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Has Walmart become or is it becoming a Monopoly in America.

  1. junko profile image61
    junkoposted 3 years ago

    I remember when I was growing up in a community where there were small community supermarkets and appliance stores all around the town. There were Drug stores and hardware stores, bakeries, and fish markets in walking distance all over town. Walmart drove almost all of those small business operations out of business. 
    K-mart, woolworth, TG&Y, and small furniture stores were closed are downsized. I heard yesterday Sears was closing down, last month I heard JC Penny was fighting for its survival. Will the majority of workers in America be working for Walmart five or ten years from now, parttime at minimum wage?

    1. rhamson profile image76
      rhamsonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Walmart is an American success story of epic proportion. Sam Walton knew what he was doing buying in monumental volume to feed the most industrious of manufacturers all the while satiating the consumer with the most ridiculous of low prices. A marriage made in heaven and a model for all other capitalistic aspirators such as Target, Home Depot and Costco. Buy in bulk, sell with massive savings to a consumer driven populace. Only trouble soon reared its head as the smaller store chains and Mom & Pop stores went under with no where near the purchase power of WM. What to do? Is it fair to demonize WM for using American ingenuity spawned by capitalistic principles? What has the morals driven hoard done to act in accordance with their judgment of WM? Go to the WM and continue in their faux pas. The real trouble will come when WM has driven all the competition out of business and can charge whatever they wish without a care in the world.

    2. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Have you considered that it isn't WalMart "driving almost all of those small business operations out of business"?  That it is the customers that are refusing to pay more for less, refusing to purchase from those higher priced stores, that is "driving them out of business"?

      Outside of merely existing, WalMart need do nothing but offer what people what - fair quality and very low pricing.  The people will do the driving FOR the Waltons.

      1. junko profile image61
        junkoposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        If you read and comprehended the two aboves post, you wouldn't asked if customers go to Walmart to pay less. Rather then be disagreeable, why not give an answer to the point. Is Walmart a monopoly or a monopoly want to be?

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          From the OP: "Walmart drove almost all of those small business operations out of business. ".  Which is what I responded to.  If you find the response disagreeable, perhaps you should re-think your automatic hatred of WalMart.

          But to answer the monopoly question, I can't think of a single item at WalMart that is not available in a dozen different stores.

          By definition, then, WalMart is not a monopoly.  It may or may not be a monopoly in a very limited geographical area somewhere, but certainly not the company as a whole.

    3. profile image0
      calculus-geometryposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      It depends on how sparsely populated your area is.  I live in a high density area and the mom-and-pop stores do just fine.  The Walmart is on the edge of town and actually less convenient for many people, cheaper sure, but for many people it's just not worth the time to drive or take public transit out that way.  But in small towns Walmart is definitely changing the retail market.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        In not so small towns as well.  I live in a suburb of Boise, Id (big town, small city) in the second largest town in Idaho.

        There are 3 WalMart's within 5 miles of my home and a fourth going in.  Within 10 miles there are (guessing) perhaps 10.  Yes, it is changing shopping in my suburban area.

        1. junko profile image61
          junkoposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          "Automatic hatred of Walmart" Its not hate its a question based on observation. You answered and I thank you and have considered your answer.

    4. GA Anderson profile image84
      GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      After seeing the responses to your post, it seems any mention of Walmart evokes passionate responses.

      It would probably be more accurate to ask if Walmart's business model is... etc...

      Competition is what it is. The failing of business after Walmart comes to town just means that their business model/practices are not strong enough to stand competition.

      I think the Walmart tsunami will lead to a redefining of small businesses in small towns. More specialty and niche' businesses, instead of general "small scale" Walnarts like Sears, Penny's and mom and pops.

      I do not think Walmart will be the defacto retail employer of the future. I think the small businesses in Walmart areas will adapt and survive. They will find other customer magnets besides price.

      As Wilderness says, it is not a monopoly because its products are available elsewhere. The customers have a choice.

      I do not think not will be a monopoly in the future for the same reason. American entrepreneurs are both creative and determined. Just look at the giants of the past that have been unseated by upstarts.

      GA

      1. junko profile image61
        junkoposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I knew Walmart was no an absolute monopoly, I just wanted to provoke thought. You make perfect sense but the upstarts America's businesses are being unseated by is the largest business upstarts in the world economy. (China)

        1. GA Anderson profile image84
          GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, I have been watching the news about China's developing economic prowess, but is that a bad thing for reasons other than knocking the U.S. out of first place? Wait, don't answer that question here. It would hijack this thread. I will start a new one.

          GA

          1. junko profile image61
            junkoposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, GA Anderson my post was written to shine a light on China's economic prowess and their conspiracy to knock the US out of first place. This tread has already been hijacked and turned into a defense of walmart selling cheaper and inferior tarps and the benefit of that for the poor. Wages and jobs that are affected by Walmart's selling cheaper and inferior goods made in China that their employees barely can afford because of the low minimum wage is ignored. The right to be wrong is exercised to not have positive dialog between those with different view or agendas. Thats the way the forum game is played here and everywhere.

            1. rhamson profile image76
              rhamsonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              LOL! Good observation. Another rant could be made for "why is communism good for capitalism?". With the exodus of jobs from the US to labor markets that run under communism why is it the US can't support it's own society with it's form of government and business tactics?

            2. GA Anderson profile image84
              GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I started a China thread for you. Find my reply there.

              GA

      2. rhamson profile image76
        rhamsonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        ....  Competition is what it is. The failing of business after Walmart comes to town just means that their business model/practices are not strong enough to stand competition.

        I think the theory you express is right and perhaps it is the glut of products in one location that draws consumers into their doors. I have found that with the Walmart  purchasing power they can regulate and in some cases dictate how something is packaged and sometimes manufactured to drive the price down. I recently tried several times to buy a tarpaulin to cover a few things temporarily. I went to Walmart and purchased a tarp and when I took it out of the package several of the eyelets poured out of the bag and went jingling on the ground. Need less to say the tarp lasted barely a month when the eyeletless holes ripped and the material deteriorated to where it fell apart. I went to several hardware stores and found they had the same make of tarpaulins on their shelf at amazingly the same price. I eventually went online and found much better tarpaulins at a slightly higher price ($10.00) and they have lasted for over a year. So what is to make of this story. Maybe consumers are satisfied with cheap junk that barely suits their needs and to get anything more you need to go nationally to satisfy quality. So who is dictating the quality and price?

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Quality is not WalMart's forte, that's for sure.

          Ultimately it is the consumer dictating the quality and price in a free market, competitive system.  Others use governmental controls where price is determined by committee.

          1. rhamson profile image76
            rhamsonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            My post was to illustrate that in this instance the opposite is true. Because Walmart has created through its purchase power a manufacturer/supplier who sells at a price and quality under what another manufacturer can supply they have caused a product of lesser quality to be the benchmark that most others follow. ie. the local hardware stores. Now I am sure that the quality tarp I bought is probably available in hardware stores elsewhere, the local stores wish to compete with the same product as Walmart on a cost basis and screw the quality issue. How many are faced with the same circumstance as I or an emergency purchase to address the immediate problem at hand and not worry that the product they just purchased is running the other quality based product out of business. Of course if in the future after the quality product is no longer available as it has been driven out of business by the lesser quality item it is discovered a quality substitute is needed again maybe some company may step up and reproduce a quality substitute. But the consumer is usually too lazy or unaware that this is going on.

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I would disagree - it is still the customers that are setting the price at WalMart.  They have done it in the tarp matter by buying crappy tarps instead of good ones, convincing WalMart that that is what they want.  You, on the other hand, have cast YOUR vote by buying elsewhere (the second time) but most likely your vote will not come through on the winning side and the crappy tarps is what will remain.

              I also question why anyone would want to compete with WalMart on price - it is almost impossible to do so.  So the hardware store that wishes to stay in business will not try - although they may (or may not) carry the same crap, they will compete on service.  Or appearance or aisle width or anything else but price.

              1. rhamson profile image76
                rhamsonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Perhaps you have not understood. The consumer is buying what is provided as the other more expensive tarp is not offered. There is a dominance in the market that Walmart has developed because of its purchasing power and providing only what it wants to sell is also a control it has with an unknowing consumer. In a theoretical setting you are right but the practical outcome is showing a different story.

                As far as the smaller stores selling at the same price it is not impossible as some are members of a buyers group such as Ace and True Value where they buy in combined huge lots that give them the ability to compete. That is in hardware but Walmart buys across all types of consumer goods.

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Why is the other tarp not offered?  Because people buy the crappy one and WalMart takes notice of that, then providing only that tarp because no one will buy the more expensive one. 

                  The consumer has once more set the basic price.

                  1. rhamson profile image76
                    rhamsonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    No the consumer has been convinced Walmart will always have a product at the right price. The better one is not offered because why? Because they don't need to with so many of their customers brainwashed into thinking Walmart has the best buys out there. The consumer has been duped again.

    5. HowardBThiname profile image90
      HowardBThinameposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Strictly speaking, Walmart does not qualify as a monopoly, which is created when an entity controls the *exclusive* sale of a product - and can therefore raise the costs of that product.

      Walmart is an example of free market and supply and demand at its best. If, for some reason, other competitors drop away and WM raises their costs - other companies would once again be able to start up and operate by offering slightly lower costs.

      I read a couple of weeks ago how organized labor was upset at Obama for singing Walmart's praises over their switch to using renewable energy.

      It's tough to beat WM, and little retailers need to offer something different in order to survive. By the way, mom and pop retailers have traditionally been at the bottom of the pay scale for their workers as well, so it's not like it really makes a difference where a stocker or clerk works these days.

 
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