I know it's very fashionable to blame Walmart for all the ills of the retail industry (conveniently overlooking all the other Big-box stores' part in our wasteful culture!), but we need to be more honest with ourselves in order to have any hope of changing things... I realize how subversive this is, but we need to face facts, and stop blaming one "boogieman" for everything.
For example, how about Amazon? I've NEVER seen a negative remark about them on BPL...
Read, "The Amazon Effect" in The Nation: http://www.thenation.com/article/168125/amazon-effect#. Amazon has driven (and continues to drive) whole retail sectors out of business.
A few highlights:
"The bookstore wars are over. Independents are battered, Borders is dead, Barnes & Noble weakened but still standing and Amazon triumphant."
"As Wired put it, when you buy the Kindle Fire, “you’re not buying a gadget—you’re filing citizen papers for the digital duchy of Amazonia.” For his part, Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame recently renounced his “citizenship,” pulling the plug on his Amazon Prime membership and calling for a boycott of Amazon after he discovered that the company had buckled under pressure from Washington and scrubbed WikiLeaks from its Web servers. Not unlike small independent bookstores, bricks-and-mortar retailers such as Walmart, Home Depot and Best Buy are feeling the ground give way beneath them. Target is fighting back, declaring that it will no longer sell Kindles, clearly dismayed by Amazon’s brazen promotion of a price-checking app as a means of competing with many of the goods that Target sells."
"Amazon is now an online Walmart, and while 50 percent of its revenues are derived from music, TV shows, movies and, yes, books, another 50 percent comes from a diverse array of products and services."
"Last fall, the Morning Call investigated their plight in one of Amazon’s main fulfillment warehouses in Allentown, Pennsylvania. It found that some employees risked stroke and heat exhaustion while running themselves ragged trying to fulfill quotas that resemble the onerous conditions so indelibly satirized by Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times. Ambulances were routinely stationed in the facility’s giant parking lot to rush stricken workers to nearby hospitals."
Sure, ragging on Walmart is easy and makes people feel like they're doing something great, but maybe we need to think more deeply...
(Edited to add one more quote)