As someone who’s written about Walmart and labor issues on and off over the years, and who’s read books and articles about the big-box retailer’s business practices, I’ve identified some tactics the company regularly uses to ingratiate itself with the public and get its stores approved.
If we’re lucky, they’ll try out some of their smooth, hoodwinky moves in NYC. A few things to look out for as the company’s NYC-centric PR campaign gets underway:
- Bullshit results of telephone surveys based on questions skewed in favor of the company
- Phony community groups and websites set up to show “support”
- People being paid to show up at pro-Walmart demonstrations
- Promises to sell fake Thin Mints, those addictive Girl Scouts cookies, if permitted to open shop
OK hardscrabble muckrakers, get to work. If you follow up on any of these topics, strike gold, and win a Pulitzer, make sure to credit Animal during the awards speech. As for the rest of you, read this new report (PDF doc) that talks about how Walmart kills three jobs for every two it creates and basically just ruins life for everyone.