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Manufacturing Practices
Wal-Mart employs a minimal number of people in North America, instead outsourcing manufacturing jobs overseas. In Asia and South America low wages can be paid and goods can be manufactured in poor conditions, allowing Wal-Mart to sell their goods for a far cheaper price. In 1996 the Bureau of Labour Statistics estimated that in the U.S. the labour for the manufacturing a pair of pants would cost $7.76 an hour, while in Nicaragua the same work could be done for $0.24 (

Treatment of Employees
Approximately 70% of Wal-Mart employees leave within the first year of work ( This incredibly high employee turnover rate clearly says something about the companys mistreatment of employees. Wal-Mart has been accused of sexism, low wages and failure to pay its employees. In the United States, Wal-Mart has received much criticism for its poor health benefits, spending 27% less per employee on health care than the retail industry average (Wysocki and Zimmerman). Its strong aversion to labour unions has caused further critiques of its business practices.

Employee Treatment Lawsuits

A lawsuit was filed in 2005 in Missouri, accusing Wal-Mart of failing to pay employees overtime, give adequate lunch breaks, and refusing to pay them for working off the clock. Over 160,000 people who worked at Wal-Mart and Sams Club stores in Missouri between August 15, 1996, and June 30, 2003 were included in the lawsuit.

This is not an isolated accusation. In 2000, Wal-Mart paid $50 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the corporation of failing to pay 69,000 employees in Colorado for working off the clock (USA Today).
To read the full story, click on the link below:

Growth of the Wal-Mart Supercenter

Wal-Marts five year plan began in 2005 and involves the addition of 4,000 supercenters in the United States alone, with further expansion in other countries as well. By 2010, Wal-Mart sales are expected to exceed 500 billion annually (Wal-Mart Watch).

Arrival into Local Communities

Wal-Mart has largely been criticized for its tendency to move into small towns and detract business from local, independently-owned stores. Many towns lose their historic or small-town appeal with the arrival of Wal-Mart, which takes away tourist business. Smaller, local stores cannot compete with Wal-Marts low prices, causing them to lose business and eventually forcing them to close

There are economic benefits to shopping at a local and independently owned business instead of a national chain store , because more money stays within your community.

Released in 2005, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price is a full-length documentary that reveals the not so positive side of the worlds largest retailer. Click on the link to view a trailer of the film:

http://YouTube - WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price -- teaser trailer

Wysocki, Bernard, and Zimmerman, Ann. Wal-Mart Cost-Cutting Finds Big Target in Health Benefits. Wall Street Journal. 12 October 2008. <> Children Exploited by Kathy Lee/Wal-Mart. The Power of Consumer Choice. 29 April 1996. The National Labour Committee. 10 October 2008 <> Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town. Business Practices. 8 October 2008 < > Wal-Mart to Face Employee Suit in Missouri. 2 November 2005. USA Today. 13 October 2008. <>