Now I think I have a good way to take that fight to Wal-Mart directly. Marking his 100th post at No Cleveland Wal-Mart, Jeff Hess has suggested that everybody who feels they have no choice but to shop Wal-Mart simply stop buying toothpaste there.
Why toothpaste? Here's his reasoning:
All along I have been uncomfortable with those who would ask families on the poverty edge to not shop at Wal Mart and further stress their meager financial resources. A few weeks ago, while reading John Dicker's United States Of Wal Mart, I came across this little nugget:
Wal Mart is the largets retailer in the world, hawking more DVDs, magazines, books, CDs, dog food, diapers, bicycles, toys and toothpaste than any other company.
It was the toothpaste that caught my eye. I did some more checking and found that it controls approximatley 25 percent of the world's toothpaste sales. That means the company is raking in some $375 million from the approximately $1.5 billion in annual toothpaste sales in the U.S.
Now, if you're Wal Mart, and your annual sales are $288.189 billion, $375 million -- or only a miniscule 0.13 percent -- is less than a drop in the bucket, but it's still noticable. So here's what I propose.
If your family finances are such that you can avoid shopping at Wal Mart all together, that's wondeful. But, as a minimum, buy your toothpaste somwhere else. Doing so won't hurt your dental health. It won't damage the toothpaste industry. It won't hurt the workers who manufacture and distribute toothpaste. And, it won't hurt Wal Mart associates.
Your financial burden will rise a tiny bit, but you'll be helping to send a message that Wal Mart can track and measure.
Wal-Mart always cites the number of its customers as proof of how popular it is, but I've always wondered just how many people who shop there are as angry about the service and how they treat employees as gring.
Wal-Mart won't go down because of this little protest, but wouldn't it be great to scare the pants off them? They can track PopTart sales at stores in towns ravaged by hurricanes so you know even a small dent in toothpaste sales will register.
If you do shop at Wal-Mart, send them a message they won't miss.