Meet the Wal-Mart Killers

Yeah, success breeds contempt. Just ask Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) , whose business achievements are spawning a cottage industry of money-for-hire anti-Wal-Mart activists. Grocers are increasingly focused on defending their turf as the retail titan looks for every avenue to increase sales. Last year 51% of Wal-Mart's sales came from its food aisles.

In their quest to stymie Wal-Mart's store expansion, grocers such as Supervalu (NYSE: SVU  ) and Safeway (NYSE: SWY  ) have turned to Saint Consulting Group to secretly run their anti-development campaigns. Saint uses political-campaign-style methods to achieve its objectives: petitions drives, websites, and phone calls. One of Saint's most recent assignments was to block Wal-Mart from competing with some of Supervalu's retail outlets in Mundelein, Illinois, just outside Chicago.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

As Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has grown into the largest grocery seller in the U.S., similar battles have played out in hundreds of towns like Mundelein. Local activists and union groups have been the public face of much of the resistance. But in scores of cases, large supermarket chains including Supervalu Inc., Safeway Inc. and Ahold NV have retained Saint Consulting to block Wal-Mart.

Saint has called his staff the "Wal-Mart killers."

Wal-Mart has had a tough year growing sales, while other retailers fared better, but it looks like the rivalry among grocers could really heat up. Groceries appear to be the promised land for discount retailers looking for expansion, since food is a necessity and draws traffic to a store. Target (NYSE: TGT  ) is making a move into food, and deep discount chains such as Dollar General (NYSE: DG  ) have as well.

Is Wal-Mart a victim of its own success as a grocer? And does it deserve what it's getting? Let us know in the comments below.

Jim Royal, Ph.D., does not own shares in any company mentioned. Wal-Mart Stores is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2010, at 3:27 PM, 123spot wrote:

    No, they don't deserve it. They have cleaned up their act progressively for years now and are strong contributors to our society. They are victims of envy and make a nice big "target" for the unions and also-rans who can't compete cleanly. No worries, though. WMT will do what it always does, put on it's big girl britches and win.

    disclosure: long WMT for 20 years and live in NW Arkansas. Cheers.

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2010, at 3:56 PM, madmilker wrote:

    "123spot"....are you the one that move Wal*Mart's Global Procurement Offices to Hong Kong and than to China?

    "123spot" ....are you the one that helped Wal*Mart, China, Mexico and that container company in Hong Kong make that deal on that port in Mexico back in 2006?

    "123spot" ...are you the one that told Wal*Mart to only sell 5% foreign in all Wal*Mart China stores?

    "on Wal*Mart's China web page!

    "Wal-Mart China persists in local procurement which provides more job opportunities, supports local manufacture industry and promotes local economy. So far, 95% of merchandising sold at Wal-Mart China store are local products by which Wal-Mart has established business relations with nearly 20,000 suppliers. At Wal-Mart, we treat suppliers as partners and would like to develop with them. In 2008 Wal-Mart won the Supplier Satisfaction published by Business Information of Shanghai for five consecutive years."

    5% foreign in China....

    That does not support American exports and American jobs....."

    "123spot" ...are you the one that took the hyphen out of Wal-Mart and replaced it with a big single star Wal*Mart?

    "123spot" ....are you the taxidermists that stuffed Sam Walton's bird dog Ol'Roy?

    "123spot" ...are you the one that told Wal*Mart that they need to look at all 50 State Capital Buildings blueprints in order to turn them green knowing that the Walton estate owns millions of shares of First Solar.

    "123spot" ...are you the one that was with Sam inside that factory east of Seoul back in 1975....10 or so years before he started his "Made In America" campaign in the Wal*Mart stores in America?

    Retail makes NOTHING....

    Governments only make MORE DEBT....

    It's time for less of those two and for America to get back to making stuff.

    Remember what Lance Winslow wrote in that article "The Flow of Trade in a Global Economy"....dang! better yet...just take the time and read this ...."Now let us look at Wal-Mart again; you buy a product there, 6% goes to the employees, 10-18% is profit to the company, 25% goes to other costs and 50% goes to re-stock or the cost of goods sold. Of the 50% about 20-25% goes to China, a guess, but you get the point. Now then, how long will it take at 433 Billion dollars at year for China to have all of our money, leaving no money flow for us to circulate? At a 17 Trillion dollar economy less than 40-years minus the 1/6 they buy from us. Some say that if we keep putting money into our economy, it would take forever, but if we do not then eventually all the money flow will go. If China buys our debt then eventually they own us, no need to worry about a war, they are buying America, due in part to our own mismanaged trade, so whose fault is that? Not necessarily China, as they are doing what's in the best interests, and we should make sure that trade is not only free, but fair too."

    Also, think for a moment about George Washington....yes the man that is on the US dollar bill.... "Washington had been reelected unanimously in 1792. His decision not to seek a third term established a tradition that is now embedded in the 22d Amendment of the Constitution."

    Take the time to read his farewell address after only eight years of serving his country and than ask yourself this....How do you think George feels being sent overseas in return for all that foreign so-call cheap items and being left in a foreign bank because the American worker doesn't make anything for the foreigners to buy. Cheap items didn't make this great union of 57...oops! 50 states the greatest place on the face of this Earth.....the American worker (union and non-union) did.

    You can't have a strong country without having a strong currency and you can't have a strong currency unless you keep it floating around within your 50 states. This is why the store with the star in the name puts 95% China made items in their stores in China....to keep their "yuan" in their country helping the nice people there. And with only 5% left for all the other 182 country's that make stuff including the United States of America....that doesn't produce very many jobs outside of China.

    Being an old person myself and knowing how it was back in the 40's, 50's and 60's in this union of 50 states....I look at George each time I pull him out of my billfold and make a promise to send him out for items made in America so after floating around helping each hand he touches just maybe one day he will shake mine again.

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2010, at 9:37 PM, eloheh wrote:

    Mad:

    HOME RUN!!

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2010, at 1:43 AM, sddingman wrote:

    The best thing that would ever happen to the American economy in the long run is for Wal-Mart to go out of business so we can lear to take care of ourselves and each other again.

    Mad hit the nail on the head.

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2010, at 8:56 AM, SockWoo wrote:

    madmilker, that was awesome, you made my day. As a person who's family owned business was run down by the devil, also known as wal-mart, i want to say thank you. Too bad 85% of Americans are too ignorant to understand that we need to buy local and boycott Wal-Mart to help ourselves. So what if you save $5 dollars on $80 of grocery, in the long run you are screwing yourself and your fellow Americans.

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2010, at 11:18 AM, noryakerson wrote:

    Eventually Walmart stores will become encapsulated little societies: You will be born there, spend your life being fed, clothed. and housed by them, and then they'll roll you into the Walmart crematorium--or turn you into Soylent Green and stock you in their grocery department.

  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2010, at 3:48 AM, tramagli wrote:

    Down with Wal-Mart!

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