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When doing good makes sense for business…

January 20, 2011

Walmarts make me uncomfortable in the same way the huge bazaars in Beijing did. They are unbelievably overcrowded, much too vast to be all be indoors, and the products are generally made to fall apart within a year.  This makes me sound downright un-American I suppose; but if Walmart is “American” then I am definitely Italian. Add to that the press ten years ago  about how their employees were treated like Chinese migrant workers; the comparison fit.

My qualms about the mega-store aside, they continue to dominate the American shopping landscape for just about everyone outside of major cities. The company’s 2010 revenue was $113.7 billion! If they were a country they would rank 57 (out of 181) in the world in GDP! Down here in Southern VA we have two within a five minute drive (naturally they needed a second one because the first wasn’t a “super-walmart”).

Of course I assume Walmart believes – as I do – that people will start voting for “real”, less processed foods with their pocketbooks (Michael Pollan didn’t reach the NY Times bestsellers list without a few people reading him). I do love it when economic trends indicate Americans are getting slightly smarter. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Michele Obama is offering free media to the company that dems everywhere have scorned for years either. So without further adiu – read this article and hope that companies everywhere follow suit:

Wal-Mart Shifts Strategy to Promote Healthy Foods

by Sheryl Gay Stolberg
New York Times
January 20, 2011

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