Consumers Torn By Wal-Mart Practices, Prices

In what Al Norman calls 'the Wal-Mart Paradox,' many shoppers hate no company more, but can't resist "Everyday Low Prices."
July 8, 2004, 6am PDT | Jeffrey Goodman
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Pity the public relations man at Wal-Mart; he has feelings too. "The criticism, to be very honest with you, hurts," says Gus Whitcomb, "This is a company that is trying to help." Under attack from a diverse group including NOW, unions, a former Miss America, and anti-sprawl activists, Wal-Mart has been forced to change how it relates to its customers, introducing gentler commercials and public outreach programs. Many professors see an elitist overtone to the anti-Wal-Mart crusade; upper- and middle-income consumers can afford to shun the retail giant while low-income shoppers have few alternatives.

Thanks to Jeffrey Goodman

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Published on Wednesday, July 7, 2004 in The Baltimore Sun
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