min wage to match the Federal Min wage level and the town of Lawrence for allowing businesses to pay such low wages.

Is this a communist web site?

peppermint 7 years, 6 months ago

WWoftheW (Anonymous) says: FYI In order to be able to support all the development along 6th street including Wal-MArt the city is requesting a 40 parcel acre be annexed at the County Commission meeting tonight so that the city could pay and build a pumping station for development along 6th street and North of 6th. It is in the hardcopy on the 2nd page of the Lawrence & State under Briefly at the bottom of the page. The city is in such a financial crisis and yet we keep on paying and building for developers.

Will there be public comment allowed on this tonight? Not that the developer-owned commissioners care what the public thinks...

blackwalnut 7 years, 6 months ago

blue73harley you must try harder to keep up.

If you love WM so much, don't you pay attention to their corporate affairs?

The store for Sixth Street is a "gracie" model, designed to attract a slightly more upscale clientele (though, good luck with that). The standard "karla" model is not doing as well as it used to, with the customer base having less money to spend. (Maybe the business model of sending all those local dollars to China and Bentonville is coming back to bite them.) Target is the direct competitor for the gracie.

Here you go, inform yourself. I dare you! http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/21/AR2006042101927.html

blackwalnut 7 years, 6 months ago

Bubbles (Anonymous) says: [commenting on WM low wages] said... "Is this a communist web site?"

No, and why would you support a business that pays so poorly and offers such lousy benefits that many Wal-Marts have a full-time employee whose job it is to help people apply for food stamps and Medicaid? I've heard that in some Wal-Mart stores those "communist" forms are part of the new hire packet of forms.

You people who profess to despise socialism ought to think about this. Y'all love to say people should be self-supporting, but I think that if they are working full-time, they shouldn't need Medicaid and food stamps - especially when the employer is profitable.

Why do you Wal-Mart lovers want to make me pay more of my tax dollars to support Wal-Mart, when I don't even want to shop there? Isn't that exactly the kind of thing you pretend to oppose?

adriennerm 7 years, 6 months ago

I don't think we need another Wal-Mart in Lawrence. There isn't enought residents to support needing two stores. My complaint is this, Due to the lack of high-paying jobs in Lawrence I am forced to work in Overland Park. I think the LAST thing Lawrence needs is another company paying it's residents $6 an hour. No one can survive on that salary. We don't need anymore low wage paying companies in this town. Trust me..there's enought

tolawdjk 7 years, 6 months ago

"And I liked this little quote, "The new Walmart that will be built on 6th street is intended by the corporation to take business away from Target." Now there is some insider information for ya. And if it is true:oh, okay:so what?"

The "so what" is that the claim of all the new revenue that this walmart will bring in is not supported by the desire to steal business away from Target. That is a net zero sum in terms of tax generation. In fact, if Walmart is cheeper than target, its a negative gain.

So you are left with a second Walmart where the customer base is made up of a) people that shopped at the old one, but now live closer to the new one, b) customers stolen from Target c) customers from out of community that don't qualify as Group a or Group b but shopped in Topeka or other areas and d) brand new, never used Walmart before and will now because they are close.

Groups a and b don't "add" to the tax base. Group c is possible but undefined as of yet and not permanent as 3 years down the road Walmart could decide to build in Tongie, or Lecompton, or some other community that would pull them from Lawrence. Group d....well, I'm not sure that is even measureable in a town the size of Lawrence. Maybe 10-20 families if we are generous?

So you are left with a "Field of Dreams" approach to increasing tax money into the city coffers.

fed_up 7 years, 6 months ago

I know a single mom that got a job at wal mart and within 6 months had insurance and within a year was making $10 per hour and she was just a sales/checkout clerk. Sure, she started at $6 or $7 per hour but she stuck with it and went to the graveyard shift to get the shift differential. It was tough getting money on the day shift because, just like everywhere else in this town, they can get a college student to do the work for squat. $10 per hour still isn't a great wage...but it's darn good for Lawrence!!!

I know another employee that works there & got enough of a raise & enough hours last year that they bought a new house......in EUDORA!!!

Oracle_of_Rhode 7 years, 6 months ago

"To sell $1 million at Wal-Mart takes 4.7 workers compared to an average of 6.4 workers in similar general merchandise stores." (Tom Muller, The Economist, 2003)

Wouldn't this mean a net job loss for Lawrence, with the profits from such "efficiency" being siphoned off to Bentonville, Ark.?.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 6 months ago

Walmart does not enrich communities because the profits go to Walmart corporate, and many of the products are manufactured elsewhere.

Millions of dollars are spent there and all that goes back into the community are the low-wage jobs.

Meanwhile, Walmart is a huge user of social services because its employees need them.

The notion that Walmart will help our local economy is nonsense. A Walmart is always a net loss to a community. Always.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

"commuter (Anonymous) says: Merrill:

Hey when are you going to start a "green" company you keep telling us Lawrence needs so badly? Or are you afraid of taking a risk and would rather other people do it for you and demand rewards?" AGAIN: ****We already have one. We pull weeds rather than spray them with toxic herbicides. Don't suggest toxic chemical fertilizers as well. 30 years ago when a herbicide/pesticide rep spoke as a special guest to our herbicide/pesticide class he distributed a brochure depicting what applicators should wear. On the front was a Haz/Mat suit. It was then my decision was made to NOT apply this toxic material.

The more Wal Mart stores the fewer choices. Are always low prices for always low end products a bargain or maybe a fair price? Considering Wal Mart history consumers must always assume that products in a Wal-Mart store was likely reduced in quality to meet the always low wholesale price point at the request of Wal-Mart IF a business wants to do business with Wal-Mart such as Levi's.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 6 months ago

Merrill says... Considering Wal Mart history consumers must always assume that products in a Wal-Mart store was likely reduced in quality to meet the always low wholesale price point at the request of Wal-Mart IF a business wants to do business with Wal-Mart such as Levi's.

Except Snapper Lawnmowers, whose CEO refused to make a poor-quality low-end model to satisfy Walmart because he cared for the long-term health of the Snapper company that had invested so much in earning a reputation for quality. He didn't want to ruin the Snapper name with a special crap model for Walmart. Good for him.

But people should know that when they see a brand name at Walmart, they are likely looking at a "special" version.

You almost always get what you pay for - sometimes less than you pay for, but almost never more than you pay for.

Bubbles 7 years, 6 months ago

adriennerm (Anonymous) says:

I don't think we need another Wal-Mart in Lawrence. There isn't enought residents to support needing two stores. My complaint is this, Due to the lack of high-paying jobs in Lawrence I am forced to work in Overland Park. I think the LAST thing Lawrence needs is another company paying it's residents $6 an hour. No one can survive on that salary. We don't need anymore low wage paying companies in this town. Trust me..there's enought

Don't worry. If the second WM isn't built, small business will be springing up everywhere and you will be able to find a good paying job at one of them.

fliesinyoureyes 7 years, 6 months ago

It seems pretty obvious that the threat of road disrepair is meant to bring the wal-mart issue front and center. There are ways to come up with the money for roads. I mean, they were just talking about P.L.A.Y. for pete's sake. They should be ashamed for that. Citizens are being scared into thinking wal-mart will save the day. I only know this because I am a corrupt, money-grubber and that's exactly what I would do.

Staci Dark Simpson 7 years, 6 months ago

If you don't like Walmart don't go there. Its a free economy and competition keeps the prices down. I love Target but they are pricier than Walmart so I don't always go there. A 2nd walmart won't hurt anything. Do we need it? Probably not. Will it hurt anything? Probably not. I would shop downtown more often if things weren't overpriced. I outgrew buying $50 pairs of jeans about 15 years ago.

fliesinyoureyes 7 years, 6 months ago

stacy- I agree with you that competition keeps the prices down. I fail to understand reasoning behind this argument as it pertains to wal-mart in this day and age. They have stores in every town in America and prices aren't going down. Where competition is needed is in the manufacturing industry, which wal-mart is raping. Every new store they build and every dollar they earn and subsequently pump in to China helps to destroy American manufacturing even more.

Jayhawkbanker 7 years, 6 months ago

Why do we keep bringing up Wal Mart? We have one that is too big already. This is annoying. I hate Wal-Mart, we certainly don't need two. The one they want to build is on the "rich" side of town anyways, they won't shop there. Hy-Vee is right to it anyhow.

grimpeur 7 years, 6 months ago

Wow, another loaf-pinch of a headline for a WM letter. Why even try for balance or integrity when you can get by with neither? The best thing about these laughable LTE heads is the incessant sunshine someone is blowing up my skirt. Woo-hoo!

"WM debacle has cost Lawrence millions" served to parrot the empty assertions of a vacuous Take a Stand column; "Other benefits" headed an letter filling the deliberate gaps of that column; "WM win-win" headed a letter outlining concerns about quality of life, variety, blighted retail space, and WM near FS High; and now this.

Don't look now, but your slip-up is showing.

blackwalnut 7 years, 6 months ago

grimpeur,

The Journal World really does show its lack of objectivity. I especially loathed the way Gwen Klingenberg's editorial, filled with facts about the history of the zoning on that land which the Journal World never reported, didn't even get the word "Walmart" in the headline, making sure many interested people did not notice the editorial. The paper really is terrible. Most people don't know the facts and they certainly wouldn't if they depended on the newspaper for them, which they should be able to do. Poor journalism.

peppermint 7 years, 6 months ago

I wouldn't know a thing about this issue if I depended on the Journal World. The paper is really slanted on this issue.

Camron Flanders 7 years, 6 months ago

Wow. The argument is that we don't need ANOTHER big box retailer in town, let alone ANOTHER Wal-Mart. Regardless of whether or not ANOTHER Wal-Mart is built, small businesses aren't going to crop up at any faster or slower of a pace than it is now so stop using that argument. It has no bearing on this conversation. Wal-Mart weakens the economic base of a city, every time. Just like professional sports teams drain the economy (Ask Jackson county how well the Cheifs/Royals are helping them out...).

Hell, venture out to Hiawatha. Ask them how the Wal-Mart treated them when it went it quite a number of years ago. Wal-Mart has destroyed many small towns. They go in, take over, everyone stops shopping local and everything dies.

And Wal-Mart money doesn't stay local! This argument of "keeps more money in town" is bologna. I'm pretty sure the Wal-Mart HQ isn't here in town, I'm pretty sure they don't manufacture the goods here in town, I'm also pretty sure that lower prices = LESS tax money.

How many of the Wal-Mart lovers can understand simple math? A shift of buyers from one store to another doesn't magically increase dollars spent. I would be VERY surprised if the 4 mile (GASP) drive from NW Lawrence to South Lawrence is really stopping people from spending their hard earned money on cheap crap.

coneflower 7 years, 6 months ago

CamFlan (above) is right.

Wal-Mart is proving this to themselves. They just reported the worst quarter for growth since they started reporting in 1980. They know that their customer base has less money to spend than before. This is why they suddenly advocate for a higher minimum wage: their shoppers need more money. This is why they are launching Gracie model stores that try to appeal to a customer with a little more money - the Target crowd.

A few decades of taking all the business from rural areas, then small towns, then bigger towns, and sending most of the profits away to Bentonville and China, is starting to affect Wal-Mart's bottom line. They not only killed those towns, they made their customers less affluent as well by failing to recirculate the money locally.

Why would our city commission want to let Wal-Mart do this to Lawrence?

coneflower 7 years, 6 months ago

blackwalnut (Anonymous) says: The Journal World really does show its lack of objectivity. I especially loathed the way Gwen Klingenberg's editorial, filled with facts about the history of the zoning on that land which the Journal World never reported, didn't even get the word "Walmart" in the headline, making sure many interested people did not notice the editorial.

I noticed that too. A cryptic headline - WTF means "No Benefit" ? - ensured that editorial did not get the attention of the pro-Wal-Mart-project opinion piece "Wal-Mart Debacle Costs City Millions" - a thread that didn't die for days.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 6 months ago

coneflower:

I am only too happy to see Wal-Mart starting to fail with their business model. I predict that targeting a more affluent crowd will fail miserably. They are no good at competing at a level that involves any kind of quality. There is no way they can reinvent their brand. The Wal-Mart name stands for cheap, poor quality, and (whether the stereotype is true or not, it comes to everyone's mind before they put it out) ignorant low-life people. Wal-Mart is to the late 20th century what the K-Mart lady in pink rollers was to the sixties, only one economic rung down. To me the black-on-white Wal-Mart plastic bags symbolize all of the foregoing, and I get nothing but negative vibes when I see one. I have an immediate visceral reaction against the person who has the bag, then my higher brain talks myself out of judging them. (Maybe they just don't know.)

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