Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Wal-Mart Nation

As shoppers flock to the stores for holiday gifts, some may harbor mixed feelings about the nation’s largest retailer. Overall, 69% of those familiar with Wal-Mart have a favorable opinion of the company, a Pew Center for the People & the Press found in a survey last December. Still, 31% of the public has an unfavorable view,a considerably higher negative rating than accordedmany other major firms, and Wal-Mart’s generally high rating didn’t keep the firm from suffering a 0.1% drop in same-store sales over the bellwether Thanksgiving shopping weekend, news of which led the stock market downward the following Monday. Nearly every American lives close enough to a Wal-Mart to shop there, and 84% said they had done so in the past year. Praise for the retailer’s low prices, wide selection and convenience flowed freely, and 81% of those with a Wal-Mart nearby judged it a good place to shop. Somewhat less glowing, however, were judgments about Wal-Mart’s effect on communities and the nation as a whole, and a third of the public (34%) rated it a bad place to work.Read More