The United States of Wal-Mart

by John Dicker | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 1585424226 Global Overview for this book
Registered by fanclub of Baltimore, Maryland USA on 7/3/2007
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14 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by fanclub from Baltimore, Maryland USA on Tuesday, July 03, 2007
This looks like an interesting and timely read, and the cover art by itself was enough to make me pick it up.

Journal Entry 2 by fanclub from Baltimore, Maryland USA on Monday, September 03, 2007
This book was a very quick read, and certainly not as dry or as strident as some other books I have read on Wal-Mart.

At times it seemed the author was fairly balanced, and others it becomes very clear that he is anti-Wal-Mart. I think most people will be interested in the statistics he presents and some of the particular episodes of Wal-Marts history that he lays out. I think the informatin about Sam Walton is also fascinating, particularly since it paints a somewhat different picture than the benevolent god of retail that we are so often presented.

Dicker does also touch on an argument that I think has merit. He talks about how it really isn't possible or probably even necessary to get rid of Wal-Mart, and how the focus should be on getting them to just behave better. However, he really only takes a quick glance at this topic. It could be more fully explored, probably in a book all to itself.

Journal Entry 3 by fanclub from Baltimore, Maryland USA on Monday, September 03, 2007
Due to much interest during a recent RABCK, this book is now a bookray. I will be mailing it off to the first Bookcrosser shortly.

The participants are:

likestoreadinFL
echesketch
oliviapoolside
Bdgrgrl
VividReader <------ book is here

Journal Entry 4 by fanclub from Baltimore, Maryland USA on Friday, September 07, 2007
On its way to likestoreadinFL to start the ray!

Journal Entry 5 by likestoreadinFL from Fort Pierce, Florida USA on Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Caught it today! I have already started reading this, and it seems pretty interesting so far. I expect to be done with it pretty quickly so it can continue its journey. :-) Thanks, fanclub, for making this available.

Journal Entry 6 by likestoreadinFL from Fort Pierce, Florida USA on Friday, September 14, 2007
Just finished reading this. I thought it was pretty good. I will say that the author is clearly rooted in the anti-Wal-Mart camp (which is fine with me). He does, however. point out that in some instances Wal-Mart can be a positive influence on a community, namely when it is entering an area that has no jobs at all, making even its measly offerings attractive in comparison. Overall, I thought is was interesting to see another person pointing out the incredible hippocracy of this mammoth retailer.

I will get this out to the post office as soon as I hear from echesketch :-)

Journal Entry 7 by likestoreadinFL from Fort Pierce, Florida USA on Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Ugh. That is all I will say. I really should have had this book off sooner, but I was having postal issues, and I will just leave it at that. Good news - according to the USPS, the next reader should have this in 5 days. Woo-hoo!

Edited to fix a typo :-)

Journal Entry 8 by echesketch from Landis, North Carolina USA on Wednesday, October 03, 2007
The book is with me now. It arrived in my mailbox sometime between Monday and today (Wednesday). I've been a bit under the weather and couldn't make it to my post office since last Saturday.

I love the cover of this book; it's very eye-catching.


Journal Entry 9 by echesketch from Landis, North Carolina USA on Thursday, October 18, 2007
My husband and I had a good time reading and relating to so many things in this book. Dicker presented the facts in such a witty, humorous way.

For less than a year, my husband worked for Walmart and left shortly before this book arrived. I had never even been into a Walmart until he took the job; haven't been in one since he left.

After listening to some of the stories that he relayed to me, after hearing the rumors over the years, and after reading even more in this book, I have no problem continuing to support our local, small businesses...one store at a time as oppposed to visiting the all-in-one box.

Thank you very much, fanclub, for including me in this ray.

The book is now on its way today to oliviapoolside.


Journal Entry 10 by wingBooksandMusicwing from Seattle, Washington USA on Sunday, October 21, 2007
It has arrived! I am in the middle of reading something else but will read it soon. I'm kinda not looking forward to it because even though I know it is politically incorrect I'm sort of fond of the Wal-Mart. Wouldn't want to work there, mind you. I guess that is a large part of the point.

Journal Entry 11 by wingBooksandMusicwing from Seattle, Washington USA on Sunday, October 28, 2007
In 7 years I have only been to Wal-Mart once in my own area (the nearest one is about 40 minutes away), however I do go to it when I travel as I know it will have whatever I need, it is comfortably anonymous and familiar (every Wal-Mart is just like another). However, some of what I read here made me very uncomfortable, to the point where I will no longer shop at Wal-Mart if possible.

Released 12 yrs ago (10/29/2007 UTC) at -- By post or by hand-ie ring, trade, RABCK, meet in Seattle, Washington USA

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Mailed it to Bdgrgrl

Journal Entry 13 by Bdgrgrl from Chicago, Illinois USA on Sunday, November 11, 2007
I received this book a couple weeks ago as part of a bookray. I'm nearly done, and it's very interesting so far. I think the author does a good job of going beyond the typical evils of Wal-Mart that we all hear so often. I was surprised by a lot of the information in the book, such as the information about Sam Walton himself. Once I'm finished I will pass it on to the next person on the list.

Journal Entry 14 by Bdgrgrl at -- By Hand or Post, Ray/ring, Meet-up, Rabck in Germantown, Wisconsin USA on Saturday, November 24, 2007

Released 12 yrs ago (11/23/2007 UTC) at -- By Hand or Post, Ray/ring, Meet-up, Rabck in Germantown, Wisconsin USA

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Sent to VividReader as part of a bookray. Enjoy the book!

Journal Entry 15 by VividReader from Portland, Oregon USA on Friday, January 04, 2008
Received this book as part of a ray. I'm the last person on the ray, so it's ready to go on to whoever is interested!

I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. Mainly, it wasn't very well organized. And I'd heard a lot of the arguments before. But mostly, the author berates Walmart for their business tactics - the way they do everything they can to provide a better product at lower prices. I can't help but think, though: isn't that what a business is supposed to do? Yes, it's incredibly unfortunate that urban centers are now ghost towns, and small businesses are struggling, etc. Personally, I hate Walmart for that. But, you can't knock them for being successful.

Now, all of the underhanded stuff that they do, well that's a whole other story.

Journal Entry 16 by VividReader from Portland, Oregon USA on Thursday, January 17, 2008
Because of all the interest in this book, I started a ray. Here is the order (please note that the order keeps changing as more people are added):

friend of mine (non-bookcrossing)
Shausha (PA) - N America and UK
elle311 (VA) - US only
hopi100 (VA) - anywhere
dabercro (UT) - US only
Ktbean (US/Canada) - ???
TCOTN (Canada) - anywhere
nikel27 (Germany) - prefers Europe, but can ship anywhere
LeishaCamden (Norway) - anywhere <--- book is here!
sudokugirl (Bosnia) - anywhere
kiyoitsukikage (Poland) - Europe
okyrhoe (Greece) - anywhere
scrutiny (China) - anywhere
Shelly-Sparkles (Australia) - Australia only
RockDg9 (Australia) - anywhere
back to VividReader (USA-OR)

***1/21/09 This book is now a ring! I have had SO many requests for this book that I decided to bring it back home and send it out a second time. Please PM me if you would like to be a part of the second ring, and I will contact you when I organize it.***

Second round interest (my apologies to all the others who requested the book, I just now started keeping track):
Solskinn (Austria - Europe preferred, int'l OK)
gringuitica (Costa Rica - int'l)

Journal Entry 17 by VividReader from Portland, Oregon USA on Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Finally, this book has begun it's bookring journey. I have no excuses for the amount of time it took me to get it started. I'm sorry to everyone who has been waiting. I sent the book to Shausha yesterday via Media Mail. Happy reading everyone!

Journal Entry 18 by Shausha from Kersey, Pennsylvania USA on Saturday, March 08, 2008
I received this book today. Personally, I love Wal-mart. We live in a very depressed area, shopping and restaurant wise. My daughter and I love Wal-Mart. We spend a lot of time there. I think that people that don't like it are foolish. I just got the book out of curiosity.

Journal Entry 19 by Shausha from Kersey, Pennsylvania USA on Monday, April 28, 2008
Learned a lot about Wal-mart; some of it not very complimentary. However; I live in such a depressed area shopping wise, that it is basically all we have. My father-in-law told me that since this book was printed that a lot of changes have been made at Wal-mart, I agree, I personally really like the store and go there often.

Journal Entry 20 by Shausha from Kersey, Pennsylvania USA on Tuesday, May 13, 2008
book moving on to next in line in bookray. Learned a lot; still like Wal-Mart!! lol!

Journal Entry 21 by elle311 from Suffolk, Virginia USA on Thursday, May 15, 2008
Received in the mail today and can't wait to read it! Thanks VividReader for offering the book and Shausha for sending it to me ;)

Journal Entry 22 by elle311 from Suffolk, Virginia USA on Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The last line of this book just made me roll my eyes..."As long as we remain blind to those consequences, we will also remain blind to the costs we pay, not at Wal-Mart but in our own conflicted souls". How dramatic can you get? This book shows us all sides of Wal-Mart: a little good, more often the bad, and a whole lot of ugly. It's not hard to tell how the author feels. Perhaps he doesn't have to watch his budget and try to get the most for his money, like the rest of us. Before I even read this, I always thought that the employees at my local store were the saddest group of people I had ever seen--the cashiers always look unhappy, and if you ever try to get help from someone there, you also got an attitude like you were being a bother...how dare you expect customer service??? After all, they don't get paid enough! Aside from all the bashing, the most interesting part was learning about the life of Sam Walton.

I am thankful for being part of this ray, it was such an insightful book! It will soon be on its way to hopi100...

Journal Entry 23 by elle311 from Suffolk, Virginia USA on Wednesday, May 21, 2008
On its way to hopi100...Happy travels, little book!

Journal Entry 24 by hopi100 from Alexandria, Virginia USA on Sunday, May 25, 2008
This arrived yesterday -- thanks so much! I can't wait to get started! :)

Journal Entry 25 by hopi100 from Alexandria, Virginia USA on Thursday, June 26, 2008
I've really enjoyed this book! Corporate behemoths such as Wal-Mart fascinate me, and it was great to read Dicker's insights into the company. He also included so much extensive research; I really appreciated that, too.

I have dabercro's address and will be sending this on over the weekend! Thanks so much for sharing it with me! :)

Journal Entry 26 by dabercro from Clinton, Utah USA on Monday, July 14, 2008
Arrived in the mail today. I have another ring in front of this one and will get to this one just as soon as I can. Looks like an interesting read.

Journal Entry 27 by dabercro from Clinton, Utah USA on Tuesday, July 29, 2008
This was an interesting read. Some of the information I already knew. After reading this book, I have mixed feelings about Wal-Mart. I hate what they have done to my quiet, farming community. They have built Supercenters every two miles here (NO, I'm not exagerating). Yet, as the book says, they are willing to build where no one else will which gives depressed areas a place for people to shop and work.
I do know that the major retailer I work for did a huge revamp in the mid 90's of the way it buys and processes its merchandise modeled after Wal-Mart. They actually hired someone into the upper escheleons of our retail company that had been in a high position at Wal-Mart to help with the big turnaround. It was a tough few years for the employees in the company I work for while all the changes were made. It has been said that if we had not gone through these changes our company would not be around today.
With all that being said, Wal-Mart doesn't always treat its employees fairly. My son-in-law gave 15 years to the company only to have his management position downgraded to a cheap paying hourly position (this was company wide). I'm sure it was done to save money. Hire someone for a lot less to do the same job.
Bottom line, as I see it, the consumer wants to pay as little as possible for merchandise and the retailer has to make a profit. In the end the employees and the suppliers will be the ones to take it in the shorts. It is just a viscious circle. The consumer and their expectations have changed so much in the 15 years I have been working retail and the competition is fierce among the retailers. Is the way that Wal-Mart is doing business right or wrong? I think today's consumer has created and fed this monster called Wal-Mart.


Journal Entry 28 by dabercro from Clinton, Utah USA on Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Mailing Ktbean tomorrow.

Journal Entry 29 by Ktbean from Creston, British Columbia Canada on Saturday, August 09, 2008
Received today. My poor mail man had a stack for me. Three book boxes and two rings. Lots of reading to do. This book is on the top of my list. Thanks so much for starting this ring. It looks like a good book about the evil empire :)

Journal Entry 30 by Ktbean from Creston, British Columbia Canada on Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Finally finished it :) What a neat book. I'm sending it off sometime this weekend.
Thanks so much for starting this ring!

Journal Entry 31 by TCOTN from Fairview, Alberta Canada on Tuesday, November 11, 2008
This was waiting for me when I arrived home after being away for a while. I'll read it very quickly and get it on its way again.

Journal Entry 32 by TCOTN from Fairview, Alberta Canada on Thursday, November 20, 2008
A good read. Enjoyable, yet frightening at the same time. No wonder communitits are rallying to ban this and other big box stores. Now off to the mail :)

Journal Entry 33 by nikel27 from -- Irgendwo / Somewhere --, Hessen Germany on Tuesday, December 02, 2008
arrived safe at my house, 2 more BookRing's to read before I can start here.

update:
Good read, thanks for sharing with me.
(asked for next members address)

Journal Entry 34 by nikel27 at Book Ring, Ginsheim -- Controlled Releases on Monday, January 05, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (1/5/2009 UTC) at Book Ring, Ginsheim -- Controlled Releases

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EnJoy the book as I did.

Journal Entry 35 by wingLeishaCamdenwing from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Tuesday, January 20, 2009
This arrived in the mail from Germany yesterday. Thanks to everyone for keeping this ray moving, and especially to nikel27 for sending the book to me. It looks fascinating, I wish I could start reading it immediately. :-) I will as soon as I finish the book I'm reading now.

More later when I've read the book.

Journal Entry 36 by wingLeishaCamdenwing from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Sunday, January 25, 2009
I started reading this yesterday. I've read about 90 pages out of about 215. So far very interesting! :-)

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