Monday, December 12, 2005

Employee Site

This is a great behind the counter look at Wal-Mart

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Near Shopping Riot At Wal-Mart

Take a look at this picture sequence if you want to be scared. Without a doubt you'll never want to shop again. Unless there was a really, really good sale going on.

Stealing Legos From Target

Here was a guy who was really sticking it to a mega-corp. When the theft goes into the six figures, expect to be eventually caught

Starbucks Striking

Sympathy strikers. It was bound to happen.

Death At Wal-Mart

Don't go shoplifting anything at Wal-Mart. They'll kill you. While undoubtedly accidental its obvious their security guards have no real training.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Xbox Sells For Less Then It Costs To Make

Isn't this the model for getting customers to buy your illegal pharmaceutical products?

Black Friday Madness At Wal-Mart

Sales are wonderful things. A couple of extra bucks off of that new knick-knack you've been dying for and you walk out of the store feeling like a King. But let's be honest people... its just not worth getting violent over.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Starbucks Strike in New Zealand

There are times that there is very little more enjoyable then a good strike. Worker bees, tired of being shafted finally stand up for themselves. If done right they have higher wages to look forward to and possibly a feel-good movie. This pseudo-strike in New Zealand sounds like its got some of the makings. Word of the strike even passed from store to store using text messages. Modern tech being used to organize labor. The Wobblies would be so proud.

What I always find interesting, and I'm never sure whether it the union's naivete, or an attempt to spin their indignation over the employer's tactics, is their shock at the reaction they get.

Union coordinator Simon Oosterman said he was "absolutely disgusted" at the company's heavy-handed reaction to what was legal industrial action.

"They actually threatened to fire any worker who was not back at work within an hour, which is just an unacceptable bullying tactic," he told NZPA.

What did they expect? What they're doing certainly takes guts and focus, but did they really expect to get everything they wanted the minute they walked out the door? If it was that easy every worker bee would be paid as much as a CEO.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Starbucks Wins

Starbucks won the right to use their name in Russia. Any bets that within a week their isn't going to be a Starbucks smack in the middle of Red Square?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Art In Wal-Mart

Well if you were afraid Wal-Mart was single handedly destroying civilization as we know and love it, relax. Now showing in aisle four... Art! Not just art, but art made by someone with the last name of Coppola. A coup for the mega-conglomerate. Could this project have more credibility going for it?

Its really not a bad idea. I am a big fan of public art, and while this doesn't strictly qualify it does come close. But how long is it before whatever is on those screens is rife with product placements?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Wal-Mart and Aliens

You would think that a company that'’s perpetually under the microscope like Wal-Mart would be very careful about this sort of thing. At a certain point saying you didn't hire them your contractor did just won'’t wash. Sometimes you just have to take responsibility. If Wal-Mart stipulated and insisted on its contractors only using legal labor, they would. Do you think they'd take a chance on losing such a huge contract?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Attention Wal-Mart Associates!

I just can't believe this. While I'’m sure the bosses at Wal-Mart wish this movie would just disappear, they'd be beyond stupid if they tried to somehow ban their employees from seeing it. With all the accusations of treating their staff like children they can underpay, the last thing they need are accusations that they're acting like Big Brother. The best thing Wal-Mart can do about this movie is ignore it. If they put up a big fight it will just backfire and get a lot of press for people they wish would just go away.

Wal-Mart Movie

This movie is definitely creating a buzz. What's interesting is not just the topic of the movie but its distribution model. I can buy a copy (I did) or I can host a screening. If I wish I can go to a house of worship and view it. It would be great if more films came out this way. I’m a big fan of options.
I didn't realize Wal-Mart had their own piece of straight to dvd cinematic opposition coming out. I'd love to get a copy of that but I have no idea how its going to be distributed.
I'm still waiting for my copy of the Greenwald movie.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Stickin' it to the Coffee Man

This man might have finally discovered how to make money with no real effort at all. What he's done certainly doesn't pass the ethics smell test, but in it's own way it was quite visionary.

"If no one before me imagined to do this, if I am the first, then I get the prize," he said.
Damn right. If he's only asking for $600,000 you'd think Starbucks would just grin, bear it, and cut the check. In the long run it would cost them a lot less then all the lawyers fees, and being made to look incompetent by some hustler. Just make it all go away and no one will remember it next year.

Just for the record I’m not a huge fan of Starbucks. Their coffee tastes burned and they're the sole reason we spend ridiculous amounts of money on a beverage that used to be cheap. They made the indispensable trendy. They've elevated people who make coffee into some sort of specialized worker. They can never be forgiven for that. I was in a California Starbucks knock-off last year waiting just to get a simple coffee. Unfortunately I was stuck behind some left over hippie turned venture capitalist that ordered a cappuccino using some sort of code. The kid behind the counter took his sweet time creating the concoction, all the way down to slowly drizzling what I assumed was caramel across the top. The left over hippie just looked at him and sincerely said, "The touch of an artist man, the touch of an artist." The wage slave behind the counter was just eating it up. All I wanted was a freaking coffee and I was subjected to this scene of admiration over nothing.

And one more thing while I'm ranting... You'd think Starbucks would be able to make a cup of ice coffee that didn't taste like it was filtered through garbage. Or taste like it was a week old.

More power to you Zuykov!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Upscale Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart if often thought of as the place where the less financially fortunate shop. Which is also sort of ironic, because this is the same group which is losing its jobs due to importing cheaper goods from China. We all need cheap stuff though, let us be honest.
There's nothing surprising about Wal-Mart trying to attract customers in a different tax bracket there are a business after all. I wonder what's next though... Small Wal-Mart boutiques? Personal shoppers? Valet parking? All sarcasm aside, I wonder that if they can successfully attract higher income customers, will it effect the prices.

Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas

So this guy Kirby (who no longer works at Wal-Mart) writes a memo explaining that "Happy Holidays" is going to be the greeting and not "Merry Christmas." He over-justifies the point by using pop history (accurate or not, it doesn't matter) to explain all the different influences that shaped the holiday. I'd love to read the actual email. While I think its proper and inclusive for Wal-Mart to use "Happy Holidays," that has to be one of the stupidest things a customer rep has documented. Wal-Mart caved real quick and came up with a fast apology. You'd think Kirby had killed the tooth fairy or something.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

He Was Full of It

It seems that guy who is suing Home depot because employees ignored his calls for help after he said he was glued to a toilet seat was probably making the whole thing up

The Wal-Mart Movie

This movie sounds so damn interesting. It could be a viscous, axe-wielding, one-sided smear job, but that would be okay. If we learned anything from Michael Moore it was that a documentary can be successful even if not fairly balanced. As long as the facts are honest, having a viewpoint is fine. Laudable really.
Since I haven't seen it yet I will withhold my opinion for now. But I'm ordering a copy.

Monday, November 07, 2005

KFC Prepares To Take Cover

No one should be surprised that a huge chicken chain is preparing for the worst. Even if they explain that as long as its cooked, its fine, I'd imagine that there sales will drop dramatically. Last year when mad cow disease was a prominent buzzword McDonald's started introducing new varieties of chicken sandwiches. Time will tell if KFC goes the same route and seriously branches out. It might not be too long before we're introduced to the Colonel's special tofu patties.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Home Depot Dangers

I was going to try and avoid pieces like this. I was hoping to keep this site just a little classy, but there was no way I could resist. I wonder how quickly they're going to settle this one. There's a lesson in this.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Cheap Laptops for the Masses

A $398 laptop. Nothing illustrates my confusion with Wal-Mart better then that sentence. I'm vaguely in the market for a new laptop. I really want one, but can't seriously justify the price of one. Its just not a necessity. But a price like this brings it closer to a impulse buy. Much closer.
They're not particularly impressive machines, but on the other hand I'm not planning on editing video on it. A little surfing and a word processor would make me happy.
It's prices like this that bring people into the store. Say what you will about Wal-Mart's practices, but in the end the wallet usually wins out.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

An Interesting Parallel

A great point for point article over at Wired News about how similar Google and Walmart are. It does make you think and question a bit. Google has their do no evil mantra and it's commendable, but can a company worth $55 billion (and still growing) really keep pretending to be so pure?