Wal-Mart has been a part of our lives for almost 49 years, and it is a dominant force in the retail industry. However, analysts disagree on whether the corporation has a beneficial or bad impact on our society and economy, with many criticizing it for its reckless approach to becoming the behemoth it is now. Although hearing suggestions from professionals is beneficial, we, as customers, may also have our own opinions about this mega-retailer. Let us examine its advantages and downsides in order to make an educated and sensible selection. Here we review the pros and cons of Wal Mart in our society.
List of WalMart Pros and Advantages:
1. WalMart Benefits Our Economy
The “Wal-Mart economy” have benefited American employees and low-income families who cannot afford to buy more expensive items manufactured in the United States. In addition, tax payers fund a portion of the retailer’s employee health-care expenditures. There is little doubt that the company’s price reductions have benefited millions of American employees who work outside the retail business, according to his study titled “Wal-Mart: A Progressive Success Story.”
2. A Wide Range of Products
There will be an area for you to check out at Wal-Mart for whatever goods you require. You can go to the chain and acquire food for the week, electronics, get your car repaired, and clothing all in one trip. Unlike any other store of its sort, it truly is a one-stop shop. Furthermore, there is no membership cost to participate in order to save money.
3. Low Costs, Affordable!
Wal-Mart is well-known for offering products at far lower costs than other shops, which simply implies that purchasing a product here rather than a more locally owned business will save you more money. Other stores are unable to compete with such low prices. Many individuals even applaud this massive retail chain for allowing them to purchase the items they require the most. The firm is recognized for its low pricing, which apply to all of its items, including electronics, food, and everything in between.
4. Massive Employer in the USA
Based on these figures, this business is the largest private employer in the United States and is critical to the country’s economy. Wal-jobs Mart’s are critical, making it one of the most significant corporations in the world.
5. Increased Business to Areas
When a new Wal-Mart location is established, it instantly draws other companies. Customers from the neighboring villages would come into the region to shop and would frequently stay, spending their money at different local centers. If a city does not have such a store, its residents may consider driving to another city that does.
6. A broader range of business models
Wal-Mart investors are exposed to a more varied business strategy as the corporation expands into new markets such as Mexico, Brazil, and China. Though this feature may cause difficulties such as language hurdles, taxation, and other restrictions, it is beneficial to consumers regardless of the language they speak. Furthermore, by operating in various jurisdictions, investors receive exposure to different currencies and middle-class growth in other nations.
List of Wal-Mart Cons and Disadvantages:
1. Poor Healthcare Coverage for Employees
WalMart is a highly regarded household name that has one of the worst health care policies in all of corporate America. To make up for low salaries, it drives employees into government-funded programs like Medicaid, public assistance, and public housing. It has been reported that some of its policies have been modified for the worse since its founder’s death. It is not that the company does not offer health insurance to their employees; it just comes at a high price for workers earning minimum wage.
2. Anti-Employee Policies
It is stated that WalMart shows little to no respect to its employees, where they are severely mistreated and their only purpose is to fit into the philosophy that the company looks out for itself. Statistics shows that from 1999 to 2005 alone, the store had been part of several class action lawsuits in different states involving hundreds of thousands of former and current employees who had their work hours and wages tampered with, as well as abused.
3. Illegal immigrants and racism
WalMart was exposed to the public and prosecuted in 2003 for using illegal immigrants to conduct some cleaning after hours. The case, which was led by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, lasted more than 4 years and produced a huge number of arrests of undocumented workers. However, the company managed to evade criminal sanctions by settling to pay millions of dollars and then disputed the claims racial and gender discrimination. More evidence of racism from Wal-Mart stores has been evident in the said cases.
4. Un-Environmentally Friendly Operations
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection signed a consent order and agreement with the corporation in 1999 to improve environmental construction throughout the state. The agreement was made due to Wal-Mart violating water quality laws and regulations at one of its construction sites. In 2001, the company was again fined a million dollars for a similar violation.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department reached an agreement with Wal-Mart to solve issues of clean water violations at several locations covering 5 states. This was the first ever federal enforcement against a company for multi-state violations, and the settlement forced the giant retail chain to create an environmental management plan that is worth millions of dollars to improve its compliance with the laws at each site and to minimize the result of building on watersheds and streams.
5. Inadequate decision-making process
Employees are not invented throughout decision-making. As a result, they are limited in their ability to enhance these retail businesses, even if they may have many suggestions. They just take orders from their superiors and have no voice in the matter.
6. Tough scheduling
Walmart’s timetables are a little strange; for example, your days off are split in such a way that you can work a few hours a day. With such an irregular work schedule, many people find it difficult to arrange their personal life.
Because of the many micromanagement personnel at Walmart shops, rules are not directly enforced. This might lead to disagreements between employees and their supervisors.
9. Ineffective management techniques
Walmart managers are frequently forced to meet specific objectives. This may drive managers to employ shady management methods in order to attain their objectives.
Now, with the above lists of pros and cons, it is up to us to see Wal-Mart as a positive and negative influence on our society. But, we should be smart in using their services to our advantage and satisfying our needs through them.