Regarding Wal-Mart, this from the New York Times:
"Faced with public demonstrations of discontent by its employees, Wal-Mart Stores has developed a wide-ranging new program intended to show that it appreciates its 1.3 million workers in the United States and to encourage them to air their grievances.
"As part of the effort, Wal-Mart managers at 4,000 stores will meet with 10 rank-and-file workers every week and extend an additional 10 percent discount on a single item during the holidays to all its employees, beyond the normal 10 percent employee discount...
The program includes several new perks “as a way of saying thank you” to workers, like a special polo shirt after 20 years of service and a “premium holiday,” when Wal-Mart pays a portion of health insurance premiums for covered employees. Sarah Clark, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, said the program was a “a more formalized, contemporary approach” to communicating with and collecting feedback from its fast-growing work force."
In my neck of the woods, Wal-Mart added a store just a mile-and-a-half down the road from our subdivision. There already was a Wal-Mart located at a major intersection on a loop highway, about seven miles away ... plenty close enough to get to if we decided to shop the Smiley-Face Big-Box Store. I must admit we have sneaked into the new Wal-Mart, but there was very little temptation to empty our pocketbooks at the check-out counter.
Meanwhile, another neighborhood near where I resided back in the 1970s has told Wal-Mart to take a hike (click here).