Wal-Mart is a retailer that has been a huge part of society for more than 50 years. It has gained a certain level of dominance and notoriety in the retail sector that no other corporation before it has amassed. Wal-Mart may be the place where you can shop for everything from groceries and cleaning products to laptops and healthcare items. It takes one-stop shopping to new levels of convenience, but the verdict on the influence that Wal-Mart has over society might not be quite as positive as you would think. Some feel that Wal-Mart is forcing society as a whole to pay too much for simply low prices. Wal-Mart is often critiqued and maligned for the way that it treats employees and how it has a tight grip on all markets. Before you come to your own conclusion on this retailing giant, it might be a good idea to learn about all the facts.
The only way to determine the actual cost that people are paying for low prices is to take a closer look at the pros and cons of Wal-Mart. Many are unfamiliar with both aspects of this corporation and the impact that this retailer has on society. Weighing the pros and cons against one another can give you a better perspective.
Pros of Wal-Mart
1. Low Prices
One thing that is not debatable about Wal-Mart are the prices. Wal-Mart has the ability to sell items for a much lower price than other retailers. This means simply buying a product at Wal-Mart over a more locally owned store can save you money. Other retailers can’t compete with the low prices that Wal-Mart offers. Many praise Wal-Mart for making it possible for all to afford the products that they need most. Low prices are what Wal-Mart is known for and this is true for all types of products including food, electronics and everything in between.
2. Huge Employer
Another benefit of Wal-Mart involves the sheer number of people that this corporation employs. It is the largest private employer in the United States and is vital to the economy based on this statistic alone. The jobs that Wal-Mart creates are essential and make it one of the most important corporations in the world.
Cons of Wal-Mart
Even though there are some major benefits associated with Wal-Mart, it is important to realize that even this well-known corporation is not without flaws. There are tremendous downsides and cons associated with the amount of control Wal-Mart has over the market. The cons of Wal-Mart are why many feel we are paying a high cost for low prices.
1. Treatment of Employees
Most of the flaws seen in Wal-Mart can be traced to the treatment of their employees. Wal-Mart may be the biggest employer in the United States, but that does not mean that all employees are treated fairly and appreciated. Wal-Mart is notorious for offering poor health care coverage and low wages. The health care policy for this corporation is known as one of the worst in all of corporate America. Many Wal-Mart employees do not have healthcare through their employer and also have lower wages in comparison to other employers. This means that Wal-Mart takes advantage of their stranglehold on the market and offers employees the lowest wages and benefits possible. Many people are employed with Wal-Mart due to lack of education and job opportunities.
2. Taking Out Local Businesses
Wal-Mart has become so big that other retailers simply can’t compete. Local business owners can’t offer the same products for the low prices that Wal-Mart can. This means that local businesses can’t afford to compete with a corporation as large as Wal-Mart. Many small cities and towns only have Wal-Mart as the major retailer in the region. Wal-Mart might offer low prices, but they are taking away the ability for local businesses to even compete.
Wal-Mart is known for having the lowest prices around, but they also have a reputation for not giving their employees some of the profits that they are accumulating.
Who Founded Wal-Mart?
The Wal-Mart Corporation was founded by Sam Walton back in 1962. This corporation originally started with the motto that they would only go to communities that wanted and needed this type of retailer. However, over the years Wal-Mart has grown to such huge levels that it is currently the largest private employer in the United States. It is also known as the largest retailer of groceries in the US. It is now known as a retail powerhouse and it the biggest player in the industry. The values that Walton once founded Wal-Mart on might no longer be a part of what drives the vision for this huge corporation.