As someone who has both worked and shopped at Wal-Mart, I have something of a love-hate relationship with the store. On the one hand, its really convienient being able to buy everything at one store. On the other hand, they exploit cheap labor (in our borders and out) and take dubioulsy-legal measures against unionization, all to line the already-lined pockets of the Walton Family, and other shareholders.
One-stop-shopping is the future of retail, and the Waltons know it. There’s no reason an employee owned retail department store can’t operate on the same fundamental business principles of Wal-Mart and not be successful. (I imagine there’s plenty of local examples.) Woodman’s is the best damn grocery store in Madison, and it’s employee owned. Will Madison see a Woodman’s of retail? (Woodman’s has a pretty good selection of non-grocery items, but it’s still a far cry from Wal-Mart.) If there’s any investors out there who want to stick it to the man, send me an email, and in 18 months we’ll have a communist retail store, ready for business.
Anyway, I was at Wal-Mart today. (Kitty supplies, Vegtable Oil, and a Plug for my Bathtub.) As I was going to check out, I was stopped by an employee. She was a short old woman, with short grey hair, and noticable facial hair. I repeat, noticeable facial hair.
She said, “I have something to tell you. I have a kitty at home. His name is Lucky. He loves that [brand of kitty litter]. You’re getting a good deal.”
I smiled, thanked her, and thought it would make a really weird blog update.