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Chicago's First Wal-Mart Is Opening Today!

By Rachelle Bowden in News on Sep 27, 2006 12:05PM

As many readers are probably aware, Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, does not generally do business in big cities. At Chicagoist, this fact has for years now provided a nice mental buffer zone to the controversy surrounding Wal-Mart. From racial discrimination, to sucking life out of rural communities, to employing thousands of workers at wages which require them to seek welfare to survive, this company has a long list of less than admirable achievements. You heard right, Wal-Mart is opening it's first store within the boundaries of Chicago today.

This company has done precious little to benefit anyone, besides amassing huge sums of money for its shareholders. Does anyone remember when "Made in America" was the Wal-Mart slogan? That was a totally great way to win respect in the heartland of the US when the company had yet to destroy all possible competition; they quietly dropped that idea to increase profits.

Hope probably doesn't lie in Wal-Mart's ventures into overseas markets if it's exit from Germany is any example. Wal-Mart's 84 stores there were recently sold because they were not profitable. Apparently it's hard to be Wal-Mart when your employees have good salaries and benefits packages. Unfortunately the experiment by Wal-Mart's top brass did not succeed; maybe the company could have learned lessons on making money while being a positive force in the lives of the general population.

Where were we when there was still a chance to prevent the establishment of a Wal-Mart foothold in our great city? There's no looking back now, but keep your eyes peeled for underhanded pricing tactics and creative strategies for preventing unionization of its workforce which are sure to crop up in the near future.

Thanks, Sean!