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December 14, 2005

Update: Wal*Mart Polling Suspect


Recent polls on Wal*Mart report that the public likes the retailer less and less. Their "favorability" rating is going down; negatives up.

But is this true? Is Wal*Mart an unsavory corporate citizen? Is the public perception perceptive?

Or, are the masses merely (jack)asses?

Your Business Blogger thinks neither.

Two reasons:

1)The companies conducting the polls, and

2) The group that paid for the polls.

One poll cited was run by Zogby. Normally right of center, I would submit that his numbers are biased.

The second poll by Lake, Snell & Perry reports the same Wal*Mart negatives. Lake, Snell & Perry is left of center.

Both polls are possibly wrong; certainly suspect.

The lefties at Lake et. al. can be dismissed as liberal Democrats biased toward unions.

But, the Zogby results should also be discounted. Joel Mowbray reports in The Washington Times that Zogby was a paid expert witness against Wal*Mart:

In recent years, Mr. Zogby has pocketed roughly $90,000 to serve as an expert witness for individuals suing Wal-Mart, according to testimony he gave in a deposition last year in an Arizona case.

Nowhere is Mr. Zogby's prior work on behalf of plaintiffs mentioned in the press release announcing the poll results.

Finally, the polls were commissioned by Wake Up Wal*Mart, the pro-union anti-Wal*Mart group.

The polling numbers cannot be trusted. Consumer confidence in Wal*Mart should not be measured by Wal*Mart opponents.

Polling companies are sometimes like consultants. They will give you what you ask for.

As long as you pay them.

* * *
Previous Wal*Mart posts.


WalMart Protesters


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Thank you (foot)notes:

Business Pundit
has a strategy for the anti-Wal*Mart groups.

Writing on the wal says Wal*Mart is over.

Narcissic Views
has outstanding analysis of (extorted) Wal*Mart ad buys.

Update: 29 Dec 2005 Going to the Mat continues reporting the Zogby poll without mentioning bias.

Posted by Jack Yoest at December 14, 2005 07:03 PM

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Right on as usual.

A couple of thoughts of my own bouncing off of yours.

Being and staying in business is increadibly difficult. Most businesses that are doing things poorly find it showing up in the profits. Consumer confidence in a product is best shown by actions at the register, not pollsters.

Growing up in the Midwest, Walmart was a decent place for someone to work. I think it still is a place where many people would like to work. When I go back home to Missouri Walmart is clean, well stocked, affordable and generally a nice shopping experince. Some of the Walmarts in big city suburbs are not the same environment. The wages paid to Walmart employees at these big city stores do not stretch as far as they do in small town America. So I would contend that there is not one type of Walmart store, they differ by area of the country, local economic climate and generally differences in human beings who happen to work there and shop there. Despite uniformity brought on by there being a powerful corporate HQ, there
is a great deal of variety in the stores.

I would still say, if you don't want to shop at Walmart, shop elsewhere and stop complaining. If you don't want to work at Walmart, find another job.

Posted by: Terry at December 16, 2005 12:24 AM

Terry, I think you best summed up Ronald Reagan's point of knowing the difference between 'critics' and the 'box office.'

Box office receipts can be taken to the bank. Critics should be taken lightly.


Posted by: Jack Yoest at December 16, 2005 06:37 AM

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