On Wal-Mart Taking Over

Wal-Mart

Today I received a mailing from the Friends of Wal-Mart.  They were letting me know how wonderful and amazing it will be when Wal-Mart opens their new location in the Heights on the ugly, unused property at the intersection of Yale and Kohler.  Inside this 8.5 X 11 flyer, they go into detail about how a Wal-Mart will help Houston residents inside the loop.

Let us cover these points one by one.

Point: The store will take an unused property and make it useful.

Counterpoint: None, really.  Although I suspect that part of the reason it isn’t being used is that Walmart has been planning this store for a long time and, because of the amount of space such a store needs, they’ve been reserving the property themselves, i.e. it’s been unused because they’ve been sitting on it.

Point: The store will be the first Wal-Mart inside the loop.

Counterpoint: Though technically true, a giant Sam’s Club opened within the past year, and Sam’s Club is owned by Wal-Mart.

Point: The store will bring much-needed affordable grocery and pharmacy services to families who live in the heart of Houston, as well as clothing and housewares.

Counterpoint: Who are these families Wal-Mart is talking about?  We have dozens of grocery stores inside the loop, at all levels of pricing.  There are upscale Kroger’s, Randall’s, and Fiestas.  Walgreens provide good and cheap pharmacy services, not to mention the CVSs scattered around town.  We already have two Targets and a Bed, Bath, and Beyond to provide clothing and housewares.  Where, exactly, did Wal-Mart get its information from?

Point: The store will blend in with the surrounding community.

Counterpoint: A Wal-Mart will never blend into the surrounding community unless there is no real community.  A superstore takes up so much real estate that it essentially creates a whole in any community, which is why Wal-Marts are usually located in, or on the way to, suburbs, where there’s a wealth of open space.

Point: The store will provide the convenience of low-cost groceries, pharmacy services, and basic necessities within a few miles of the homes of nearby residents.

Counterpoint: Okay, now you’re just repeating yourself.  You already said this, and I already said that those services – low-cost ones, at that – are already conveniently place for everyone inside the loop.

Point: Well how about tax revenue, then.  The average Wal-Mart in Houston generates $870,000 in sales tax.  What do you have to say to that?

Counterpoint: The way you’re going to be providing that sales tax is by taking it from other retailers who are already established in our community.  The only way you’d be bringing in revenue would be if you were attracting money from outside of the city.  Here, you’re just planning on taking a cut from a limited market.

Point: And we’ll be providing three hundred jobs.

Counterpoint: And inevitably taking them away from those same retailers once you put them under.

Point: The new Wal-Mart is the ideal development to serve all of our communities.

Counterpoint: You’re not even listening, are you?

Point: The ideal development is always listening.

Counterpoint: Just like you’re not listening to the Houston woman (Nitra Gipson) whom you falsely accused of theft and now refuse to admit your mistake.  It’s all right here.

Point: The ideal development is never wrong.

Counterpoint: The mailer is a masterpiece of propaganda.  It positions Wal-Mart as a selfless benefactor, when it’s known and documented that the company is no friend to small business or to its employees.  Who are these “Friends of Walmart” anyway?  They’re you, Wal-Mart.  Admit it.

Point: The ideal development admits nothing.

Counterpoint: I’ll admit for you that the fact that you’re even sending out such mailings means that you’re having second thoughts.  I know you won’t admit that no one wants you here, and it must hurt to be so undesired (and undesirable).  And I know that you’ve invested a lot of time and money into moving in to our community.  But save us all a lot of trouble, and admit you were wrong.  No, you don’t even have to admit it.  Just, please, don’t come around here no more.

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One Response to On Wal-Mart Taking Over

  1. Chantelle says:

    I agree with all of that! That must mean they’re really good points (as they are).

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