WAL-MART LAWYERS, NO…DON”T! OOPS, TOO LATE
A cranky opinion for
CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY
The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with little knowledge on the topic opined. Opposing views are welcome. They are welcome, but they will be ignored. As always, no name calling. That means you, you big stupid head!
Wal-Mart has an image problem. The public perceives them as mean.
Some of their image problem is because their low prices and massive selection have put mom and pop stores out of business. MEAN!
Some of their image problem is their cost cutting model keeps wages low and employees unhappy. MEAN!
Most mom and pop stores simply can’t compete with the prices that economies of scale provide large stores like Wal-Mart. Unless they can provide extraordinary service they are doomed. Wal-Mart does the economy of scale better than most stores. They are a winner in the put mom and pop out of business battle, but mom and pop were never going to prevail. Still Wal-Mart comes out of the contest the winner but with the mean perception.
Cost cutting works, people respond to lower prices more than they do happy employees. Personally I prefer Costco’s model which values its employees and rewards them with higher wages, and benefits. They feel that low employee turnover is more cost effective than low wages. It is a philosophically different business model that works for both companies, but it does paint Wal-mart as…MEAN.
Wal-mart also promotes foreign produced goods and the result has cut into American producers.
I guess, but do you want an American TV for $500 or a comparable TV from Japan or China for $425? Maybe you are a patriot, maybe you are mean. I think I might be mean.
Anyway, Wal-Mart has a very bad public relations problem.
Recently a Wal-Mart truck driven by an overworked driver, who fell asleep while driving 65 MPH on the New Jersey Turnpike, rear ended an SUV killing one person and leaving several others badly injured.
The deceased was a popular local comedian, and one of the severely injured was the hugely popular comedian and actor, Tracy Morgan. There is a law suit involved.
Wal-Mart’s law firm is asserting in court papers that the victim and the injured did not have their seatbelts on and are therefore responsible for part or all of their injuries.
You have got to be kidding me!
I get it. In cases like this it is common for the legal defense to attempt to mitigate damages wherever possible. They may even have a point that if seat belts were used damages would not be so steep. In a normal case this might mean that if there was a multimillion dollar settlement, the truck (Wal-Mart) may not have to pay 100% of damages.
This is not a normal case. This involves Wal-Mart, a company with a huge public relations problem. The potential legal savings they may obtain as a result of the seatbelt claim pales in comparison to the cost they will incur trying to improve their image. I’ll bet they spend hundreds of millions trying to create a positive image.
If I was Sam, I would be on the phone to my law firm screaming,
“You idiots! You are going to cost us a fortune trying to undo this latest image of MEAN. Whatever this law suit costs, PAY IT YOU MORONS!!”
Too late Sam. The damage is done.
The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man, and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.