Some can’t stand Wal-Mart; some can’t get enough of it

A sampling of responses from The Herald’s Reader Network when questioned about Wal-Mart:

“Wal-Mart is not on my list of places to shop or buy anything. In my reading of coverage in the newspapers and the book ‘Nickeled and Dimed,’ my impression is that this store is good for the consumer, but bad for the employees. Do I want this kind of a employer in my community? I do not know.”

– Carl Nelson, Everett

“I think we should maintain a free market – that means if the store is built and they don’t sell enough merchandise to offset the expenses, they’ll go out of business. If they sell enough, they’ll stay. This way the consumers vote with their spendable income. If the store employees are not unionized, that’s OK. They can choose to work for Wal-Mart or not.”

– Kathy Hayes, Edmonds

“I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart because of its employee abuse and the fact that many products come from countries without labor and environmental protections. Even though I know I could save money shopping there, it is more important to me that I shop responsibly than cheap. I also oppose building any more Wal-Marts in Snohomish County. We don’t need more big box stores that push small business owners out of business.”

– Ileen Weber, Everett

“I love that the Quil Ceda (Wal-Mart) has expanded to a superstore. I don’t get a lot of groceries there because it’s more out of the way than my regular store, but when I do, I always get good deals. I also like that because it is a superstore, it’s always open. As for more Wal-Mart stores … I think my biggest concern is getting saturated. It’s great to have Wal-Mart, but it’s also great to have variety.”

– Wendy Roullier, Everett

“I don’t shop at Wal-Mart because I don’t approve of the way it conducts business with employees and suppliers and the way it detrimentally affects local businesses.”

– Alan Shank, Mukilteo

“I love Wal-Mart. People need to understand that Wal-Mart is what our entire economy is all about. Wal-Mart is a company in the private sector which creates jobs, pays taxes and provides a huge service by providing lower prices on thousands of products.

“These products are sold at prices so low that they allow thousands of people to purchase products that they could not otherwise afford. The bottom line is that Wal-Mart is American free enterprise in the finest tradition.”

– Kenneth Weigel, Edmonds

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