Why does everyone hate Walmart?

Posted on March 11, 2008

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Personally, I think Walmart is great for a number of reasons.  Here come my midwestern roots shining through:

1) Great Deals – in case you’ve never noticed, things at Walmart are cheap.
2) Anything You Need and Lots You Don’t – enough said.  And, they’re open 24 hours.
3) Packaging Genius – Walmart redefined consumer goods packaging and they’re doing it again.

This AdWeek story looks into Walmart’s attempts to revolutionize "sustainable packaging."  I say: bravo to the hated company for doing something good for Al Gore’s environment.  If successful, the effort would "remove 213,000 trucks from the road and save76 million gallons of diesel fuel in a year."  Wow.  Another fact about Walmart: "they have the largest truck fleet inthe world, the largest electric bill in the country and more peoplein uniform than all the branches of the military combined."

Surely, part of this effort is certainly aimed at consumers like me.  The company recently announced a "sustainable packaging" scorecard to let me know how "green" the goods are that I’m buying (assuming it’s printed on recycled paper, but I can’t confirm that).  In any case, I’ll buy what they’re selling.  Every little thing that we can do to help the environment counts — (for example, be sure to check out these awesome envirosacs).

You may also recall that when Walmart put strict requirements in place around packaging for efficiency, it shook an entire industry and everyone quickly fell in line.  If they plan to flex that same muscle in this exercise, the world will be a healthier, cleaner place.  Thanks, Walmart. 

One final note: I’ve mentioned before that green marketing isn’t always the way to capture customers.  I won’t go out of my way to find a Walmart store to shop in just because they’re making waves in green packaging.  However, this is handing companies that practice "greener than the competition" packaging a free shot at winning new customers.  If it was my [insert consumer product here] company, I’d take that offer.

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