The fans of Walmart’s aggressive expansion strategy designed to wear down political and citizen resistance to keep Walmart out of lucrative urban markets are lining up to quack in all the appropriate places in hopes of getting some crumbs down the road.
The latest to waddle in is John Tammy at Political Economy:
In a speech given several years ago, former Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott noted that shoppers at the retailer’s stores get raises each time they enter them. Thanks to Wal-Mart’s size, and its global reach as a buyer in bulk, it can secure the best deals on consumer goods that are then passed on to its customers.
[Sorry John, Walmart has a few wow moments when it comes to a few promotional prices, but the store average as compared to other national competitors, not that much, if at all. When compared to smaller, scale, local businesses that reinvest customers' money back into the local economy instead of shipping it to Arkansas and Walmart investors everywhere, Walmart has a strong edge, but study after study show, and the Hunter College meta-study shows, that the community is poorer over all after a Walmart arrives than it was before. JH]
Not surprisingly, Scott’s highly truthful statement [Highly truthful, John? Stephen Colbert's truthiness notwithstanding, truth is like pregnancy. Either what you say is true or it is not true. The word does not take an adjective. JH] earned him scorn from activists and media members possessing a congenital [Do you really think people are born disliking companies that drain the money from their communities, John?. That's what congenital means. Look it up. JH] dislike of profits, but a recent article in the New York Post revealed how very true Scott’s statement was. As the Post found, if Wal-Mart were allowed to open stores in New York City, the average buyer of a diverse basket of groceries – from hamburger buns to cereal to butter – would save 33%.
Except Walmart doesn’t want you to save John, it wants you to, at a minimum, buy more stuff with the same amount of money.
Economics works like this. Customer walks into a store with a list and $100. Customer buys everything on their list and only spends (hypothetically, it doesn’t happen in the real world) $67 and then spends, at a minimum, the other $33 on purchases the customer had no intention of making in the first place.
Contrary to what Madison Avenue advertising executives might want you to believe, you do not save money when you buy a product you did not initially intend to buy or even need for less money than you expected. You only save money when you don’t spend money.