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The Wal-Mart You Don't Know III

In an hour-plus, Fast Company Senior Writer Charles Fishman will participate in WBUR's "On Point" program. Joining Alan Sanderson, an economist from the University of Chicago; Harley Shaiken, professor of labor and the global economy at the University of California Berkeley; and host Tom Ashworth, Charles will discuss the "Wal-Marting of America," as well as our December feature The Wal-Mart You Don't Know.

At 8 p.m. ET, you can listen in online. If you're unable to tune in or participate in the phone-in Q&A portion of the program but would still like to ask Charles questions about the piece — and the stories behind the story — leave questions by adding a comment to this post. Then, given time and opportunity, Charles will respond to readers right here in FC Now.

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  • Miles

    I'm tired of all the people who badmouth Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart serves an important function. After all, you can't always find what you're looking for at Goodwill.

  • TP

    IMHO, this is a very well written article that is long overdue. I've forwarded it to eveyone in my address book.

    Every time I go to Wal-Mart (and it's very seldom, I assure you), I just about get suicidal. That place is an assault to human-ness. What probably bothers me the most is that level of (ahem) service is all some people will ever know.

    While I know and appreciate that Nordstrom service and quality come with a price, there are certain basic principles that can be applied with little or no cost for the sake of providing a positive shopping experience for the shopper.

  • hong

    As far as I reckon salary of the workers normally constitute a certain small percentage of the total cost of production. As a matter of fact the cost of the management team would normally be much higher.
    Thus, if companies wish to maintain their margin as well as their management cost by relocating to countries which could provide cheaper labour should the lost of job be blamed on Wal-Mart?

  • Bob Warfield

    Wal-Mart is the closest thing imaginable to an aggressive commercial cancer that, while blighting established main street community, saps sustaining national vitality and spawns increased dependence upon its consuming illusion of value.

    The only way to fight back is to insist upon living wage and benefit provisions for all such enterprise - nationwide.