Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Target vs. Wal Mart

An editorial from a Boston Newspaper

The Calvert business rating for Target, which gives a lot of information about their practices - environmentally, in labor, etc.

One man's opinion.

A more in-depth article.

I was able to get all of the above links from other unschooling moms who did this research in Jan., in answer to a question on an unschooling list. So there may be more current information, if you feel up to finding it.

I was glad to have some facts about Target, as well as thought-provoking editorials. I don't agree with the commenter on my "paved paradise" post that the discussion on that unschooling list shows that Target may be worse in some areas than Wal Mart. I guess each of us may be interpreting things to suit our own preferences. I think that the above information show what I had thought - that big business creates big-business shady practices. But if you have to go to one or the other of these two chains, Target is not as big, not as shady, is a bit better environmentally, isn't selling lots of foods that are labeled "organic" when they really aren't, and isn't claiming in its' ads to have supremely good labor practices. One of the biggest points, for me, is that (in our part of GA at least) Target doesn't have even a fraction of the screaming mamas treating their kids horribly. The screaming (and hitting) mamas (and papas and grands...) in our Wal Mart run rampant - or did when I used to go. Actually, friends say they still do. I don't know why there are more there than in other stores but there truly are.

I may go to Target even less than I already did, as a result of thinking about all of this more (thankyou Christy for your comment) but I will go there, for what I can't get at the small stores, thrift stores and yard sales. I won't go to Wal Mart.


Sara said...

Thanks for this. Something I was always interested in learning more about. My husband worked for Sam's Club in college, and they showed them anti-union videos at orientation. We've boycotted Wal-Mart for awhile, but maybe it is just a cultural bias for the trendier Target. I understand why people shop there. When my husband lived in Oklahoma for a little while, the groceries there were unbelievably cheap.

Interesting to know that Target is anti-union too. They both no doubt could be and should be paying a living wage, so it's worth putting pressure on both of them.

diana-still-evolving said...

There's a *blue book* for businesses on the shelf at Barnes and Noble and I've checked out Target closely, as I too boycott the-store-that-shall-not-be-named ;) I like that Target was a spawn of the Dayton Hudson Corp, local to me, beginnings in Minneapolis, MN. I struggle with corporate take over of the little fish, so when I choose a corporation to give my money to, I choose the lesser of the two evils. Target does not have gender bias in their payscale. Target insures their employees at the part-time level. When I give the few cents more to Target instead of Waldemart, I know I'm contributing to someone's job quality. Happy Employees are Happy Humans who are Happy Parents and Children and Aunts and Uncles and Cousins and Citizens. It's win/win. And their Archer Farms company is offering more and more organic options (an important step in the process for me, moving towards healthier food choices) in their grocery. They also have Jones Soda - strawberry lime - in cans!! it's heavenly ;)

I've chosen to go into Waldemart. Joyfully, even. For reasons that far transcent labor/gender/import issues of the corporation. My son will always be more important than my politics. When putting all others aside and meeting his immediate need, and JOYFULLY, I create goodness that I bring with me through those doors. Sometimes that's a gift to the others there who may never otherwise witness my mothering.

Then I come home and shower and cry. Knowing there is so far to go in this human experience. So I treat those close to me with some extra love and attention to balance the world a bit more.

Madeline said...

"My son will always be more important than my politics" I like that, Diana. It helps me to define why it was hard for me to do this "political" kind of post. I am an unschooling, loving mom first and then a person with strong political opinions. I did go into Wal Mart once last year when Gillen needed shin- guards and we would have had to drive another half hour to get them at Target and had a game to make. Poor planning on my part that time. I felt sick about it. I love that Target gives insurance for P/T employees. Thanks for that info.

Sara, I am glad that you appreciated this as I was really regretting going political in my innocent blogging world. Just doesn't fit somehow.

Christy said...

I re-read all the articles and still don't see how Target is any better than Walmart in it's labor practices. They pay as little or less than Walmart and one article said Target's benefits packages were harder to qualify for than Walmarts. I'll look and see if I can find confirmation that they insure part-time employees. Very few companies do. I'm pretty sure I had read somewhere that their environmental practices were as bad or worse than Walmarts, but I could be wrong.

I'm in no way trying to support Walmart. I just find it funny that so many people who would never shop at Walmart gladly shop at Target. Yes, Target is nicer inside but really they are still a huge company putting small companies out of business and treating their employees poorly. They just look prettier doing it.

Christy said...

Oh, I did want you to know that I totally agree with you on the shopping atmosphere at Target. It is so much more pleasant than Walmart. The few times I've been to either the parents are much nicer at Target than Walmart.

Now one big company that is good to it's employees is Costco. I try to shop there when I need to go to a big box type store. Problem there is I don't always need 100 of whatever I'm buying LOL.

Wendy said...

It's interesting to note how many unschoolers I meet who won't shop at Wally World.

Barbara Ehrenriecht's book "Nickel and Dimed in America" gives some interesting insight into what it's like to be a Wal-Mart employee. It certainly explains why people are so tense there. It's not just the shoppers, but the employees, too, and you put that many anxious people in one building, and you're bound to have some negative energy flowing through everyone. It's no wonder everyone is so nasty.

There's is nothing I like about Wal-Mart, and over the past two years, I've found alternatives to anything I might have gotten there, which means I don't "need" to shop at Target, either ;).