The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, January 31, 2000

a visit to Obnoxico, Inc.

After lunch, Mark and I headed over to WalMart to kill some time (neither one of us had to be at work today).

“You realize,” Mark said, “that there are only four different layouts for WalMarts?”

“Easier to franchise,” I said. “Sign here, and pick layouts one, two, three or four.”

“And you realize that whenever one of these go up, the local Mom-n-Pop shops go out of business,” said Mark.

“Of course,” I replied (and yes, we did actually have this conversation), “How else can they compete with large volume cheaply made merchandise from Asia? And if a store in an area is not that profitable, who cares? The rest of the collective can support a non-profiting store for a while.”

Really, I hear these stories about communities that try to make WalMarts illegal, or otherwise make it very difficult for them to open up stores. But really, if a community really cared enough to keep a WalMart out, then the community as a whole should just boycott the store. If no one goes to WalMarts, then it brings in no money and in due time it will shut down.

Simple economics. Yet why the furvor and laws? Because a select few people think they know better than the community.

Sure, what WalMart does isn't nice. And I tend to prefer local stores over larger chains anyway. But on the flip side, for large volume cheaply made merchandise from Asia and 24-hour access, you really can't beat WalMart. And my schedule that is soemthing to keep in mind.

Although the selection in the entertainment area is pretty spotty. Unless you like Brittany Spheres or the movie “Joan of Arc” (man did that hit the video stores fast) you don't have much choice.

But they do sell Nerf guns. Of which Mark bought one for work.

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