The War on Wal-Mart

Liberals hate Wal-Mart because it represents capitalism.  Socialists and Communists can't stand it when capitalism succeeds.

Liberals especially hate Wal-Mart because it is the country's largest employer and the employees of Wal-Mart are not unionized.

One anti-Wal-Mart organization is called the WalMart Alliance for Reform Now, and is a subsidiary of ACORN.  If you're not familiar with ACORN, you can read some eye-opening information about the group here and here and here.



Walmart Workers Manifestly Reject Big Labor's Class-Warfare Propaganda — And With Good Reason.  Today [11/28/2014] the union-boss front group Our Walmart staged its third annual nationwide "Black Friday" protests against America's largest retailer at more than 1500 store locations across the country.  This year, once again, only a tiny fraction of the protesters were actual Walmart employees, and among the 1.3 million Americans who work for Walmart the overwhelming majority did not participate in or otherwise support the demonstrations.

Walmart workers scarce at Black Friday anti-Walmart protest in D.C..  Organizers of a post-Thanksgiving protest on behalf of workers at a Walmart in downtown Washington, D.C. identified only one of the participants as actually working at that store.  The admission underscores the fact that few Walmart workers have been involved in the protests.  "Thirty striking workers from Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland took part in today's protest, and Melinda Gaino, one of the striking workers, works at the H Street Store," said Julie Anderson, a spokeswoman for the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers union, which organized the event.

Ferguson Protests Move to Target, Wal-Mart Stores.  According to Johnetta Elzie, who had been tweeting and posting videos of the protests, demonstrations occurred at a Wal-Mart and Target in Brentwood, two Wal-Marts in St. Charles and one Wal-Mart in Manchester.

Why Democrats need rich people, too.  The populist Democratic senator from Massachusetts was in the Dirksen Senate Office Building [11/18/2014], hosting an event to push Wal-Mart to raise wages and improve working conditions.  "No one in this country should work full time and still live in poverty," she said, wearing a green wristband to show solidarity with Wal-Mart workers.  "Today a person can work full time, and a momma and a baby on a full-time minimum job cannot keep themselves out of poverty — and that's wrong."

The Editor says...
The minimum wage was never intended to support an entire family, or to support any individual in perpetuity -- especially a single mother.  If you're still living on one minimum-wage job when you're 30 years old, there's something wrong with your ambition glands, or with your education.

Walmart's Response To The New York Times Is Great.  The Arkansas-based company responded to an article from New York Times columnist Timothy Egan, titled "The Corporate Daddy" by doing the work that it felt Egan's Times editors should have done. [...] The retail giant apparently couldn't resist sarcasm after it found what it considered numerous problems with Egan's piece in which he criticized the company for paying its 2.2 million employees what he called "humiliating wages."  "Walmart is a net drain on taxpayers," wrote Egan in the missive, adding that the company forces "employees into public assistance with its poverty-wage structure.  "We are the largest tax payer in America," Tovar wrote in his edit.  "Can we see your math?"

Walmart hands NY Times' editors their own posteriors.  I have never met David Tovar, Walmart's vice president, corporate communications, but I'd like to shake his hand.  In this brilliant response to a column by Timothy Egan of the New York Times, Mr. Tovar puts to shame the editors who worked on the Egan piece, literally taking a red pencil to the piece they deigned to publish, and showing them how to do their jobs.

Mayor's alternative to Walmart? Downtown baseball stadium.  In an effort to block Walmart's proposed store in the city's downtown, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt is pitching the idea of instead using the site for a new baseball stadium.  Schmitt has floated the stadium idea privately to several aldermen and other civic leaders as an alternative to Walmart's planned retail superstore in the Broadway shopping district.

Robert Reich Rips White House 'Numbskull' Who Arranged Obama Walmart Speech.  Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich ripped into the White House on Friday [5/9/2014] for the decision to allow President Barack Obama to hold a press event at a Walmart.  Calling the staffer at the White House who planned the event a "numbskull," Reich wondered how it was possible for the president's staff to essentially endorse Walmart in spite of what he said was their unfair compensation practices.  "What numbskull in the White House arranged this?" an incensed Reich wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday [5/8/2014].  He went on to lambaste the company over its carbon emissions and it's [sic] labor practices.

Anti-Wal-Mart union leader once threatened janitorial company with death threats.  The anti-Wal-Mart crusader leading the fight to unionize the company once threatened a non-union janitorial company with death threats, The Daily Caller has learned.  Dan Schlademan runs the United Food and Commercial Workers Union's (UFCW) Making Change at Walmart group, which is fighting for pay hikes for Wal-Mart employees and to block the retail giant from opening new stores that could drive down wages in various regions.  The Making Change at Walmart campaign is organizing employees at every stage of the Walmart supply chain, including logistics and warehouse workers.

Surprise! Walmart health plan is cheaper, offers more coverage than Obamacare.  New Obamacare health insurance enrollees may feel a pang of envy when they eye the coverage plans offered by Walmart to its employees.  For many years, the giant discount retailer has been the target of unions and liberal activists who have harshly criticized the company's health care plans, calling them "notorious for failing to provide health benefits" and "substandard."  But a Washington Examiner comparison of the two health insurance programs found that Walmart's plan is more affordable and provides significantly better access to high-quality medical care than Obamacare.

Can a Minimum-Wage Hike Really Motivate Voters?.  [Scroll down]  Also, Walmart, another corporation the Left sees as evil for paying insufficient wages, opened its first two stores in Washington, D.C., yesterday [12/4/2013].  The D.C. council had spent much of the year debating a law that would have required Walmart to pay $12.50 an hour in wages and benefits.  The law would have applied to any "big box" store, but not to smaller businesses.  The D.C. council instead decided to raise the minimum wage in the city to $11.50 by 2016.

At Last, Walmart Opens in Washington, D.C..  At the corner of First and H Streets in Northwest Washington, the balloons were all set, hanging stories high in the cold morning air. [...] The time had finally come for Washington, D.C. — the last holdout in the lower 48 — to get its first two Walmart stores.  In 1996, Vermont was the last state to go Walmart blue.  Now it's Washington's turn, and four more stores are planned.

Union Member Admits Being Paid To Protest Against Walmart On Video.  On Black Friday [11/29/2013], leftists organized a nationwide protests at several Walmart locations in order to try to extort union dues from the supermarket chain's vast employee pool.  Ostensibly, they were advocating for higher wages, but among the long list of the demands was their true intent — to unionize the nation's largest employe, second only to the federal government.  Wal-mart haters have a long history of pushing lengthy demands onto the retail chain.

Walmart says only 20 employees joined Black Friday protests.  A press conference call by the activist group OUR Walmart turned awkward when the group was repeatedly unable to say how many Walmart employees had joined in the group's long-planned Black Friday protests.  Walmart itself put the figure at just 20.

Black Friday union strikes against Walmart likely to fizzle.  The "widespread, massive strikes and protests" targeting Walmart on Black Friday will almost certainly fall flat, says one union watchdog closely monitoring the labor group planning the pickets.  OUR Walmart, a close affiliate of the massive United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), is threatening the big-box chain with crippling strikes and angry crowds during next week's crucial Black Friday sale unless the company raises worker wages.

How Big Labor enlisted the NLRB against Walmart.  Big Labor's campaign against Walmart got a major new ally Monday [11/18/2013]:  the federal government.  The National Labor Relations Board announced it is pursuing charges that the nonunion retail giant retaliated against some of it workers for engaging in union activities.  The NLRB's action suggests Big Labor is reaping some serious rewards for its aggressive push to get the administration to stock the labor law enforcement agency with union-friendly appointees.

EBT benefit card glitch sparks Walmart shopping sprees in Louisiana.  The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system allows recipients of government food stamps to purchase goods using a digital card with a set spending limit, but for a few hours over the weekend, that limit disappeared for many users visiting Walmart stores in Louisiana.  Walmart and local police in Springhill and Mansfield confirmed to CBS affiliate KSLA that officers were called into the stores to help maintain order Saturday as shoppers swept through the aisles at two stores and bought as much as they could carry.

The Louisiana Heist.  On Saturday [10/12/2013], Louisiana's "EBT" system malfunctioned, causing spending limits on users' food-stamp cards temporarily to be lifted.  In two counties at least, recipients noticed the error, spread the word, and set about trying to check out as much as they could fit into shopping carts. At Walmarts in the towns of Springhill and Mansfield, employees called corporate headquarters to ask what they should do.  They were instructed to "keep the registers ringing."  This they did — and with a vengeance.  By the time that proper limits on the cards had been restored a couple of hours later, the shelves had been all but stripped bare.

The Editor says...
The government has the names and addresses of everyone who committed this fraud.  Why haven't the perpetrators been arrested?

Walmart food stamp bonanza proof of abused system.  A week ago, the technology that assessed spending limits on debit cards for food-stamp recipients malfunctioned.  As a result, there was no way for stores to tell how much value was left on individual cards.  Many merchants refused to accept the cards until the problem was fixed.  Not wanting to risk having anyone go hungry, Walmart allowed people to use the cards.  Unfortunately, the food-stamp recipients treated the stores' generosity as a bonanza, and filled carts with much more than they were entitled to.  As word got out, the two Walmarts quickly found themselves overwhelmed by other food-stamp recipients doing the same.

Wal-Mart compared to Hitler at DC living wage rally.  Comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory compared Wal-Mart to the leader of Nazi Germany at a "living wage" rally in front of the D.C. City Council on Tuesday [9/17/2013].  "When you look at Hitler and those thugs, you can put Wal-Mart right next to them," Gregory said in his speech to the 150 or so people at the event.  The crowd was gathered to protest D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray's veto of a bill that would have singled out the retail giant and forced it pay its employees $12.50 an hour.

D.C. Mayor Gray vetoes 'living wage' bill aimed at Wal-Mart, setting up decisive council vote.  Mayor Vincent C. Gray vetoed legislation Thursday [9/12/2013] that would force the District's largest retailers to pay their workers significantly more, choosing the potential for jobs and development at home over joining a national fight against low-wage work.  Gray's quandary is playing out in many U.S. cities, where local leaders who generally sympathize with worker causes are also eager to lure jobs and commerce for their constituents.

Walmart workers to strike for higher wage, right to unionize.  Thousands of Walmart employees around the country will hold a massive strike on Thursday [9/5/2013], demanding higher wages, the right to unionize and the rehiring of more than 70 employees fired for striking earlier in the summer.  The strike is being organized by a group called "OUR Walmart," according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  It comes on heels of last week's strike by fast food workers with similar demands.

The Editor says...
Here is a bit of advice for the union organizers:  If you are employed by a store, that doesn't make it your store.

Walmart Shrugs: Pulls Plans to Build Stores in Washington, D.C..  Writing in the Washington Post on Tuesday [7/11/2013], Walmart's regional general manager Alex Barron told Washington, D.C.'s city council that if they voted to pass the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA), his company would "not pursue [building] stores at Skyland, Capitol Gateway or New York Avenue" shopping centers, and they would "thoroughly review" their interest in completing three other stores near completion elsewhere in the district.

DC Politicos Block Walmart, Help Special Interests, Hurt The Poor.  Why, when there is no question that nothing has created more wealth and eradicated more poverty than capitalism, do left wing politicians hate it so much?  After all, it's supposed to be the left that cares about the poor.  The latest chapter in this ongoing saga of economic perversity is action being taken in Washington, DC, to prevent Walmart from opening stores there.

The Left, Wal-Mart, and the D.C. City Council Fiasco.  Yesterday, the liberal majority of the D.C. City Council voted that if Wal-Mart opens three stores in the underserviced poor areas of the nation's capital — inhabited largely by African-Americans — it cannot do so unless the chain raises the minimum wage of its employees to $12.50 per hour.  That action reflects how far removed from reality the council members are.

D.C. Council approves 'living wage' bill over Wal-Mart ultimatum.  D.C. lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to a bill requiring some large retailers to pay their employees a 50 percent premium over the city's minimum wage, a day after Wal-Mart warned that the law would jeopardize its plans in the city.  The retail giant had linked the future of at least three planned stores in the District to the proposal.  But its ultimatum did not change any legislators' minds.  The 8 to 5 roll call matched the outcome of an earlier vote on the matter, taken before Wal-Mart's warning.

DC City Council bullies Walmart to enrich unions.  The city council of the nation's capital is engaged in a game of chicken with the nation's biggest private employer, Walmart.  Legislation custom-designed to force the Arkansas retailer to employ unionized workers in its planned new stores in the District has been passed, and in response the company has threatened to stop construction on 3 stores underway, and cancel plans for 3 more.

Wal-Mart says it will pull out of D.C. plans should city mandate 'living wage'.  The world's largest retailer delivered an ultimatum to District lawmakers Tuesday, telling them less than 24 hours before a decisive vote that at least three planned Wal-Marts will not open in the city if a super-minimum-wage proposal becomes law. [...] The D.C. Council bill would require retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger to pay their employees no less than $12.50 an hour.  The city's minimum wage is $8.25.

D.C. Council poised to chase off 900 jobs because they don't like Wal-Mart.  Businesses are not obligated to open in your city or your neighborhood, particularly when you incentivize them to locate elsewhere. Washington, D.C. is particularly susceptible to losing potential jobs (particularly in entry-level and working class retail positions, as opposed to lobbyist slots) to nearby jurisdictions because it doesn't take much to simply cross the bridge to friendlier climes in, say, Virginia.

D.C.'s minimum wage folly.  The nation's post-election leftward lurch is gaining momentum.  Six states, including New York and California, are agitating for a boost in the minimum wage.  Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat, wants the federal government to set a nationwide wage floor that will automatically rise each year.  Not to be left out, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson on Tuesday circulated his proposal for a 55 percent increase in the minimum wage over the federal level, which he would only apply to employees of the "big box" retailers that liberals love to hate.

Wal-Mart and Hostess: Two Union Stories.  Yes critics can argue that Wal-Mart gets its products cheaply made in China, wrecking jobs here.  That's a legitimate point.  However, does anyone seriously think shutting down Wal-Mart will stop that trend?

Paid Enough to Buy the Product.  In the past several years, a virtual industry has been created in bashing Wal-Mart.  From leftist church groups to the AFL-CIO to the Chronicles, Wal-Mart has been the favorite whipping boy of people on all sides of the political spectrum.  Thus, it was no surprise when I recently received an emailed article from the quasi-Marxist Sojourners magazine not only attacking Wal-Mart for the usual set of "sins" that the critics claim, but also a new transgression:  Wal-Mart's business practices, on net, make our economy worse off and leave us poorer.

Wal-Mart: Only 50 employees protested; UFCW disputes.  Wal-Mart claimed today [11/23/2012] that the much-hyped Black Friday protests at the non-union retail giant fizzled out, with only 50 associates — their term for employees — taking part.  The United Food and Commercial Workers union, which organized the protests, disputed that figure though.  It said "hundreds and hundreds" joined in at events across the country.

Failure Of Walmart Walkout Underscores Union Decline.  Despite gaining a stranglehold over the public sector, unions are losing ground in the private sector.  This was seen again in the failed union walkouts against retail giant Wal-Mart.

Fail: Lone Union Worker Walks Out of Walmart.  The walkout was led by — and entirely constituted by — Vanessa Ferreira, 59.  She told her manager that she was going on strike.  The other workers watched her leave, shrugged, and went back about their business.

So, How Did Those Wal-Mart Protests Go?  Well, in Chicago, protestors were bussed in to stand with the lone store employee who decided to protest.  Our Walmart claims there were protestors in over 100 cities today, which would be an astronomical number of people protesting.  Walmart had a slightly different estimate.  "We estimate that less than 50 associates participated in the protest nationwide.  In fact, this year, roughly the same number of associates missed their scheduled shift as last year," Walmart chief executive Bill Simon said.

Would-be killer decides against rampage at 'Twilight' screening for Walmart instead.  A homicidal Missouri man who planned to slaughter viewers watching the "Twilight" movie series finale instead targeted a nearby Walmart to rachet up the death toll.  Blaec Lammers, 20, remained held on $500,000 bond Saturday [11/17/2012] after his mass murder plot was undermined by a phone call from his terrified mother to police.

Wal-Mart files U.S. labor charge against union.  Wal-Mart Stores Inc is taking its first legal step to stop months of protests and rallies outside Walmart stores, targeting the union that it says is behind such actions.

The wealthiest person in each of the 50 states.  Bill Gates, who is America's wealthiest person worth $64.5 billion, still lives in Seattle, Washington near to the headquarters of Microsoft which he founded, while Wal-Mart heir, Jim Walton, worth $33.6 billion lives in Bentonville, Arkansas, where the retail giant is headquartered.

The Wal-Mart Effect Comes To Health Care.  Giant discounter Wal-Mart says it will soon offer vaccinations for a wide variety of ailments.  Can the "Wal-Mart Effect," which has helped slash U.S. inflation, do the same thing for soaring health care costs?

Thousands rally against Wal-Mart in Chinatown.  Several thousand people, led by a banner that read "Wal-Mart= Poverty," marched through Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles Saturday [6/30/2012] to decry the giant retailer's plans for a neighborhood grocery store and the chain's low-end wage scale and non-unionized workforce.

Walmart Caves to Van Jones, Drops ALEC Support.  The coordinated leftist attempt to destroy the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) over ALEC's support for voter ID and "stand your ground" laws reached a new low today when Walmart, the biggest retailer in America, suspended its membership in the group.

Understanding the Progressive Mind.  [Scroll down]  In a recent editorial, the editors of the Chattanooga Times called for the imprisonment of Wal-Mart executives and the destruction of Wal-Mart stores because the company did what every other company has done when it wants to do business in Mexico:  pay some bribes.

House Democrats launch probe of alleged bribery at Wal-Mart.  A pair of top House Democrats disclosed Monday [4/23/2012] they are investigating allegations that Wal-Mart's Mexican subsidiary paid bribes to speed permits for new-store openings.

Walmart hit by bribery probe, shares plunge.  Wal-Mart Stores Inc lost $10 billion of its market value on Monday [4/23/2012] on concerns that a bribery investigation in Mexico could be very costly and hinder its plans to grow.  In a sign that the problem was widening for the world's largest retailer, two U.S. lawmakers said they were launching their own investigation into allegations in a New York Times article that Wal-Mart de Mexico had engaged in a multi-year campaign of bribery to build its business.

Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle.  In September 2005, a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an alarming e-mail from a former executive at the company's largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico.  In the e-mail and follow-up conversations, the former executive described how Wal-Mart de Mexico had orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance.  In its rush to build stores, he said, the company had paid bribes to obtain permits in virtually every corner of the country.

The Editor says...
So what?  Nothing gets done in Mexico without bribery.  It's part of their way of life.  The way business is conducted in other countries — even by U.S.-based companies — should be of no concern to American politicians.

The Permit Plague.  [T]he untold scandal here is that businessmen, at home and abroad, are compelled to secure government permits.  When corrupt officials use this (illegitimate) power to shake down companies, one should blame not the businesses that are attempting to be productive, but the statist idea that such permissions are a proper function of government.  The way to eradicate such corruption is to fight for the complete separation of state and economics.

Why the civil service is no way to run a business.  Think back over the years about your experiences in your local department of motor vehicles.  Only the most strenuous efforts by local officials, like former Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty, get a DMV operating with anything close to Walmart efficiency.  The folks who concocted this lawsuit against Walmart want, in effect, to model the private sector of the economy on the civil service.  That's why they took on the largest private-sector company of them all.

How Wal-Mart drives progressives crazy.  One reason Wal-Mart is such a fun company to observe is it drives progressives nuts.  They have a split personality before the Bentonville behemoth.  One day they hate the retailing giant for undercutting mom-and-pop shops, for contributing to sprawl and all manner of other alleged social ills.  The next minute they love Wal-Mart, even saying it's on the "side of the angels" for fighting banks over the issue of "interchange fees."

Wal-Mart In Unions' Cross Hairs.  The union idea of civil discourse is to protest outside opponents' private homes.  Now union supporters are targeting a developer, with fliers showing a bull's-eye and his home address.

Liberals abhor capitalism, profit, and free-market success.
Liberals Don't Hate Money, They Hate Walmart The hypocrisy, inconsistency and general idiocy of our age — a "liberal" age — knows no limits.  Consider liberal/socialist outrage over Walmart.  Walmart, liberals argue, is greedy and exploits its workers by not paying them what they consider enough.  How much is enough?  This is never specified.  However, the definition is clear:  "Enough" consists of more than workers are currently making at any given time.  It will never be enough.  The issue is profit.  Liberals hate profit and success, especially when it occurs in the free market.

Thuggery Prevails among Leftist Unions.  In Washington, D.C., a group calling itself "Wal-Mart Free DC" targeted the developer of a proposed Wal-Mart in that city for a protest.  The location of that protest?  The front lawn of the man's private residence, where 25 people showed up last Thursday night.  How did they know where to go?  The group distributed a flyer with the developer's home address — one which also contained drawings of cross-hairs and a smiley face.  The group claimed it is not affiliated with any particular union, but on the right side of its website home page it displays a link to "Wal-Mart Watch" which is funded by two union groups, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and United Commercial and Food Workers International Union.

Activists wage campaign against Wal-Mart in D.C..  Neighborhood activists, affordable housing advocates and labor unions are mounting campaigns aimed at thwarting Wal-Mart's plan to open its first stores in D.C. ... Thursday night [12/16/2010], about 20 activists staged a protest at the home of a development executive planning the store, walking in circles on the snow-covered sidewalk chanting "Keep D.C. Wal-Mart free."

Union makes State Senate Democrats return Walmart money.  State Senate Democrats have bowed to pressure from furious labor leaders and returned a controversial $15,000 campaign contribution they received from Walmart, The [New York] Post has learned.  The action came just days after last week's disclosure in The Post that the Democrats had accepted the cash from the union-resisting Arkansas-based retail chain, which is believed to be interested in putting its first city store in Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson's Brooklyn district.

Wal-Mart Strikes Back.  It's quite a role reversal:  The feds are complaining about getting dragged into court, having to file time-consuming paperwork, and generally being treated like any taxpayer who get crosswise with the IRS.  It seems Wal-Mart, the 800-pound gorilla of retailers, is challenging a fine in connection with the death of a clerk at one of its stores on Long Island, who was trampled to death the day after Thanksgiving of 2008.  The poor guy was overrun by a crowd — or rather mob — rushing into the store for the biggest shopping day of the year.  As a result, Wal-Mart was fined $7,000 by OSHA, the federal job-safety agency.

'Wal-Mart Moms' Turn on the Democrats.  The bad news for Democrats keeps pouring in.  Now it comes from Wal-Mart moms — women with children under 18 who shop at Wal-Mart.  They tend to be Democrats and more of them than not voted for President Obama in 2008.  But they're leaning Republican this year.

Economic Myths, Fallacies and Stupidity.  [Scroll down]  Wal-Mart owns 8,300 stores, of which 4,000 are in 44 different countries.  Its 2010 revenues are expected to top $500 billion.  Putting Wal-Mart's revenues in perspective, they exceed the 2009 GDP of all but 18 of the world's 181 countries.  Why is Wal-Mart so successful?  Millions of people voluntarily enter their stores and part with their money in exchange for Wal-Mart's products and services.  In order for that to happen, Wal-Mart and millions of other profit-motivated businesses must please people.

Jobs On Aisle Three.  A group of ministers wants a big-box retailer to create jobs in a desolate area of President Obama's hometown.  In a largely jobless recovery, why are the labor unions and political bosses fighting the clergy?

Wal-Mart means low-priced goods and good jobs.  [Scroll down slowly]  With such a reputation for ruthlessness, Wal-Mart must be struggling to find workers, right?  Yet when the company opened a new store in St. Paul's Midway area in May 2004, about 6,000 applicants vied for 325 job openings, according to Joyce Niska, the store's acting manager in 2005.  That, too, was nothing new.  For years, people have beaten down the doors to work at Wal-Mart.

Union Intensifies Efforts to Organize Workers at Wal-Mart.  The United Food and Commercial Workers union is ramping up organizing at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. after a five-year lull, dovetailing with its efforts to win support in Congress for a bill to make union organizing easier.

Fly on the Wall.  Some people, usually community activists, loath Wal-Mart.  Others, like the family of four struggling to make ends meet, are in love with the chain.  I, meanwhile, am in awe of it.

Springsteen calls Wal-Mart CD deal a mistake.  In an interview with Sunday's [2/1/2009] New York Times, Bruce Springsteen says he shouldn't have made a deal with Wal-Mart.

Who did the most to help victims of Hurricane Katrina?  The results are recounted in a new paper on the disaster written by Steven Horwitz, an Austrian-school economist at St. Lawrence University in New York.  While [FEMA] fumbled about, doing almost as much to prevent essential supplies from reaching Louisiana and Mississippi as it could to facilitate it, Wal-Mart managers performed feats of heroism.

Wal-Mart ordered to allow union contract in Canada.  A Quebec arbitrator imposed a labor contract Friday [8/15/2008] at a unionized Wal-Mart outlet there, marking the first such deal involving the retail giant in North America.

Wal-Mart Back on Top of Fortune 500.  Wal-Mart Stores Inc. dethroned Exxon Mobil Corp. to win back first place on the 2007 Fortune 500 list after a confluence of economic forces led American companies to their most profitable year in the compilation's 53-year history.

Wal-Mart to Pay $530 Million in Bonuses to U.S. Staff.  Wal-Mart Stores Inc., under pressure from unions and politicians to boost wages and benefits, increased its annual bonus payments for U.S. hourly workers to $530 million and announced new rewards programs for employees.

Theft rising at U.S. Wal-Mart stores.  Shoppers at Wal-Mart stores across America are loading carts with merchandise — maybe a flat-screen TV, a few DVDs and a six-pack of beer — and strolling out without paying.  Employees also are helping themselves to goods they haven't paid for.

Wal-Mart Drives Democrats Batty.  The New York Times reported recently that the Democrats have, en masse, declared their party to be the enemy of the mega-box store.  Sen. Joe Biden Jr. (D-Del.) recently delivered a "blistering attack" on the company at an anti-Wal-Mart rally in Iowa, and other Democrats have appeared at similar events.

Hatin' that Store.  Not long ago, the idea that attacking Wal-Mart was smart politics was a somewhat quixotic notion, found mostly in union offices and a few left-wing websites.  Today, it's mainstream Democratic party doctrine. … The bottom line is that liberal Democrats — and virtually nobody else — believe Wal-Mart is bad for America.

Hollywood economics:  Apparently Wal-Mart does not pay its employees as much as third-party observers would like to see them paid.  But obviously it is not paying them less than their work is worth to other employers or they probably would not be working at Wal-Mart.  Moreover, third parties who wax indignant are paying them nothing.

Waging War On Wal-Mart:  Some progressives, as liberals now prefer to be known, would rather rid the world of Wal-Mart than of Baathists.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation, which is not preserving its reputation for seriousness, has listed Vermont — all of it — among America's most endangered historic places.  Why?  Because of a threatened "onslaught" of seven more — Vermont has four — Wal-Marts.  The other 49 states have 3,044.  Texas has the greatest number (317), Hawaii the fewest (six) aside from Vermont.

The 'Wal-Mart effect' strikes again.  By slashing prices on flat-panel TVs, the retail giant has clobbered another sector — this time, consumer-electronics stores.

The Editor says...
Please notice that the article above reeks with bias, castigating Wal-Mart for undercutting the competition, as if there is something criminal about drastic price reductions.

Obama called hypocrite for wife's Wal-Mart link.  [Michelle Obama] has just been re-elected to the board of an Illinois food-processing company, a position she took up two years ago to gain experience of the private sector.  And the biggest customer for the pickles and peppers produced by Treehouse Foods is the retail giant Wal-Mart, the world's largest corporation and the bê'te noire of American liberals, including Sen Obama, for its employment practices, most notably its refusal to recognise trade unions.

Update:
Mrs Obama quits controversial job.  Michelle Obama, the wife of the American Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama, has resigned from the board of a food company whose biggest customer is Wal-Mart, the retail giant under fire from her husband.  The Sunday Telegraph reported two weeks ago that her position at Treehouse Foods could raise claims of hypocrisy as Senator Obama attacked Wal-Mart for its anti-union employment policies.

Edwards and Obama Battle Against Wal-Mart:  Senator Obama and another potential Democratic 2008 presidential contender, a former North Carolina senator, John Edwards, will speak to activists from one of Wal-Mart's most vociferous union-backed critics today as debate over the world's largest retailer becomes increasingly political.

Oops!
Edwards Acknowledges Wal-Mart Gaffe.  Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Thursday that a staff member for former Sen. John Edwards — a vocal critic of the retailer — asked his local Wal-Mart store for help in getting the potential 2008 presidential candidate a Sony PlayStation 3.

Do as I say, not as I do.
Edwards acknowledges staff asked Wal-Mart for Playstation 3.  Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards acknowledged Thursday that amid his criticism of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., a volunteer member of his staff asked the world's largest retailer for help obtaining a hot new Sony Playstation 3 for Edwards' family.

Class Warfare in the Aisles of Wal-Mart.  While ordinary working-class people across America were queuing for the new PlayStation 3, one fellow had a bright idea — dropping his boss's name at Wal-Mart to get the next-gen console sent over on the QT for the boss's family.  Unfortunately, the boss was former Sen. John Edwards, John Kerry's would-be veep and famous nemesis of Wal-Mart's evil dominion over the Earth.  The hypocrisy was delicious:  It was on the same day Edwards was talking to union activists about Wal-Mart's labor policies.

Little minds don't grasp big-box appeal.  People who buy their groceries from Wal-Mart — it has one-fifth of the nation's grocery business — save at least 17 percent.  But because unions are strong in many grocery stores trying to compete with Wal-Mart, unions are yanking on the Democratic Party's leash, demanding laws to force Wal-Mart to pay wages and benefits higher than those that already are high enough to attract 77 times more applicants than there were jobs at Evergreen Park's store.

Putting a lid on the big box.  With San Diego's City Council and mayor preparing for a showdown, America's biggest employer finds itself in a familiar place — at the center of a controversy over its superstores.

Shining the Light on Wal-Mart's Corporate Social Responsibility Blind Spot.  Wal-Mart's emphasis on fluorescent lighting illuminates a much deeper problem.  First, it illustrates the company doesn't understand the nature of its battle or the motivation of its adversaries.  For the Left and its socialism leanings, Wal-Mart is a symbol of capitalism and free enterprise.  This represents a mortal threat to labor unions and aspiring liberal politicians who value economic equality through wealth redistribution.

Court Rejects Maryland's Anti-Wal-Mart Law.  A federal appeals court on Wednesday said the State of Maryland may not require large retailers (Wal-Mart was the target) to spend 8 percent of their payrolls on health care for employees.  In a 2-1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that said Maryland's law violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Wal-Mart faces historic sex bias case.  The biggest sexual discrimination case in U.S. history advanced against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Tuesday [2/6/2007] when a top court ruled that more than a million women could join a suit charging bias in pay and promotions.

City Council votes to place restrictions on big-box retailers.  San Diego has joined a growing list of cities nationwide to place restrictions on large retail developments — a move that pits the city squarely against Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer.

The long, losing war to smear Wal-Mart.  Pity the Wal-Mart haters.  For them, these are dark days.  Until recently, you didn't have to work too hard to convince people that the world's biggest retailer was plotting to destroy every little community in which it set up shop.  Over the past decade, we've been repeatedly told that Wal-Mart is a nasty, rapacious, corporate villain that exploits workers, crushes rivals and is responsible for everything from the U.S. trade deficit to the destruction of the environment.

Is Anti-Wal-Mart Legislation Good for Us?  Does anti-Wal-Mart legislation further the public interest?  Wal-Mart's critics say that many of its employees earn wages so low that they qualify for benefits under Medicaid, costing the government money.  (The same is true of the U.S. Army, by the way.)  While it is true that some of the lower-wage workers employed at Wal-Mart and elsewhere qualify for Medicaid, it's reasonable to ask whether an employer should be held responsible for providing its employees with health care just because it provides them with a job.

Defending a Vilified Wal-Mart:  Wal-Mart has recently been named by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the country's top companies for diversity.  The firm was also celebrated this year by Diversity Inc., Asian Enterprise Magazine, the National Association of Women, Black MBA Magazine, Careers and the Disabled Magazine and by Hispanic Magazine for similar accomplishments.  This is the company that Democrats are campaigning against?

The liberals have it all wrong.  The median household income of Wal-Mart shoppers is under $40,000.  Wal-Mart, the most prodigious job-creator in the history of the private sector in this galaxy, has almost as many employees (1.3 million) as the U.S. military has uniformed personnel.  A McKinsey company study concluded that Wal-Mart accounted for 13 percent of the nation's productivity gains in the second half of the 1990s, which probably made Wal-Mart about as important as the Federal Reserve in holding down inflation.

What Left and Right Both Miss About the Wal-Mart Debate:  What's missing from the debate is the extent to which the Wal-Mart story really is the antithesis of laissez-faire capitalism.  When you look under the rug, it turns out that Wal-Mart is a beneficiary of corporate welfare.  When Wal-Mart plans a new store, it typically asks local and county governments for an array of benefits, principally in the form of various economic development subsidies.

Here we have a complete reversal of the truth:
Wal-Mart 'Has Declared War' on Dems, Union Foe Charges.  Wal-Mart "has officially declared war on the Democratic Party" just three weeks before the Nov. 7 midterm elections, according to a group that wants to "change" the nation's biggest retail chain by unionizing its 1.3 million employees.

Union Group Links President Bush With Wal-Mart.  A union-affiliated group says it plans to run campaign ads linking Wal-Mart's "right-wing" agenda with that of President George W. Bush.  In other words, if you hate President Bush, you should hate Wal-Mart as well.

Daley vetoes 'big-box' ordinance.  Infuriating organized labor and delighting business leaders, Mayor Daley today [9/11/2006] vetoed an ordinance that would have required Wal-Mart and other "big-box" retailers to pay employees a "living wage" of at least $13-an-hour in wages and benefits by 2010.

Wal-Mart against the wall?  A democratic presidential candidate on the campaign trail attacking corporations is nothing new.  Oil companies, drug manufacturers, and the tobacco industry have all found themselves on the receiving end of election-year criticism from Democratic politicians.  Democratic presidential contenders reportedly are at it again.  This time, Exxon and Pfizer's public relations departments can rest easier because there is a fresh corporate punching bag:  Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart:  Always Low Prices without Union Vices.  On any given day, copious amounts of anti-Wal-Mart sentiment circulate in the media.  Out of the spotlight, though, is past criticism of the Walton families' support of school choice.  Union detractors have settled on a different strategy and are achieving a certain degree of success influencing public opinion to observe the company in a negative light.  Critics would have the populace believe that Wal-Mart depresses wages and eliminates jobs. … The most egregious accusation is that taxpayers and businesses indirectly pay the costs of Wal-Mart's underinsured employees.  It is alleged it is because of Wal-Mart, that their employees rely on healthcare subsidies, food stamps, housing vouchers, etc.; costing the federal taxpayer an average of $2,103 per worker.

'Wal-Mart Law' Overturned in Maryland.  On July 19, a federal district court ruled Maryland's "Fair Share Health Care Fund Act" — more popularly known as the "Wal-Mart law" — cannot be implemented because it violates a 32-year-old federal law.  The Maryland law would have required companies with 10,000 or more employees to spend at least 8 percent of their payroll on health benefits or pay into a state Medicaid fund the difference between 8 percent and the percentage actually spent on health benefits.

Wal-Mart to test $4 generic drugs.  Wal-Mart Stores Inc., long criticized for providing stingy health insurance, plans to make nearly 300 generic drugs much more affordable to its employees and customers.

Wal-Mart expands discount drug sales.  Wal-Mart announced today [10/05/2006] that it will sell select generic prescription drugs at a sharply reduced price in all of Florida, nearly four months earlier than expected.

Wal-Mart to open 400 in-store clinics.  Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said on Tuesday [4/24/2007] that it will contract with local hospitals and other organizations to open as many as 400 in-store health clinics in the next two to three years.

The Editor says...
That's a bad idea.  Wal-Mart is already awash in bacteria.  It's one of the places that doctors warn patients to stay away from, if the patients have weakened immune systems.

Wal-Mart job pays millions.  Who says you'll never get rich working at Wal-Mart?  A federal magistrate judge has just approved a $2.8 million award for disability-based discrimination on behalf of plaintiff Patrick Brady, who suffers from cerebral palsy.  The company's offense?  It "violated federal and state laws by making a prohibited inquiry [relating to his disabilities] before giving Brady an employment offer.

Chicago Council Passes 'Living Wage' Act.  [An] ordinance, which passed 35-14 Wednesday [7/26/2006] after three hours of impassioned debate, requires mega-retailers to pay wages of at least $10 an hour plus $3 in fringe benefits by mid-2010. … The minimum wage in Illinois is $6.50 an hour and the federal minimum is $5.15.  Mayor Richard M. Daley and others warned the living wage proposal would drive jobs and desperately needed development from some of the city's poorest neighborhoods and lead giants like Wal-Mart to abandon the city.

Did someone mention the Minimum Wage?

Bullying Wal-Mart:  Texas has become the latest state to jump on the anti-Wal-Mart bandwagon.  Lawmakers recently added an amendment to business tax legislation requiring employers with more than 100,000 employees (only Wal-Mart qualifies) to report the number of employees who are either themselves or their families receiving benefits under Medicaid or the Texas Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  It is a predictable first step: embarrass employers who do not provide health insurance to their employees.

Behind the 'Wal-Mart Bill':  Labor union leaders, desperate to organize new members, view gargantuan retailer Wal-Mart as both an elusive prize and a scapegoat for worker anger over rising health care costs.  But expensive union campaigns to tarnish Wal-Mart's reputation have largely failed. Now union leaders and their allies in state legislatures are trying to legally mandate minimum health insurance benefits—again, with limited results.

Who's Really Behind the Anti-Wal-Mart Campaign?  ACORN, a national organization of low- and moderate-income persons, has been around since the early 1970s.  The organization claims about 175,000 member families in 80 cities and advocates left-wing populist approaches to a variety of issues including public housing, jobs, wages, taxes, and voter registration. … While advocating living wages, ACORN has opposed paying even minimum wages to its own workers.  This was made apparent back in 1995, when ACORN sued the state of California to be exempted from paying its own workers the minimum wage.

Wal-Mart:  Always Under Attack.  Always.  When journalists start referring to "the retailing behemoth," a "giant" or a business that "destroys other companies," it's time for another Wal-Mart story.

Group:  Clinton 'so proud' of Wal-Mart.  Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was an enthusiastic supporter of Wal-Mart while she was first lady of Arkansas, according to new videos unearthed by the Center for Public Integrity, a journalistic watchdog group.

Hillary Clinton, no longer buying baking supplies at Wal-Mart.  The real issue on her mind is surely, as usual, more political than principled: the current crusade by the left against Wal-Mart.  The controlling wing of the Democratic Party seems perpetually caught in the mindset of its heyday, from FDR through LBJ, when politics was seen as the management of three branches of society — Big Government, Big Labor, and Big Business.

Wal-Mart Imagemaker Quits Amid PR Flap.  In the [Los Angeles] Sentinel interview, Young was asked about whether he was concerned Wal-Mart causes smaller, mom-and-pop stores to close.  "Well, I think they should; they ran the 'mom and pop' stores out of my neighborhood," the paper quoted Young as saying.  "But you see, those are the people who have been overcharging us, selling us stale bread and bad meat and wilted vegetables.  And they sold out and moved to Florida.  I think they've ripped off our communities enough.  First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it's Arabs; very few black people own these stores."

Young quits Wal-Mart group after remarks.  Andrew Young, the former United Nations ambassador and mayor of Atlanta, said Thursday [8/17/2006] he has resigned as head of Working Families for Wal-Mart, a Washington-based group that supports the retail giant.  His resignation followed the publication of comments he made to a reporter about Jewish-, Asian- and Arab-owned businesses.

Unions Protest Wal-Mart's Health Care.  Unions representing six million workers planned to rally Wednesday [4/26/2006] in 35 cities from New York to Los Angeles to protest what they called inadequate health care coverage by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation's largest employer.

The Wal-Mart Model:  Wal-Mart does not pay high wages or provide healthcare benefits to all employees.  But not all workers today want full-time jobs (they may want to be home when kids return from school) or health insurance (many are covered by a spouse's policy or Medicare).  And Wal-Mart promotes from within:  You can work your way up from the store floor to management ranks.

The latest liberal crusade is against the Wal-Mart stores.  According to the New York Times, there is a book "by a group of scholars" due to be published this fall, arguing that Wal-Mart has an "obligation" to "treat its employees better."  This can hardly be called news.  Nothing is easier than to find a group of academics — "scholars" if you agree with them — to advocate virtually anything on any subject.

The silly war against Wal-Mart:  In response to Wal-Mart's broader plan to build 40 new supercenters in California, opponents are mobilizing a coalition that includes the Nation of Islam and the once-grand civil-rights group the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  How everyday low prices violate civil rights is a mystery.

Robbing Wal-Mart:  Organized labor, having mightily tried and miserably failed to unionize even one of Wal-Mart's 3,250 American stores, has turned to organizing state legislators. … Labor's allies include the "progressives" who have made Wal-Mart the left's devil du jour.  Wal-Mart's supposed sin is this:  One way it holds down prices (when it enters a market, retail prices decline 5 percent to 8 percent; nationally, it saves consumers $16 billion annually) is by not being a welfare state.  That is, by not offering higher wages and benefits than the labor market requires.

Wal-Mart In Court Fight Over 'Wal-ocaust' T-Shirts.  A Georgia man has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart in federal district court in Atlanta in a fight over his T-shirts that compare the retailer's business practices to the Holocaust.

[This is a strategy used by leftists all the time.  They'll make an outlandish statement like this, with no basis in fact, and when they're challenged, they'll just say, "Can't you take a joke?"]

Why Does the Mainstream Media Blindly Accept Anti-Wal-Mart 'Facts'?  It's the Christmas season, so it's not surprising that more than 100 million Americans shopped at a Wal-Mart last week.  It is surprising how uncritically the mainstream media blindly touted a John Zogby survey claiming a majority of us think Wal-Mart is "bad for America."

Attention, Wal-Mart shoppers:  Let your conscience be your guide.  If you love buying cheap salmon from Wal-Mart, you might not after reading Charles Fishman's new book, "The Wal-Mart Effect."  Few issues in American life, except perhaps the war in Iraq, are as polarizing these days as how Wal-Mart sits in our landscape, our economy and our consciousness.

One sorry mess of a party.  Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) returned a campaign contribution from Wal-Mart while gladly pocketing cash from Paul Newman, Reese Witherspoon and other Hollywood liberals.  She even took a wad of dough from Jerry Springer, who made his fortune proving that nothing is too vile to broadcast.

The freedom to hate Wal-Mart:  Wal-Mart has found enormous success in the marketplace only because many people have voluntarily chosen to shop and work there.  Wal-Mart employs more than 1.6 million people worldwide and, according to the company's published calculations, its lower prices saved the average American family $2,329 last year.

Liberals can't stand it when capitalism succeeds.
Democrats Introduce Bill Targeting Wal-Mart.  Liberal Democrats are taking aim at "large, profitable companies" accused of shifting their health care costs onto taxpayers.  Their bill is part of a union-inspired anti-Wal-Mart campaign.

The war on Wal-Mart:  We know "the customer" isn't some paragon of wisdom and good judgment.  He's not even one thing — he's everybody.  You let "him" choose what suits him best.  Ah!  But only (according to the union) if he shops where the union has a foothold.  It might well mean higher prices, but, if so, tough.

Wal-Mart Under Siege in the Culture Wars.  If a capitalist corporation gets to be a big success, it inevitably finds itself in the cross-hairs of leftist political activists who don't much like capitalism, and especially don't like large corporations.

FEMA versus Wal-Mart:  Many people who think that government is the answer to our problems do not bother to check out the evidence.  But it can be eye-opening to compare how private businesses responded to hurricane Katrina and how local, state and national governments responded.

Wal-Mart Launches Employee Voter Drive.  Wal-Mart Stores Inc. yesterday [9/29/2006] launched a voter registration drive aimed at its 1.3 million U.S. employees in what it describes as the largest such effort by a private company.  The kickoff was held in Iowa, a key battleground in the upcoming midterm elections.  Workers at Wal-Mart's roughly 3,800 other facilities across the country also received registration forms yesterday.

Watch Out for Wal-MartWatch.  This past week, an activist group calling itself Wal-MartWatch claimed to host more than 1,000 events protesting Wal-Mart's hiring practices.  The group apparently got more than 400 unions, environmental advocacy groups, and other liberal groups to cosponsor the events as part of its "Higher Expectations Week."

The Wal-Mart Employment Effect.  The U.S. economy entered its fifth year of expansion in November, with non-farm payroll employment, a broad economic indicator, having expanded by 4.5 million jobs (3.4 percent) since bottoming in May 2003.  Wal-Mart, meanwhile, the nation's largest private employer, has been creating new jobs at a much higher rate.  Data obtained from Wal-Mart show the retail giant expanding employment by 15 percent in the same two-and-a-half-year period.



On the other hand...

Liberal activists aren't the only people who don't like Wal-Mart.  For many years, Wal-Mart has been known as the leading killer of small-town radio stations.  Wal-Mart doesn't advertise on small-town stations, and their rock-bottom prices make the Mom and Pop stores stop advertising in order to cut costs.

And now something new has been added to the mix:

Wal-Mart's 'Gay' Partnership Risks Conservative 'Rollback'.  After months of criticism from union-backed groups over its employee pay and health care practices, Wal-Mart now faces a potential "rollback" of support from conservatives because of the retail giant's partnership with a homosexual business coalition.

Wal-Mart Called a 'Blatant Shill for Environmentalists'.  Wal-Mart has long been under fire from labor unions for fighting attempts to unionize its employees, but a conservative ethics group Tuesday [12/5/2006] accused the retail giant of trying in recent years to appeal to liberal interests and "cowering" under pressure from activists.

Why did Wal-Mart go gay?  Newer than Sears, less expensive than Target, much more hip than K-Mart there quite possibly couldn't be a more family-friendly vendor in all of America.  Until this week...

AFA Withdraws Wal-Mart Boycott.  The corporate actions that had triggered the protest plans were little different from those taken by scores of major companies in recent years — Wal-Mart paid $25,000 this summer to become a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and donated $60,000 to Out and Equal, which promotes gay-rights advances in the workplace.  However, some conservative activists depicted Wal-Mart's engagement as endorsement of same-sex marriage and a pledge to give gay-owned businesses preferential treatment — assertions Wal-Mart denied in its statement Tuesday [11/21/2006].

Wal-Mart's Detractors Come In From the Cold.  The mellowing of the anti-Wal-Mart movement is an unexpected development for the retailer, whose public image and share price were bruised by the well-financed union campaigns.  On Friday [6/6/2008], when the chain holds its shareholder meeting in Arkansas, investors are likely to applaud Wal-Mart for fending off these detractors.

Wal-Mart Goes Left.  Wal-Mart, the family-friendly, patriotic company founded by the late Sam Walton has transformed itself into a reliable ally of the political left in order to boost revenues by pacifying its growing chorus of critics.  The company now funds radical groups and intimidates its suppliers into adopting its liberal, Big Government agenda. … The biggest recipient of Wal-Mart money [in 2004]  — at $630,000 — was the National Council of La Raza (Spanish for "The Race"), a mostly left-wing Hispanic advocacy group — an interesting choice for a company accused by the government of giving work to illegal immigrants.

When the going gets tough, everybody shops at Wal-Mart.
Financial turmoil becomes Christmas gift for Wal-Mart.  The United States has two kinds of retailers these days:  those bracing for a grim holiday season, and Wal-Mart Stores.  Sales at department stores and specialty retailers are falling rapidly.  They are cutting staff, discounting merchandise and liquidating stores to survive.  But even as the financial turmoil strangled discretionary spending at many stores, it sent struggling consumers into the arms of Wal-Mart -- and left it, the world's largest retailer, poised for a blockbuster Christmas.



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