Friday, November 18, 2005

WALMART: The High Cost of Low Cost

This week is(was) the national debut of Walmart: The High Cost of Low Cost. First off, I have to say that this movie was fantastic. Although I’ve been looking forward to it for a couple of weeks, I was still expecting a totally one sided biased story that would discredit itself. (Michael Moore like) I wrong on my assumptions. It was done very well, and a conscience effort was made to extend across political borders. They made it a point to let us know that many of the people interviewed were actually gun toting, truck driving republicans. The highlights were numerous interviews with ex-high level managers from the giant corporation. They were able to spread insight into how many of the problems do in fact come from the top.

They also did a neat way of promoting the movie, essentially letting anyone across the country host their own screening of the movie. All you had to do was purchase a DVD, and invite a bunch of people over. They’d even advertise your screening with them. I chose to see it at the local classic theater, The Crest, where one of the independent free newspapers was sponsoring a showing, along with some good comedy skits before the movie. This is somewhat fitting because A) There is an open air mall located a few blocks away, and the owners wanted to install a Walmart as part of a “downtown revitalization>” I won’t even comment on that one. Luckily the city council decisively said no to that one, insisting they draw smaller shops into the building. B) That same city council, however, was toying with the idea of giving Century theaters a 10 million dollar subsidy to build an arts theater directly across from the Crest, as a way of drawing people to the area. The street is dead, and the only, and I mean only, thing drawing people there are the Crest and Pyramid Brewing, most of the rest of the buildings are empty. Let’s see, there’s brewery, and a theater, there already, hmm, lets add a theater!!! Ok, I’m off subject.

Anyway, see the movie. I’ll save my Walmart rants for later; I have a couple fun Walmart projects lined up for Spring.


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