Wal Mart, going green lost the green

Discussion in 'The Study' started by billc, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. billc

    billc Grandmaster

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    Walmart is apparently going back to whatever they were before they went green. If only the rest of the country would also stop "going green" and just get back to doing things that actually made sense. Here is the article:

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/wal-mart-goes-back-to-basics-a-cautionary-tale-for-the-left/

    From the article:

    After suffering seven straight quarters of losses, today the merchandise giant Wal-Mart will announce that it is “going back to basics,” ending its era of high-end organic foods, going “green,” and the remainder of its appeal to the upscale market. Next month the company will launch an “It’s Back” campaign to woo the millions of customers who have fled the store. They will be bringing back “heritage” products, like inexpensive jeans and sweatpants.
    Few may recognize it as such, but this episode should be seen as a cautionary tale about “progressives” and social engineering experiments on low-income Americans. This morning’s Wall Street Journal article is blunt:
    That strategy failed, and the Bentonville, Ark., retail giant now is pursuing a back-to-basics strategy to reverse the company’s fortunes.
    The failure, in large part, can be pinned to Leslie Dach: a well-known progressive and former senior aide to Vice President Al Gore. In July 2006, Dach was installed as the public relations chief for Wal-Mart. He drafted a number of other progressives into the company, seeking to change the company’s way of doing business: its culture, its politics, and most importantly its products.
     
  2. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    It doesn't make sense to raise your kids on white bread and hotdogs, but whatever.
    Sean
     
  3. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    and again the billi puts a jab in along party lines...

    Well, people who want high end stuff usually do not shop walmart...actually avoid it like the plague...that's what target is for. :)
     
  4. CanuckMA

    CanuckMA Master of Arts

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    It has nothing to do with 'going green'. Some marketing genius at Walmart thought they could attract a different segment by stoking highe end products, at higher prices. They found out that people who buy that stuff won't be caught dead in a Walmart, and that they also alienated their base. It's a basic marketing failure of not really knowing your market.
     
  5. SensibleManiac

    SensibleManiac Black Belt

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    Walmart going green?

    I don't know what's up in the States but here in Canada Walmart is anything but.

    Much of this going green business is just marketing hype.

    Anyone with half a brain knows the difference between green marketing campaigns and what's actually good for the environment and their health.
     
  6. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    It started about what, 3 or 4 years ago...I was out of town (country actually) for a few weeks and when I came back the US was on the Eco trip...really weird.

    However, the US is - generally speaking - a good 20 years behind the curve when it comes to true (ore assumed even) eco friendliness. You can't just spring stuff on people that they are simply not ready for, like just shoving stuff int he stores. I think Walmart dropped the ball in the PR department on that one. But I do appreciate the greater selection of 'organic' products. hell no I am not buying it, I am relatively well informed as to how much BS that is... :D but it's an option. Or foods for allergy sufferers, like gluten free noodles. Those are high in the health food store.

    It is somewhat strange though: While you see NOBODY bring their own bag back to Walmart to be reused, up the road the German chain Aldi has the same policy as back home: BYOB, and have a quarter ready to unlock the buggy (you get it back) and low and behold, it works. The store is booming! (then again we do have a large underground of German ex-pats...) ;)
     
  7. CoryKS

    CoryKS Senior Master

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    Yeah, that's pretty much what 'going green' is: getting people to part with their money by appealing to their feelings of superiority. Agree with you about that demographic not being caught dead in WalMart, though.
     
  8. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    Many stores in Belgium (actually I think all large chains) have a BYOB policy. If you want a plastic bag, that'll cost you I think 5 or 10 cents per bag. what is often forgotten by the eco crowd is that most people won't mind going green, as long as it is economically sound.

    I am currently switching to commute by bicycle instead of car. Not because I care overly about the impact my car has, but because with company paid bicycle allowance for commuters, and savings on petrol, I'll be break even after taking the bicycle for 87 days. After that the bicycle is paying part of the petrol I use for other purposes.

    Meanwhile the company is saving money because by encouraging bicycle use, they don't have to waste so much surface to parking space. That's a win-win, and THAT's the kind of green initiative that will be successful.

    Going 'green' just for the sake of it, when it is costing extra money, just for ideological reason is generally not a big success.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  9. ppko

    ppko Master Black Belt

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    I for one am very much against walmart no matter what they do. I do agree it was a marketing ploy however changing to organic foods is nowhere close to going green. I am stationed in Germany that is a very green country solar panel houses hardly anyone uses AC, public transportation is huge and at least where I have been very little litter. Until we stop allowing the oil companies run our country and increase fines so much on littering we wont even be close to going green as a country
     
  10. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    I wonder how much AC use in the US contributes to the total energy use.
    When I was in the US, it seemed as if companies, hotels etc used the AC in some sort of 'dick size contest' where the coldest building won.

    In the convention center in Austin, (NI days 2002) it was so cold that even (European) people in suits wore layers of free t-shirts over their suit. With such heat outside, and the AC set to below 17Celsius, that must have cost tons of money. And why?

    If you have AC and so much sun outside, you could easily set the AC to a temperature that is still comfortably warm inside. That way you wouldn't need full suits just to keep warm, you'd save tons of money, and people wouldn't experience thermal shock every time they entered of left the building.
     
  11. bushidomartialarts

    bushidomartialarts Senior Master

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    Doesn't prove "green" is a bad idea. Just proves that environmental responsibility -- like nutrition and health care -- is a social justice issue. The typical WalMart customer couldn't afford organic and fair-trade merchandise. To whom, exactly, was this a news flash?

    It's kind of a shame that in the wealthiest, most powerful nation on earth, whether or not your kids eat healthy food or you can choose to make an impactful buying decision, is based almost entirely on how much money you make.
     
  12. ppko

    ppko Master Black Belt

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    You are right, I know that I have always kept our bills low whether it is summer or winter (living stateside). I have no clue what the average persons bill is but I am sure it is rediculous. If we was to look into alternative energy more whether its solar power or Hydro power we wouldnt have to worry about oil prices and could live off of nature which is a much better option.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  13. Mark Jordan

    Mark Jordan Blue Belt

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    Walmart just got a little greedy.

    To capitalize on the recession, Walmart wanted to attract more-affluent consumers who are looking for high-quality but value-priced items like organic products. But when Walmart began taking away comparable name brand item from their shelves, their customers started buying somewhere else.
     
  14. crushing

    crushing Grandmaster

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    Seems to me that such cold environments would be more fitting for some sort of a nipple size contest.
     
  15. LuckyKBoxer

    LuckyKBoxer Master Black Belt

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    buy a jacket and live in a tent... that is living off of nature.
     
  16. LuckyKBoxer

    LuckyKBoxer Master Black Belt

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    I dont know what the hell people think walmart has that was high end.
    I go to walmart regularly for a few things...
    toys for my kids
    new release blueray videos for the family
    throw away sports equipment for the under 6 year old category

    and thats about it..
    I usually walk around and look at what they have, but its all such cheap crap the few times I have bought things thinking... wow this seems like a good deal, It was only a matter of a couple weeks before I realized what crap it was..
    workoutshirts... walmart carries a couple lines of workout shirts...champion and something else.. like 9 bucks.. I bought a few pair then realized after a month the material was getting uncomfortable and it was weak as hell....I go to a sporting good store and I buy underarmor shirts for 20 bucks a shirt and after a year and half the shirt feels like it did when i bought it.. where is the savings? I dont get why people dont see that. Lets see... if I stuck with the walmart category after a year and a half I would be at 162 dollars for a shirt, or 20 dollars by going elsewhere and getting a higher quality shirt... or i would end up with a 9 dollar piece of crap that i hated wearing.... where is the bargain there?

    what has walmart ever had thats high end? maybe I am missing something.
     
  17. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I would agree with the idea that it's about marketing. This is a perfect example of taking an effect and inventing the cause.

    I think that it's pretty much accepted that any "green" initiative is going to cost more money, and businesses are about making money. So, any business that advertises their green initiatives is looking to make more money on that.

    In this case, Wal-Mart forgot who their customer base is, and it backfired. The people who shop at walmart are looking for the cheapest stuff around, and don't care overly much about where it comes from, who's making it, or if it's going to end up in the landfill in a couple months.

    From a business perspective, it's about knowing your people.

    Said from the other side, if I run a business, I'm going to go green only if I think it's going to make me more money than it costs. If you guys haven't heard of "conscience capitalism," check it out. It's an interesting idea. It's about how philanthropy can be a money maker. Bill Gates, the richest guy in America, started this ball rolling when he coined the phrase "creative capitalism".

    http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/article.asp?article=1608

    I've said before on these boards that capitalism doesn't work unless it's applied with a conscience. I'm not for big government by any stretch, but I do believe that often the only conscience our "free" market has is governmental regulatory oversight.

    But the bottom line in business is that you have to make money. Business isn't charity. It isn't philanthropy. These two things, if they exist within a business model, only do so in order to generate more profit (or in some way mitigate loss).
     
  18. aedrasteia

    aedrasteia Purple Belt

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    Bill - has Walmart stopped these activities? (below)
    No.
    Because they make sense (good business sense) and have enormous environmental impact, right? As Steve suggests. And Canuck got it right.

    so why not tell the more complete story? I'm learning pajamamedia doesn't give much thorough/accurate/useful information, but I'd ask you to do better than them. It took me less than 2 minutes to get this, and there's more @ websites like entrepreneur.com. also, Forbes and Businessweek, the Economist, etc.
    Pajamasmedia ? - just not good enough.

    billcihak said: "Walmart is apparently going back to whatever they were before they went green. If only the rest of the country would also stop "going green" and just get back to doing things that actually made sense."

    stevebjj said "But the bottom line in business is that you have to make money. Business isn't charity. It isn't philanthropy. These two things, if they exist within a business model, only do so in order to generate more profit (or in some way mitigate loss)."

    Up to 30 Walmart Stores to Receive Thin Film Solar Panels By Michelle Mauthe Harvey Published September 20, 2010

    In October, 2005, Walmart launched its wide-ranging sustainability initiative and set a goal (among others) to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy. It’s the goal where they have made the least headway. In Fall 2007, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Walmart initiated a partnership to advance the development of emerging photovoltaic technologies – collectively known as thin-film solar -- into commercially viable, consistent, and cost effective sources of renewable energy.Today, Walmart, one of EDF’s most prominent corporate partners, announced its plans to add solar generating systems to another 20 to 30 sites in California and Arizona, and the majority of these locations will feature thin film technology. Two different thin film systems will be assessed -- cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium selenide, known as CIGS.
    Read more: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2010/0...-receive-thin-film-solar-panels#ixzz1JLFGgzNu


    Walmart Cuts Landfill Waste 80 Percent in California By Tilde Herrera Published March 18, 2011A multi-pronged waste program rolled out in California helped Walmart reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfills in the Golden State by more than 80 percent.


    Food donation, recycling, and converting organic waste into compost, animal feed or energy all play a role in the cost-neutral program. The world's largest retailer announced on Thursday it has now implemented the program across its 4,400 stores, distribution centers and Sam's Club locations in the U.S. as it moves toward its overarching goal of eliminating landfill waste generated by its U.S. operations by 2025.
    The program began as a pilot in 2008, forcing the company to examine its trash and processes for handling it. The exercise revealed plenty of low-hanging fruit, actions that were in some cases as simple as putting labels on garbage bins or sorting trash instead of automatically sending everything to the compactor, thereby securing its fate for the landfill.
    "We learned that we didn't need to invest a lot of time or be a rocket scientist," said Vonda Lockwood, Walmart's director of innovations and head of the team that created and scaled the program. "Instead we could do mostly operational changes."
    be well, A




     
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  19. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    1st off, what failure? I'm a Wal-mart stockholder, and, while it's had its ups and downs like everything else, it's well above it's 5 year low of 42.15 a share, and, with a close today of $53.15, it's closer to its five year high of 62.41. "Seven straight quarters of losses" really doesn't mean that much, given the state of the economy for the last 8 quarters. Generally, though, if it stays above $42, and my dividends (which Rita-that's the wife-insists that we donate to charity) come in, I'm fairly happy, even at a meager 2.8% yield.. It's a safe investment in the exploitation of cheap overseas labor and American consumerism's appetite for really cheap crap.

    Which brings us to 2d off.

    2d off, people shop at Wal-mart for really cheap crap. Low price TVs. Cheap Malaysian made shirts.Bullets. I'm really fond of the $10 "Gung-fu shoes," cause they're comfortable, and come in size 15. Whenever I happen to be in Wal-mart, I just buy all of those that will fit me, and stack them up in the closet. For a while, they had ground bison way below market price, at $4.45 a pound, and I'd buy all of that, otherwise, I don't really buy much "food" there, though that V-8 Fusion juice is about $1.50 cheaper there than at the supermarket......and that's it. If I want something "organic," I'll get it from my own garden, someone I know, or one of the local Farmer's Markets....which brings us to 3rd off.

    3rd off, "organic" ain't necessarily "green." In fact, depending upon the crop, it can be a lot less "green" than some other forms of agriculture. There's organic tobacco, fer chrissakes, and most people wouldn't equate most of its uses with "green" by any stretch of the imagination. As for all those other "green" products that were on the shelves, well, pretty soon the only light bulbs available anywhere will be the expensive, green, long life flourescents. Don't know what other environmentally safe products were offered, maybe some of those green cleansers that don't work for ****.....:lol:
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  20. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    You're not the first one to say that. And you won't be the last. And it won't change a thing.
    Whatever bottom-of-the-barrel media outlet says something Bill agrees with gets quoted here without letting facts get in the way of partyline propaganda.

    But thanks for trying. You have increased my faith in humanity by (1/6.5Billion)th.123
     

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