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View Diary: Walmart: Job killer, not job creator (46 comments)

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  •  shopping habits (0+ / 0-)

    i think the idea that people save money by shopping at wal-mart is an assumption with little empirical basis.  Wal-mart, like most large stores, is designed to get people to spend on impulse items - and they are very good at it.  so while milk may be cheaper, people may buy the strategically placed junk food next to the milk and not really save any money.  I'd like to see a study that takes into account what people actually do when they shop at big box stores v. smaller shops.

    •  But what store... (0+ / 0-) compare to? Since all large stores have impulse items. People who are really trying to save money don't buy the impulse items.

      Generally I find on random things I check, Walmart is usually among the cheapest - not always the absolute cheapest though on any specific item - and "loss leaders" at high priced stores are sometimes quite a bit cheaper (of course, if you buy anything but the loss leaders, you're overspending).

      •  not sure that's true (0+ / 0-)

        do people really resist impulse items?  even those who can't afford them?  We are not talking about buying a 20 dollar impulse item, we are talking about a tabloid at the register or a chocolate syrup near the milk - strategically placed so your kids will grab it (as the father of a 3 year old, I'm acutely aware of this kind of product placement - resisting it is not easy).

        Of course, you might be right, but my point is simply that too many assume that lower prices at Wal-mart for things like milk and diapers saves people money - I think a lot of other factors regarding behavior need to be considered before we treat that point as uncontested.

        •  Perhaps times have changed. (0+ / 0-)

          When I was growing up, my family didn't have as much money as almost any of my friends' families. When I wanted something that was probably "an overpriced impulse buy" (and, probably wasn't very good for me either), my parents employed a very simple word: "No".

          That seemed to work well in the long term (I learned to stop asking all the time since doing so wasn't a very successful strategy).

          But then I'm an old fart, perhaps the language no longer contains the word "No" :)

          •  no, you are likely misremembering (0+ / 0-)

            sorry, but the "back in my day" tropes are my single greatest pet peeve.  there is no evidence whatsoever that parents resisted kids nagging more today than a generation ago.  your parents probably said the same thing about your generation - and their parents said...  And our children will likely same the same shit about their kids.

            not to mention that corporations have gotten more sophisticated in encouraging children to nag parents - the marketing industry even has a term for it.  

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