« Home | So, Walmart has decided to open their own online m... » | Sorry that I disappeared for a few days there; I h... » | ZAGAT SURVEY: Unfit for print » | Whoa, Saddam captured? I guess being up at 5 AM ... » | 4:15 AM and I've been trying to sleep since 11:30 ... » | I'm sure my WRX-loving friends (Jeff, Joe, Jenn, E... » | Only in Redmond, Washington are you going to find ... » | Yesterday, I was talking to the person on my team ... » | Ok, about AX: This Saturday, I decided that since... » | Remind me to post about being hit on at AX and my ... »

Disclaimer: For no real reason, I have always disliked Walmart. Maybe it was because, for the longest time, there were no Walmarts nearby either my hometown of Livonia, MI or my college town of Ann Arbor, MI. That has since changed, with stores in or near both cities. Maybe it was because Walmart always had a southern, poor slant to it. Maybe it was because we had a similar store, Meijer's, in our area and I was pledging a local allegiance. For whatever reason, I never liked Walmart.

I've always heard that Walmart was an "evil" company. From details like hiring illegal aliens for stock and cleaning work to treating "regular" employees poorly to pushing around suppliers, the comments swirled around and painted a dirty portrait. When I was back working at the Daily with Scott as my manager, he spoke of Walmart as being worse than an other company he knew of. He had facts from reputible sources, and though being an activist, used them properly. Now having read this article from fastcompany.com, I'm starting to see the details about how Walmart interacts with suppliers. From first glance, it does seem evil, overbearing and monopolistic. At the same time, isn't that what capitalism is all about? A mostly-free market for companies to do as they please? Walmart doesn't force smaller suppliers to cut costs, Walmart is just such a large and successful company that the small suppliers need to be up to Walmart standards.

I won't go so far as to condone their practices and I do agree that Walmart needs to improve their human rights issues, but don't fault a company for being successful.