Posts filed under “Retail”
I have been writing critiques of Wal-Mart’s wages and employment policies for years (see “How Wal-Mart Became A Welfare Queen” and “Wal-Mart’s Minimum Wage Breakdown“). Today, I break with tradition and offer up some positive perspectives on the retail giant’s recent actions.
A brief history of Wal-Mart and its enormous retail staff is telling. The company’s 2.2 million employees make it the world’s biggest private employer. It also is one of the largest employers in the U.S., with 1.3 million workers in 4,540 stores.
Wal-Mart has historically given shabby treatment to its huge workforce. As we noted recently, labor was seen as a cost rather than a driver of sales. Wal-Mart never seemed to think of its associates as human capital, just a cost. Beyond low wages, there was a history of forcing full-time employees to work part time to minimize even the meager benefits the company offered.
But financial success trumped philosophical enlightenment, and for most of Wal-Mart’s history the way it treated employees didn’t hurt results very much. Wal-Mart became the world’s biggest company byrevenue and it ranks among the 20 most profitable.
What we also know is that the way Wal-Mart treated employees was a major reason that turnover was very high compared with the rest of the retail industry.
Continues here: Wal-Mart Learns to Live Without Everyday Poverty Wages
Dig this: “In an email to The Huffington Post, an NRF spokeswoman called Ritholtz’s piece an “annual temper tantrum” that was “slanted, flawed and predictable,” and compared it to “such holiday traditions as the Grinch and the threat of coal in one’s stocking.” The NRF did not cite any inaccuracies in Ritholtz’s column, nor did…Read More
The New York Times headline declared, “Thanksgiving Weekend Sales, at Stores and Online, Slide 11 Percent.” Not to be outdone, the Wall Street Journal reported, “‘Black Friday’ Fades as Weekend Retail Sales Sink.” And — to prove I’m not playing favorites — Bloomberg News noted that, “Black Friday Fizzles With Consumers as Sales Tumble 11%.”…Read More
This is the time of year when Americans gather with family and friends to give thanks. A bounteous feast is the time to express gratitude for our good fortune. We count our blessings, humbled by the fortuity of our circumstances, grateful for whatever it is we have. Once you get that over with, it’s time…Read More
Forget August. The real silly season is upon us. As evidence I present the forecast of a 13 percent increase in holiday sales made by Forrester Research, as cited in the New York Times this morning. Color me skeptical. As we noted about this time last year, these sales projections are as much of an…Read More