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Old 11-30-2011, 09:04 AM   #85
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There is another side of Wal Mart that hasn't been mentioned. That is the side that is not ethical. Last year I talked to a prospective client who does extensive site work. Wal Mart was building a new store and they had hired this company to do the site work. Wal Mart got very deeply into this company and then refused to pay them. If you are a small business person try standing up to a Wal Mart. You may win in court, but at what cost. They can tie you up in legal mumbo jumbo forever and in the end you have a big pile of legal bills. I had to drive by the site preparation company yesterday and lo and behold they are out of business and their property is for sale. Thanks Wal Mart!

As a small business man I pay for 100% of my employees health insurance. All employees get 7 paid holidays and any where from two to five weeks paid vacation. Wal Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, and others of the big box ilk make sure as many employees as possible are "part time" and therefore not eligible for ANY benefits. Didn't I remember someone mentioning 50 million people with no health insurance? No, they're not all Wal Mart employees, but more than a few of them are big box employees. The advent of the big box has been disastrous for more than a few companies and their employees.

The big box relies more on perception than reality. Let me give you an example. When we were redoing my office building I needed a light for my entry way. I bought one from a local retailer. The light was $19.95 at the local retailer that most people think is a high priced retailer. Well, the light didn't fit so I stopped at a Home Depot store on my way to a clients. As I was perusing the lighting department I came across the same exact light I had purchased at my local store for $19.95. Home Depot's price, are you ready for this, was $36.95 for the same exact light. At the big box an educated consumer is their worst customer!

Low prices at the box? Perhaps, but at what cost to the consumer and at what cost to America and Canada?
Why blame Walmart for the bad business practice of the contractor? To allow Walmart to get “very deep” into the company is a very bad business practice and the contractor paid the price.

A fact that is often overlooked when talking about Walmart is that the Communities where they want to locate bully them into building and repairing roads, building waste water treatment plants, and enhancing electrical and water facilities before they agree to let them into their community. These communities can't afford to even do minor upgrades to service their citizens so they have Walmart do it. So Walmart pays for the upgrades and has to find other ways to recoup these expenses and still stay competitive. Doing work for Walmart can be very lucrative or a disaster you just have to know what Walmart is and be smart in how you deal with them.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:52 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by wnytaxman View Post
There is another side of Wal Mart that hasn't been mentioned. That is the side that is not ethical. Last year I talked to a prospective client who does extensive site work. Wal Mart was building a new store and they had hired this company to do the site work. Wal Mart got very deeply into this company and then refused to pay them. If you are a small business person try standing up to a Wal Mart. You may win in court, but at what cost. They can tie you up in legal mumbo jumbo forever and in the end you have a big pile of legal bills. I had to drive by the site preparation company yesterday and lo and behold they are out of business and their property is for sale. Thanks Wal Mart!

As a small business man I pay for 100% of my employees health insurance. All employees get 7 paid holidays and any where from two to five weeks paid vacation. Wal Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, and others of the big box ilk make sure as many employees as possible are "part time" and therefore not eligible for ANY benefits. Didn't I remember someone mentioning 50 million people with no health insurance? No, they're not all Wal Mart employees, but more than a few of them are big box employees. The advent of the big box has been disastrous for more than a few companies and their employees.

The big box relies more on perception than reality. Let me give you an example. When we were redoing my office building I needed a light for my entry way. I bought one from a local retailer. The light was $19.95 at the local retailer that most people think is a high priced retailer. Well, the light didn't fit so I stopped at a Home Depot store on my way to a clients. As I was perusing the lighting department I came across the same exact light I had purchased at my local store for $19.95. Home Depot's price, are you ready for this, was $36.95 for the same exact light. At the big box an educated consumer is their worst customer!

Low prices at the box? Perhaps, but at what cost to the consumer and at what cost to America and Canada?
Now you're talking about something I have first hand knowledge, construction practices pf the big chains. 10 years ago there was a big push in developing Lowes stores in the Mid Atlantic region,I was building one in Woodenbridge NJ, The construction reps for Lowes were completely inept, they went by the plans and specs even when they were wrong. I spent much of my time correcting the screw ups. Every midsized construction firm in the region bid on the projects, but invariably the lowest bids came from someone who hadn't worked for them before, why be, they didn't change the end datecause they screw you over the first time you add the cost factor for that into your next bid. They sub out the earthwork direct, with no coordination with the GC this turns into a nightmare. On my project the earthwork was 2 months behind they kept the same finish date. The fabrication of the structural steel they bought direct. I had no choice on delivery date, had to unload 6 trailers of steel on the ground, they made no arrangements have the steel loaded in the order that it was needed, so extra cost for the erector double and triple handling things. This was the way things went the entire project. As the end approached their excavating contractor was still behind then bang I was told merchandise was coming in 2 weeks. Still didn't have water to the sprinkler system. I worked 12-16 hour days for those 2 weeks fixing things the excavator screwed up. Got everything done despite Lowes ineptitude. Then it was time to get paid Lowes did everything possible to delay payment, if the company I worked for wasn't as strong financially they would have gone under waiting to get paid. That's how the big boys play the game. Next time I'll tell you about Trumps Taj Mahal what a piece of dung he is.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:08 AM   #87
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Why blame Walmart for the bad business practice of the contractor? To allow Walmart to get “very deep” into the company is a very bad business practice and the contractor paid the price.

A fact that is often overlooked when talking about Walmart is that the Communities where they want to locate bully them into building and repairing roads, building waste water treatment plants, and enhancing electrical and water facilities before they agree to let them into their community. These communities can't afford to even do minor upgrades to service their citizens so they have Walmart do it. So Walmart pays for the upgrades and has to find other ways to recoup these expenses and still stay competitive. Doing work for Walmart can be very lucrative or a disaster you just have to know what Walmart is and be smart in how you deal with them.
RJay, have you been in the construction business? It' not difficult for some one as big as Walmart to get into a contractors pocket pretty deep in a short amount of time, if they pay on time you are at a minimum 60 days from the start of the job. Now for an excavator that means that everything but the paving is pretty much done, now if they question your invoice you are another 15 days out, if they don't accept your explanation and request further backup your at 90 days. Do the math you're in deep stuff, you're contractually bound to continue working while this goes on,(if you stop, they will void your contract and bring in someone else to complete the job) so you keep working and getting deeper and deeper. In the end you're at their mercy. Walmart goes to some pretty rural areas, the local towns require anyone developing a large project to up grade roads . interchanges, and water-sewage services, they do this not out of the goodness of their hearts, rather they see a big payoff in the future.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:22 AM   #88
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If you want to see the real person causing all this grief and job loss in North Ameria, then look in a mirror; especially if you shop at Walmart. The race to the bottom was started when the first person walked through the front door of the first place that Sam opened.

Blaming a store for our greed is a tad over the top to me. If we bought quality instead of cheap, Japan would still be suffering the effects of the Second World War and China would not be all the USA debt. Too easy to blame other than ourselves in my opinion.

BTW Mike, you missed the point of my thread when I posted about Steve Jobs, I don't worship anywhere especially a the feet of a businessman.

Great thread here, BTW.
Dennis, I'm not saying you worship at the feet of big business, but some who posted had almost a god like reverence for Jobs.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:36 AM   #89
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RJay, have you been in the construction business? It' not difficult for some one as big as Walmart to get into a contractors pocket pretty deep in a short amount of time, if they pay on time you are at a minimum 60 days from the start of the job. Now for an excavator that means that everything but the paving is pretty much done, now if they question your invoice you are another 15 days out, if they don't accept your explanation and request further backup your at 90 days. Do the math you're in deep stuff, you're contractually bound to continue working while this goes on,(if you stop, they will void your contract and bring in someone else to complete the job) so you keep working and getting deeper and deeper. In the end you're at their mercy. Walmart goes to some pretty rural areas, the local towns require anyone developing a large project to up grade roads . interchanges, and water-sewage services, they do this not out of the goodness of their hearts, rather they see a big payoff in the future.
As I said you have to know what Walmart is and deal with them accordingly. It all depends on how the contract is structured. Walmart usually calls the shots, you either accept their terms or not and if you do you should be prepared to take the risk. But to get so far into debt on one job with one company that it puts you out of business is just bad business practice. I'm thinking this was a small company that saw an opportunity to get additional work with Walmart by working this one job and didn't have the reserve capital and overextended itself. It was simply too small for the scope of the job.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:45 AM   #90
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I guess while we are talking about big box stores I'll tell you why I won't shop at a K-mart. I used to shop at the local KM for plants. The gal there was very helpful and they had good prices. One day when I went in I saw her crying. They told her she was to be "let go" at the end of the week.

Now KM hires you and tells you, you will get retirement and benefits after 20 years. She had 18 years and 9 months in. You see KM leases the store for only 19 years so no one ever gets retirement. They built a new store 5 miles away and wouldn't hire her back. Now that's just not right.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:06 AM   #91
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I guess while we are talking about big box stores I'll tell you why I won't shop at a K-mart. I used to shop at the local KM for plants. The gal there was very helpful and they had good prices. One day when I went in I saw her crying. They told her she was to be "let go" at the end of the week.

Now KM hires you and tells you, you will get retirement and benefits after 20 years. She had 18 years and 9 months in. You see KM leases the store for only 19 years so no one ever gets retirement. They built a new store 5 miles away and wouldn't hire her back. Now that's just not right.
Does this shock me, yes, surprise me not in the least. This is how big business works without Unions, are Unions the only answer,no, but until businesses decide they have a moral obligation to their loyal hard working employees it's the only answer.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:19 AM   #92
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As I said you have to know what Walmart is and deal with them accordingly. It all depends on how the contract is structured. Walmart usually calls the shots, you either accept their terms or not and if you do you should be prepared to take the risk. But to get so far into debt on one job with one company that it puts you out of business is just bad business practice. I'm thinking this was a small company that saw an opportunity to get additional work with Walmart by working this one job and didn't have the reserve capital and overextended itself. It was simply too small for the scope of the job.
In the rural areas they build in there are only small contractors available. Should the small business owner do his due diligence, certainly but many times this is their only shot at growing their business. Walmart has a slew of lawyers to make sure very contract favors them, but as I pointed out with Lowes even big contractors loose sight of the customers end game, which in many cases is get their facility up and running, and avoid paying the contractors as long as possible. Some have the means to wait them out, some don't. Still a lousy, immoral business plan.
It wasn't always this way when I started in the business much was still done on a handshake, trust and morals. I long for those days.
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:10 PM   #93
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Does this shock me, yes, surprise me not in the least. This is how big business works without Unions, are Unions the only answer,no, but until businesses decide they have a moral obligation to their loyal hard working employees it's the only answer.
Even the US Military is doing stuff like this. You can't count on 20 if you are at 18. How do you protect the hard workers and still alllow the crap to be fired--the idea of tenure for a teacher regardless of performance comes to mind but there are MANY examples.

Another reason to support honest, ethical small businesses. They seem to treat people better, in my experience.
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:34 PM   #94
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In the rural areas they build in there are only small contractors available. Should the small business owner do his due diligence, certainly but many times this is their only shot at growing their business. Walmart has a slew of lawyers to make sure very contract favors them, but as I pointed out with Lowes even big contractors loose sight of the customers end game, which in many cases is get their facility up and running, and avoid paying the contractors as long as possible. Some have the means to wait them out, some don't. Still a lousy, immoral business plan.
It wasn't always this way when I started in the business much was still done on a handshake, trust and morals. I long for those days.

Unfortunately the good old days are gone. Competition is so great and profit margins are much smaller than they use to be. Today a business survival is based more on a business decision than the product they sell or produce.


Border's Books is a case in point. They failed to anticipate the market's turn to electronic books and book readers and Barnes and Noble did and consequently Border's lost market share and could no longer sustain the hundreds of stores they had across the country and so when out of business.

Our capitalistic system give each of us the opportunity to succeed, it doesn't guarantee success and if you are lucky enough to succeed it doesn't guarantee you remain successful. This is why successful CEO's deserve the compensation they get and why Steve Jobs was so successful. Steve Jobs only problem was that he made it look too easy.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:03 PM   #95
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Unfortunately the good old days are gone. Competition is so great and profit margins are much smaller than they use to be. Today a business survival is based more on a business decision than the product they sell or produce.


Border's Books is a case in point. They failed to anticipate the market's turn to electronic books and book readers and Barnes and Noble did and consequently Border's lost market share and could no longer sustain the hundreds of stores they had across the country and so when out of business.

Our capitalistic system give each of us the opportunity to succeed, it doesn't guarantee success and if you are lucky enough to succeed it doesn't guarantee you remain successful. This is why successful CEO's deserve the compensation they get and why Steve Jobs was so successful. Steve Jobs only problem was that he made it look too easy.
I can't think of the words to describe how wrong I think you are about CEO compensation, they succeed by the cut and burn ideology that if it's not profitable right now cut it lose and fire everyone and sell the assets, the bottom line looks better RIGHT NOW, the hell with the workers,we want profits now. JMHO
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:17 PM   #96
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....the hell with the workers,we want profits now. JMHO
Where do you think the fiduciary responsibilities of a CEO lie, with the employees of the business or with the owners of the business (i.e., the stockholders)?

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Old 11-30-2011, 05:20 PM   #97
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Where do you think the fiduciary responsibilities of a CEO lie, with the employees of the business or with the owners of the business (i.e., the stockholders)?

Rusty
Rusty, Are we at the point that there are no moral responsibilities in business, if they can squeeze another couple of pennies a share by ravaging less profitable (not unprofitable) subsidiaries selling assets and firing workers, it's ok because they answer to the stock holders. If that is so then maybe we have lost our way as a people, The Constitution begins We The People, not we the corporation.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:08 PM   #98
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The stockholders, owners of the company, are part of We the People. They are, through the boards of directors whom they elect, the employers of the CEOs.

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