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Old 04-10-2012, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Hawaii-Puna District
3,591 posts, read 5,582,592 times
Reputation: 2124
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawvegan View Post
Hilo without a car is easy. There are buses and they are free. If your at the school your within walking distance to Island Naturals and some other big box stores I wont mention. Please don't move to the island and then go shop at walmart. Places like this are not needed and do more damage than good. good luck.
Why? I would bet that 150-200 people accepted (no one forced them there) jobs at this Wal-Mart alone and way less than 5% of those employees are mainland transplants. Local jobs for local people?
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Kau, Hawaii
171 posts, read 227,071 times
Reputation: 325
Rawvegan is right, people should buy local, shop at the Hilo farmers market for food. Walmart sells imported plastic trash from China and brings notoriously awful working conditions here from the mainland. Big box stores put genuinely local businesses out of business and don't keep money in the community.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
5,771 posts, read 9,290,922 times
Reputation: 2891
I personally do not shop at Walmart and dislike them. Not too fond of almost any of those big box stores although we do go to Costco.

Of those 150-200 people working at Walmart, how many of them receive a living wage? Do any of them get benefits? Can they afford to live on just their Walmart income? Does Walmart support local events? Keep a bank account at a local bank? Help out with local charities?

If I buy a dozen eggs from my neighbor, then that money will help my neighbor instead of some sort of commercial egg farm on the mainland. Saves the fuel to move the eggs from half the planet away and they are free range eggs without the birds being confined or fed chemicals. Same with the vegetables from another neighbor's garden and the meat we get from the folks who raise cows. Need a new cell phone holder? The paniolo guy at Alfalfa Hay & Cubes will make one hand tooled out of leather. Need a quilt made? There's loads of folks around who can make them. Need a new side table or chair? How about one made of koa instead of a cheap plastic one from China? The koa one will be worth the same thing or maybe even more than you paid for it if you keep it in good condition when you want to sell it later. You can't say the same thing for the plastic one.

There were some folks chatting today about how hard it is to get clothes that fit right. Betcha there's room on this island for some custom dressmakers. If you get a good quality item of clothing, it should last for years. Remember your grandparents who would buy something and then still be wearing it decades later? Buying quality actually saves money since usually buying one good one will last a lot longer than a half dozen cheaper ones. And hopefully, these tailors and dressmakers would be within walking distance of the U of H so the OP would be able to get to them without a car. Which is/was the original topic, anyway.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:51 PM
Status: "More Hurricanes? Mainland conspiracy?" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Kailua
5,083 posts, read 4,089,521 times
Reputation: 2018
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotzcatz View Post
I personally do not shop at Walmart and dislike them. Not too fond of almost any of those big box stores although we do go to Costco.

Of those 150-200 people working at Walmart, how many of them receive a living wage? Do any of them get benefits? Can they afford to live on just their Walmart income? Does Walmart support local events? Keep a bank account at a local bank? Help out with local charities?
I don't shop at Walmart either - for different reasons - I can't stand how packed they are - the Walmart near Ala Moana is unbelievably packed - every aisle - day and night.

I see your point - but 200 workers in Hilo is a lot of workers, especially for an area with near 10% unemployment - what would they all do otherwise? I don't see Walmart as a way to support a family - but it probably is ok to supplement an income with another primary wage earner.
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Volcano
11,948 posts, read 9,715,604 times
Reputation: 9339
Quote:
Originally Posted by whtviper1 View Post
I see your point - but 200 workers in Hilo is a lot of workers, especially for an area with near 10% unemployment - what would they all do otherwise?
The issue is that they probably displace 300 better paid workers from the nearby small businesses that shrink or fail because of their presence. It's a destructive pattern that has been repeated over and over across the country, and is the reason that now many communities are pushing back when they learn that WalMart wants to open a store in their area.
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:18 PM
Status: "More Hurricanes? Mainland conspiracy?" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Kailua
5,083 posts, read 4,089,521 times
Reputation: 2018
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
The issue is that they probably displace 300 better paid workers from the nearby small businesses that shrink or fail because of their presence. It's a destructive pattern that has been repeated over and over across the country, and is the reason that now many communities are pushing back when they learn that WalMart wants to open a store in their area.
But did that happen in Hilo? I'm trying to remember where the Walmart is - isn't by Macy's - that didn't seem like an area you'd find small business - seems like the small business area is more downtown by my favorite restaurant, Cafe Pesto - but Hilo folks, did local business fail bacause of Walmart?
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:07 AM
 
Location: Volcano
11,948 posts, read 9,715,604 times
Reputation: 9339
Quote:
Originally Posted by whtviper1 View Post
But did that happen in Hilo? I'm trying to remember where the Walmart is - isn't by Macy's - that didn't seem like an area you'd find small business - seems like the small business area is more downtown by my favorite restaurant, Cafe Pesto - but Hilo folks, did local business fail bacause of Walmart?
The main economic impact of a WalMart Store is at least a half hour circle, not just the surrounding block or 2. In other words, all of Hilo and Kea'au and up the coast. Look around at what they carry... everything there was being sold by some other business before they came along. And everything they sell now is now an item not being sold by some other store. You name it... books and CDs... shoes... clothes... bicycles... sporting goods... entertainment systems... housewares... cell phones... bedding... cameras... whatever... etc., etc., etc.

Then go check the small stores down on Kilauea and Keawe and Kamehameha or in the Puainiko Center, or on the side streets around Prince Kuhiko center that sell (or used to sell) those items. Ask them how they're doing.

The ones that are still around to answer your questions (for sure not Borders) will say it's been a rough ride, having a 900 pound gorilla roll into town and offer cheaper prices on EVERYTHING. Sure, a lot of it is cheaper quality, much of it is not even very well made crap from China, but the PRICES ARE LOW. So people spend their money there instead of in the small shops, and suddenly instead of needing 4 people on Saturday they only need 2, and during the week maybe 1 1/2, and the inventory is kind of thin because the margins aren't there any more, and suddenly another one is just gone. And the retail job in the little shop with reasonable 8am - 4 pm hours that paid $16 an hour and had Sunday off has been displaced by a $9/hr job at a retail behemoth that has people on call 6am to 10pm 7 days a week.

And then the profits go to a giant corporation in Arkansas instead of being kept in the community by a local small business owner.

The wake of destruction of small businesses WalMart always leaves in their path, and the accompanying drop in the earning power of the replacement jobs they displace has been very well documented, in articles, films, books.

That is what Rawvegan was pointing to.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:22 AM
Status: "More Hurricanes? Mainland conspiracy?" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Kailua
5,083 posts, read 4,089,521 times
Reputation: 2018
I don't necessarily disagree with you OpenD -

I think the issue is complicated - low prices for the community in Hilo when people in Hilo have low wages - and jobs when unemployment is high. If you knock out the Walmart's - the Macy's - and Target - and other "chains" - I think you have potential for higher unemployement and higher prices with a population that has a low income. It's complicated - just knocking those places could cause other problems. Knock them out and you might not have the results you are looking for. Perhaps?
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Volcano
11,948 posts, read 9,715,604 times
Reputation: 9339
Quote:
Originally Posted by whtviper1 View Post
I think the issue is complicated - low prices for the community in Hilo when people in Hilo have low wages - and jobs when unemployment is high. If you knock out the Walmart's - the Macy's - and Target - and other "chains" - I think you have potential for higher unemployement and higher prices with a population that has a low income.
Yes, it's complicated, and once a big-box store opens in a community it's very hard to roll back the changes it has caused. Refusing to shop at a WalMart after it has already opened is a much more significant act for the shopper than it is for the store, but for me, it is a matter of putting my money where my mouth is.

I don't have the same problem with Macy's, because I know they pay their sales associates a higher average wage than WalMart does, including a commission on sales which allows employees who hustle to earn a bigger paycheck. And they have decent fringe benefits. And as a business, they are socially responsible, not out to totally crush the small businesses they compete with. Target is ranked a little lower overall as an employer and responsible member of the business community, but it is still better than WalMart. And while Target endeavors to keep prices reasonable for customers, it has a strategy of selling well designed goods at reasonable prices, rather than constantly driving the "lowest price" mantra, and having to lower quality and to squeeze suppliers and employees hard to achieve those prices.

But mostly it is WalMart's abusive attitudes and policies towards its employees that bother me. They have a long and troubled record of committing all kinds of outrageous behavior, like having employees work overtime "off the clock," to creating work schedules that are destructive to normal family life. Do an internet search. They are not an "employee oriented" company in any way, shape or form.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
5,771 posts, read 9,290,922 times
Reputation: 2891
They say when gas gets to $10 a gallon, Walmart won't exist anymore. Although maybe it will then source things close to home. Usually though they want cheap stuff so they go offshore where there aren't many OSHA regulations and underpaid labor. When they get brand name stuff, frequently the manufacturers end up making an inferior product branded the same as their good stuff which is then sold through Walmart. This is because of price pressure from Walmart. The whole Walmart paradigm is so not-Hawaiian that I'm surprised Pele hasn't poured lava on Walmart.

So, since the OP won't be having to go to Walmart and there are other shops closer to the University, they will probably be able to get around Hilo without a car, do you think?
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