Turns out the chief complaint against Wal-Mart (WMT) is just not true.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis did a study of 40 counties in its district between 1986 and 2003 found that Wal-Mart slightly boosted business growth, employment and earnings compared with counties without a Wal-Mart, senior economist Terry Fitzgerald said in a paper released Tuesday.
The Fed actually found that Wal-Mart has a negligible economic influence on small counties and doesn't destroy local businesses after all. "The biggest surprise is that Wal-Mart's economic influence is pretty small, given how rancorous the debate is," Fitzgerald said in an interview. "The success of local communities depends on other factors than the presence or non-presence of Wal-Mart."
Plenty of folks out there are making a living spreading falsehoods about the retailer and have done such a fine job of it that their statements have begun to be treated as fact.
The irony is that Wal-Mart's pay scale is equitable to retailers like Target (TGT), Kohls (KSS) and JC Penny (JCP) and its benefit package now exceeds the other retailers yet the others escape the scrutiny. One can only conclude that Wal-Mart's scrutiny is due to its size, not it practices.
The Wal-Mart bashing has just about played itself out if for not other reason folks have grown tired of hearing the same thing over and other. When you add studies like this that get distributed on the internet rather than simply placed and buried in some report, people are beginning to see the truth...
Disclosure: Long Wal-Mart, None in any other company mentioned.
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