Author Archive

Organizing warehouse workers

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

The American Prospect has the first half of a two-part article on the effort of Change to Win to organize warehouse workers in Fontana CA. The town is the hub of the redistribution system for shipping containers from the nearby ports. Walmart, Target and many other similar firms operate here. Rather than owning and staffing […]

Quid pro Quo

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

For a week now there has been speculation as to why Walmart has come out with support of a new health policy. An article in today’s NY Times offers a new view. Health Deals Could Harbor Hidden Costs Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private-sector employer, agreed recently to support requiring all big companies to insure their […]

The Power of a Brand

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

A bit of an amusing story about the power of a brand to influence investors. In this case the “brand” is Warren Buffett. Winner of Lunch With Warren Buffett Gets a Windfall A Chinese businessman named Zhao Danyang paid a record $2.1 million in a charity auction on eBay last year to win a lunch […]

Ezra Klein discusses Walmart

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Klein wrangled an interview with a Wal-flack: An Interview With Wal-Mart Spokesman David Tovar Why an employer mandate? We understand that others may have different opinions. Others in the business community may have different opinions. But for our business, this is the right thing to do. Every associate can become eligible for health care at […]

Another Sign of the Times

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Discounts Have Restaurants Eating Own Lunch The informal, sit-down restaurant chains that blanket the nation are fighting their most intense price war in years. Applebee’s is offering dinner for two for $20. Ruby Tuesday is handing out coupons for two entrees for the price of one. Chili’s, not to be outdone, is promoting some entrees […]

The Idiot Tax

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Alex Tabarrok is a libertarian economist based at the wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Enterprises, the George Mason University Economics department. Along with his fellow shill Tyler Cowen they run a blog, Marginal Revolution, where they get to propound some of their bizarre ideas to their fans. Well Alex went shopping and reported on his […]

Giving the Customer What they Want

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

I recently wrote an essay about something I’m calling the “slow work” movement. It’s by analogy to the slow food movement. The principal characteristic is that smaller businesses replace bigger ones, putting more people to work and allowing them to be more responsive to customer’s requirements. Here’ the link if you want to read it. […]

Remember all those new jobs?

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Wal-Mart to Start Outsourcing More to India Wal-Mart Stores has shortlisted top Indian tech firms, including TCS, Infosys and Wipro, for an outsourcing contract potentially worth up to $500 million over next few years, as the retailer seeks to award multiple contracts for managing its business applications and other back office activities. … Meanwhile, Wal-Mart’s […]

Stephanie on a roll

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

Not content to be a stenographer for Walmart’s PR department, as I wrote about yesterday, NY Times reporter Stephanie Rosenbloom follows up with another effort today. The Recession, Wal-Mart Style With the recession in its 18th month and unemployment now topping 9 percent, even semi-conspicuous consumption is a distant memory. Consumers are hunkered down. But […]

And the PR blitz continues

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

The stenographers at the NY Times continue to repackage the PR handouts from Walmart as the annual meeting runs along. Wal-Mart Outlines Plans to Keep Its Momentum Unfortunately the company gives the game away by inadvertently focusing on their biggest worry: migration to better stores as the economy improves. “Our customers will stay with us […]

Waltons – Feathering their nest again

Friday, June 5th, 2009

It seems that the Waltons still don’t think they are rich enough. First, they are revising an existing share buyback program and expanding it to $15 billion. Second, they are increasing the stock dividend (again). This time from $0.95 to $1.09 per year. With holdings of about 1.7 billion shares that 14 cents puts an […]

Is this the lamest spin job ever?

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Wal-Mart Taps Color, Brands To Retain Shoppers As Wal-Mart, touting its “Save Money. Live Better” tagline, has won new budget-conscious shoppers, the company is making aisles wider, lowering shelf heights and removing products that used to occupy the center of the aisles to make it easier for shoppers to navigate the store and find products. […]

Work Rules

Friday, June 5th, 2009

We’ve been having a side discussion about what should be expected of salaried employees as far as putting in extra (uncompensated) hours. I promised to ask around and see what I could find out. Here are two responses I got, the first from a person in France and the second in the UK. France takes […]

The Walmart invasion continues

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Wal-Mart “confident” about entering Russia Walmart said Thursday it’s “confident and hopeful” about entering the Russian market. The company set up an office in that country a year ago to study the market and explore opportunities. If you are confident than you don’t have to be hopeful. If you are hopeful then you aren’t confident. […]

Ezra Klein discovers Walmart

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Erza Klein is an up and coming journalist/blogger who has now moved on to the Washington Post. A posting on the “National Review” web site caught his eye and he made some comments about Walmart and monopsony power. Spreading the word about the negative impact of Walmart into the heartland of corporate media is always […]