The only reason to shop at Wal-Mart around here is in case you want to buy electronics, furniture, clothes, or pet supplies at 3AM. I find it way more convenient to go across the river to Target during normal hours and buy the exact same things. Living in the Portland/Vancouver area we have an advantage: Oregon residents show ID
and do not pay the Washington sales tax of 7.6% (more in Seattle) on dry goods but Washington residents need only to drive across the river.
Back to the point: Yes, their camping equipment, electronics, CDs, etc. are cheap: mom bought me a $79 dollar futon but it is bending and creaking way too much after only six months of normal use! Could I ask for it to be fixed or get a new one at no cost? Heck no! It's Wal-Mart! I know from my little futon incident (there is a whole other story involved too) that next time, I will go to the indie futon store run by a sweet but gruff lesbian and pay $150 more for the lifetime guarantee.
Another point: I don't care for unions either. I have never belonged to a union but after living in the Seattle area and having Boeing go on strike again and again because they want more money and benefits, I have little sympathy for them. If my co-workers and I were union, do you know how much a taco would cost? I do shop for food at a non-union market called WinCo. They have EXACTLY what Safeway, Albertsons, Zupans, and Fred Meyer have but the prices are cheaper. Employees are friendly and helpful too. When I worked at Meier & Frank, we were not union but we were still glad to be there. I always did my best to show how much I enjoyed my job. Just because Wal-Mart is not union does not make it the scum of the Earth: I think the employees are just fed up with the clientele. I know I could not deal with that all day long....
My partner and I go to Target all the time. I worked at a recieving warehouse in Seattle that processed stock from China heading for Target. Yes, it seemed everything Target sells is from China. Should we boycott Target? Well, if you want. I would rather have good service even though there is 'exploitation' of labor going on (see previous post about $20 a day) than have bad service.