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Klipsch at Wal-Mart


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You are so right medeneen.

Walmart is a scary situation. They practically control their vendors. Lots of horror stories about Walmart suppliers. Hell if your a supplier and you made money with Walmart - Walmart screwed up. Some of the smaller suppliers go bankrupt because the profit margins are too slim and the slightest error in the quote you are eyeball to eyeball with a huge ruthless corporation. Walmart is good for nobody. How low will you go? How low will your paycheck go. Klipsch is smart to stay far away from Walmart.



eat your vegetables

This message has been edited by Big Bean on 03-15-2002 at 06:03 AM

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WAL-MART horror stories about vendors that have gone bankrupt doing busines with WAL-MART abound. WAL-MART is not a good business model; it's is more of a fourty year experiment of how low can you go and how willing the public lab rats will spend their money thinking what a good deal they got. Consumers need to pay a price for a product that will allow the workers to participate in the economy that we are all a part of. WAL-MART is certainly very large and very scary. The internet is full of WAL-MART horror stories do a little research and you will be very surprised. WAL-MARTS "never cheap enough" gives me the creeps. Could a mighty empowered consumer saving fifteen cents on a tube of toothpaste screw up a whole economy? Maybe. If we do it enough. Over and over again. Hey what goes around comes around. We did it to ourselves.



eat your vegetables

This message has been edited by Big Bean on 03-15-2002 at 06:06 AM

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Here's the problem(s) I have with Wal-Mart;

They are economic predators.

They want to collect 33-50% of the worlds retail dollars.

They destroy communities.

They destroy jobs,not create them as they want you to believe. A recent study by a professor at

Dartmouth concluded that for every 2 jobs Wal-Mart creates they destroy 3.

They are poised to overetake Exxon as the largerst corporation in the world. Walmart has grown

400% in the last 8 years while Sears shrunk by 30%.

An average Wal-Mart employee makes only $12K a year which is below the poverty level for

over half of them. Is this good since Wal-Mart is America's largest private employer? Is this the

future for an average American who didn't or couldn't attend College? Will Wal-Marts pay scale

support families?

Only about 40% have company-provided health care. A Wal-Mart executive openly bragged that

Wal-Mart can shift the cost of health care to the taxpayers.

They destroy American factories by using 'bully tactics.' Just ask anyone who worked for the

'Huffy' bike company in Ohio.

They have a phoney "buy American' campaign.

They have a new tactic now to get more for less from their employess. They give them 'manager'

titles and put them on salaries and work them an incredible amount of hours per week which

enables Wal-Mart to hire less employees. (They're being sued in Calif. for that now)

Their employees make an average of $2 less an hour than an average supermarket job and $1 less

than the average retail job.

If the local 'town council" or 'Township supervisors' oppose them when they want to

build,Wal-Mart simply backs up pro-Wal-Mart people to run against the current supervisors with

lots of cash and political advertisments,and lawyers,lawyers and lawyers.

When a person supports a local merchant the money will circulate 4 times in the local community.

Except for the paltry wages Wal-Mart pays their employess,the money they collect immediately

goes to their corporate headquarters in Arkansas.

They don't help the local paper or radio stations by advertising either. They just use their 'massive

brainwashing' commercials on TV.

They are the largest American Corporation and the least charitable. They give less to charity than

other corps.

Some Wal-Marts are now selling gas and appliances.That will destroy more local merchants'

livelyhoods. They want to control it all.

The local merchants are my friends and neighbors and I will support them. Wal-Mart came to

town about 8 years ago and the town has lost...2 hardware stores,2 pharmacies,several clothing

stores,2 variety stores,a jeweler and several other stores besides.

Sure,they have great prices now but what will happen after they destroy any and all competition?

You can forget about that little 'Zorro' guy slashing prices because they won't need to because

you will have no choice but to buy from them. They will charge you whatever they want.

I realize Wal-Mart for some folks due to their income is a God-send. But for me, I choose not to

patronize them.

Sorry for the rant but that's the way I feel about 'Wally World

As you can tell...I don't like Wal*Mart!!!

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Thanks to all those who have done a better job at illustrating the high cost of "lower prices at any cost marketeering" by the new breed of power retailers of which Sam Walton was a pioneer. I particularly appreciate the additional focus mdedeen brought to the plight of workers here... and abroad.

Lest I be taken to task for being "un-American" by undermining "Yankee Ingenuity" in the marketplace, let me say that the strength of this country has been its ability to enable the little people of whatever origin rise above the concept of "station in life" to become whatever they can be... and we as a nation would not be such an awesome consumer force in the world economy if that were not so.

Oh, sure, we have had our robber barons... and will have more in the future. We have seen the family farm go from being a primary source of goods to being an antiquated novelty. Sam Walton, almost single-handedly, devised a predatory system that is eroding much of the small business opportunities (for both owners and employees) that helped lowly immigrant Americans and their progeny to become middle class consumers and build the Walton family billions.

All of my grandparents were born in one "Old Country" or another and fled repressive systems to find "freedom" in America... but that was before 1900.

Today, they would have a hard time being as successful because "Big Agribusiness" and the "Wal-Mart" mentality have moved the stepping stones out of reach for most folks looking to bootstrap a better future.

And that is true not only in this country... but is creating a dangerous kind of prosperity elsewhere. Take mainland China for example. Despite its large land area, most of the Chinese population lives along its main rivers. To increase productivity and feed low cost products to the "Wal-Mart" style operations of the world, the Chinese are pumping their water table so low that some of their main rivers (like the famed Yellow River) no longer have enough water in them to reach the sea most of the year. This isn't speculation, it is a known, observable fact.

What happens to the world economy and world peace when a billion or so Chinese run out of water?

In World War II, I saw a fat America (with more faith in oceans as protection than military preparedness) morph into a lean, mean fighting machine supported by a growth in productive capacity that absolutely boggles the mind. It was largely a spin off of that patriotic surge in technology and production techniques that made our age of "super-consumerism" possible... and opened the way for Japan and Germany to become industrial superstars.

Their productive capacities largely ruined by the war, new Japanese and German factories were built with post-war technologies... with a lot of American help. While American factories were unscathed by the war and were largely built on pre-war technologies... and so the losers in the "War for Democracy" became winners in the "War for Balance of Trade" (e.g., more money coming in for exports than paid for imports).

Like others have opined above... "Fair Prices" (all things considered) preserve global economic value... and "Lowest Price at Any Cost" insure global economic disaster. We had a shift in attitude in WWII that changed the face of grass roots consumerism. I hope we can come up with an alternative solution before a billion thirsty Chinese producers of low cost goods force another shift in attitude.

I appreciate BobG leveling with the Forum on the subject of Klipsch not compromising their dealers or eroding the quality of their product with cheaper price-point production strategies. It's a courageous stand for a manufacturer in this box-moving age... and it provides a channel by which we can do something to support healthy consumerism... buy more Klipsch... and urge everyone in your sphere of influence to do so... it's the "globally correct" thing to do. -HornEd

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With all due respect to posted dissenting opinions... consumerism is like the stock market... a change in attitude (rightly or wrongly) can make huge shifts in a very short time.

Sure, it would have been better if Sam Walton's experiment in the "Greed on the Cheap" failed thirty years ago when he started waving the American Flag and populist "Moral Authority" slogans to legitimize the process of sucking up market-share on an economic model that can not be sustained over time... no matter the wiggle of a shiftless Fanny here or there.

History has shown us that those who live by the price point... die by the price point. Montgomery Ward (the original department store), Woolworth (Woolco was their Wal-Mart attempt), and now K-Mart (successor to the rural 5¢-&-dime big business era). None of them could compete with Sam's shams. All of which MUST perish either by the diminishing returns it eventually forces on the world or because the world wakes up and shifts attitudes... and it wouldn't take much of a shift in attitude to upset a business with margins as thin as Wal-Mart thrives upon.

You may chuckle but, yes, HornEd also has a background in the executive side of retail marketing. My brief fling with what was then the largest retail marketing chain in America (Allied Stores... which owned "name" department stores in major cities... and FedMart which was their mass market vehicle) and my late friend and client Stanley Marcus (Nieman Marcus). So, my insights into the problem have some basis in the behind the scenes reality.

I remember when people said that Communism would rule the world because of its economic benefit lure of the common people... but in the long run, it is based upon an idealized economic model that MUST fail as it is undermines the masses it was designed to protect. Given time, the Wal-Mart model eats away at the economic viability of the consumer base that it must have to sell enough boxes to be profitable.

Anyone who has traveled behind the Iron Curtain or, more recently, in the devastated economies of former Communist countries can see the living misery and increased crime rates that follows when a broad based economic "pyramid" scheme fails. Macro-economically, that is just what Wal-Mart "Ponzi-Mondo" appears to be... feeding unrealisticly lower prices to customers who unwittingly join in the exploitation of desperate workers here and abroad.

It's not fanny shifts... it attitude shifts that can make a difference. And, attitude shifts can grow from one little voice crying out in the wilderness. cwm14.gif ... or a Forum Reply on the World Wide Web. -HornEd

This message has been edited by HornEd on 03-15-2002 at 11:05 AM

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Originally posted by mdeneen:

Nice thoughts Ed!!

I'm loving that phrase, "The High Cost of Everyday Low Prices!" Indeed.

I have a great deal of trouble understanding why 90-million working stiffs continually support global strategies designed to reduce wages? It has become one of the major puzzle themes rattling around in my head.


Because they're brainwashed because of the editorial control for 'Free Trade' deals the multi-nationals have over the mass media and even small local publications. Either the multi-nationals own direct investments in the media or else they use their 'advertising dollars' as a bargaining chip. They can spread propaganda all they want because they're in control. If someone comes out to tell the truth what is going on they are either ignored or are called kooks,protectionists and isolationists etc.

I try to explain to the 'working stiffs' about the 'big agenda' but they just look at me as though I'm nuts. They don't understand the concept of 'global harmonization' of wages. It's a race to bottom and we're taking a beating. Either they must take large wage and benefit cuts or their jobs will be transferred off shore.

It frightens me to think that McJobs are the future for the common person.

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Originally posted by mdeneen:

Olaf - - this board never ceases to amaze me. Your insights are great. I meet almost no one aanymore who can understand the "race to the bottom." And, this includes many very educated people who might well be expected to know better.

I don't even discuss "anti-globalization" anymore in company, because in fact, people will attack you as a kook. Another favorite puzzle of mine is this:

With regards to national defense, we are fine with being "protected" (against violent death, I suppose.) However, when it comes to the economy and wages, anyone seeking such similar defense against death (by starvation) is labeled a "protectionist" and this is a very negative label!



The same thing applies to very educated people. They are taught in College through their Economic Professors that free trade is what makes the economy boom and creates also jobs. Over 90% of the Economic Professors are 'Free Traders'. Adam Smith wrote "The Wealth of Nations' early in the 19th century that totally promoted free trade and most Professors adhere to his principles. I have a very close and old friend who used to think just like me. He was just a working stiff who worked his way up the ladder. He's now the President of his Company and has totally bought into the free trade propaganda. Sad,and now his company is in danger of folding because of cheap subsidized imports but he still doesn't want to wake up and see the writing on the wall. He's in deep denial!

Now we get back to the multi-national control of the big media. The talking heads are employed by the multi-nationals so they will say what ever they're told to say. They are the ones who toss the negative names toward the folks who are trying to wake people up. Sometime check out 'opensecrets.org' and see who are pulling the purse strings of the congress because I hold congress responsible too.

This is a subject that has been eating at me for years. Sometimes I wish I wouldn't have educated myself about it. Then I could be one of the 'sheeple' too and I wouldn't know any better. I could go on and on about this subject.

BTW..thanks for the kind words! :-)

Bravo to Klipsch for staying a true American company!! :-)

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Let's be that little voice. I do not think it's too late. Maybe a hundred million people walk through the lines at Wal-Mart every Saturday. Not me. Not ever again.

Do not forget consumers still have power. Wal-Mart needs lots of customers to feed its greed. Not me.

No more Wal-Mart for me. EVER

medeneens "race to the bottom" seems to sum it up quite well.



eat your vegetables

This message has been edited by Big Bean on 03-16-2002 at 03:45 AM

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I just got back to reading this thread. Wow. I am so glad I found this forum. Reminds me of those philosophical days of stimulating discussions sitting outside the Sproul cafeteria on the Cal campus many years ago. Never thought I would again run into so many clear thinking and articulate folks in one place. I think it says something about the Audio(phile) hobby. If you have time and energy to be contemplating hearing your music better, then you probably have a good mind to begin with.

-enrolled and auditing



currently upgrading

to all tube components

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You guys really don't like Wal-Mart!!! Well, those are very good reasons, but I DO think SOME of them are B.S. When you talk about $$$, you can twist things thousands of ways. MOST of the other stuff is very true, and I do have to say you are right in the fact Wal-Mart is TOO POWERFUL in a BAD WAY.

Well, I do shop there, because I am not going to waste money other places. What do you people think of WinCo? They are a discount grocery store and are cheaper than Wal-Mart (our Super Center), and are way better! At WinCo, stuff is TWICE as cheap as it is at Safeway, Raily's, or any of the other grocery stores.

This is a very complex topic, so I am NOT going to sit here for half and hour to type it out: Wal-Mart is one of the best stocks in the world. PERIOD. Every financial organization, in all catigories, says its the most secure, long-term stocks one can buy. Is Wal-Mart going to have its own Gread Depression? Or is it going to take over the world, like it or not. Wal-Mart is in the process of buying 2/3 of Japan's biggest retailer. They are not offically in the Asian market, soon to GROW, GROW, GROW. They can sell those 1.25 billion Chinese all the stuff they want!

As the money guy said on Fox News:

"Wal-Mart has won the retail market"


Receiver: Sony STR-DE675

CD player: Sony CDP-CX300

Turntable: Technics SL-J3 with Audio-Technica TR485U

Speakers: JBL HLS-610

Subwoofer: JBL 4648A-8

Sub amp: Parts Express 180 watt

Center/surrounds: Teac 3-way bookshelfs

Yes, it sucks, but better to come. KLIPSCH soon! My computer is better than my stereo!

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They can sell those 1.25 billion Chinese all the stuff they want


One big problem there.

900,000,000 Chinese live in poverty and many more are lucky to make 8 cents an hour working 80 hours a week at straight time. I don't think they'll be buying much. But since 55% of Wal Mart's merchandise is made in China it would only make sense for Wal-Mart to build there.

Wal Mart thought the same about Mexico but the Mexicans didn't make enough money to support the stores and many Wal Marts were closed.

Yep,maybe they can sell those Chinese some of the stuff but unfortunately nothing will be made in the USA so I guess it won't create too many manufacturing jobs.

It's a great deal for Wall Street but a lousy one for Main Street unless you have $$ invested with them. The majority of Americans don't.

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History shows that huge capitalist organzations tend to become obsene in their greed without strong regulation. The trend in the U.S. government and its economic policy is a hands off no regulation policy. This hands off policy is almost dogma to many regardless of it being utopian and mean spirited. Capitalism needs the regulation that democratic societies can affect upon it.

Now the sad part. Corporations like Wal-Mart have become hugely powerful and corupt threatening the "constitutional democracy" and replacing it with a "capitalist democracy" which will serve those with capital {a whole lot of capital} very well.

When things get this bad change becomes real messy.

Historicly - read "bloody" that's the sad part.

Sorry to get so heavy. Not to worry though I don't see many people with a lot leadership qualities with real guts and that is what it will take. Nothing too fancy needed here just a lot of guts.

Your right, medeneen most boycots can be anemic.

I cannot remember a time in history where the people have been at such a disadvantage. The powers in this democracy have so much wealth, influence, and legal legitmacy I can't help but be pesimistic. Raising the retoric is necessary. The usual complaning about politicians is a waste of time - THEY'RE PAID FOR. As stated earlier even local city counsels are bought a paid for when needed. It's pocked change to the big guys.

Reminds me of the great worker union struggles in our past.

The big guys are much much bigger now and I believe the little guy is even weaker and less unified than before {unless we're bombing somebody}. Maybe it's all over. The Country will never recover for the common man.



Mr. DNTBUY4N, Wal-Mart: Die! Now call the man.


This message has been edited by Big Bean on 03-16-2002 at 12:37 PM

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DNTBUY4N, thanks for your contribution. It is nice to have dissenting opinions... it helps sharpen the rest of us on the front line of helping our fellow Forum folk.

This is the "General Questions" part of the Forum... and most of the folks who have been generalizing on where to buy or not buy audio gear. The same people who have voiced their opinions here are the people who spend time helping newbies with questions that they have already answered for other newbies last week, and the week before... and before... ad nauseum!

This is only one thread in one section... it is very easy to skip if there is no interest in what we have to say. Hundreds skip it every day. But the ones who tap into the flow of what's being said realize that this is a way that we get to know one another.

Frankly, the Wal-Marts of the world are not making it easier for the Klipsches of the world. Since we are for Klipsch and publishing our opinions as to why we are for Klipsch seems justified. Does it not follow that when Klipsch was said to be available in a Wal-Mart store that a sense of alarm radiated through our Klipsch Forum Community?

Isn't it refreshing that people can get together and talk here of their fears and hopes for their favorite speaker manufacturer and the world economy in which it must survive? If that is not your bag, drop out and tune in to some other Leary thing.

Wal-Mart is a corporation... not a person. Corporations die when they can no longer produce value for their stockholders.

To wish that a corporation cease its corporate existence so that it does not continue destructive patterns is a concern for good things to happen even if that concern is misguided.

To suggest that the death of a presumably evil corporation suggests some violent end is far fetched... Wal-Mart is just too big for any logical configuration of terrorists to do in.

To term this a "political" discussion is also a bit of a stretch (except for a brief pillory of Hillary). Granted, there has been quite a bit of gut level economic theory, some concern for the shrinking wages and buying power (adjusted for inflation) and the cause and effect of Wal-Mart's "Danse Macbre" from rural Arkansas to increasingly larger population centers across North America... and now Japan.

We have seen political threads on this Forum... and they are not pretty. They are quickly reduced to vacuous party rhetoric and base name calling. I had much rather see folks exposing their comments in this Forum and responding positively to criticism... even if it is only an agreement to disagree. It is that kind of studied maturity that puts this Forum a cut above most other web offerings. This is a place were it doesn't require an education or a globe trotting background... all it takes is the bare ability to communicate a good thought.

Most of the comments on this thread are either ultra succinct emotional gushes... or less succinct and more closely reasoned concerns for the future of our country and our Klipsch source. There are not too many places you can find this much thought provoking stuff that matters in your life and mine... hanging by this thread... that you would have nipped in the bud. Sorry, this bud is not for you.

There is something to be said for the freedom allowed on this Forum... and the restraint and character generally shown by the respondents of every persuasion. This Forum reflects the Spirit of America as well as the liberté, fraternité et égalité that came across with the Statue of Liberty.

The reason this thread ought to be allowed by the administrator is because the participants have earned the right in their service to their fellow Klipsch owners to have a little corner of a corner to talk about serious stuff in a mostly serious way. It is part of what makes Klipsch special and Wal-Mart more of a threat to you than any of us could ever be.

Thank you BobG and the powers that be... for not reigning in on our parade... now that we are building a fraternity of Klipsch minded people with a minimum of back biting and name calling between Forum Family members.

In many ways, the consensus of opinion reflected here is not so far from the fair play and the American way that distinguished Mr. Paul's company's treatment of his actual and prospective customers. We see that spirit alive and well on this Forum... and so we have made it a part of our daily lives. -HornEd

PS: While boycotts would have to be more massive than the great grape gripe of Caesar Chavez to dent Wal-Mart... a groundswell of public opinion would hit them in the stock market where they are most vulnerable.

I had some pretty definite ideas and "feelings" toward Wal-Mart... but after having a chance to read what other people thought... I am a lot more comfortable that we all helped crystallize our respective opinions into informed opinions with a common cause. It's a people-to-people thing... and by reading this, you have helped that process. Solutions tend to appear when public opinion grows along the high road. H.E.

This message has been edited by HornEd on 03-16-2002 at 09:22 AM

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to add a Canadian perspective, like WM, up here they sell Klipsch in a place called "London Drugs"....thats

right...a FRIGGIN Drugstore. Grab your RF3II's and pick the little woman up some tampons and a tube of Preparation H for yourself on the way out the door. Get you tag and drive over to the loading dock to pick up the RF3's. Nice personal touch Smile.gif

Has Klipsch gone that Commercial?????

No wonder my Dealer(#1 in Western Canada)has totally backed away from the Synergy line, and has reserved thoughts about the drop in cost of the Reference line. He is a "single" Independent Dealer amongst the giants.

Me as a Consumer....I think it sucks, I enjoy the personal touch, and not some partime high school kid I just woke up at the front counter, "oh sure, I'll match their price, whats the name again?????!!!!!!".

This message has been edited by boomer9911 on 03-16-2002 at 03:22 AM

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Fellow Klipschters

Great stuff!! Youse guys are the best!

Here's a phenomenal site for a plethora of Wal-Mart info;


You can express your Wal-Mart opinions on the message board too!

Big Bean

That's a great site. I had a chance to attend one of Charlie's presentations 2 years ago and speak with him a few moments. For those not familiar with the site,do a search for the 'Made in China' section. Great stuff!!

Yep! Stick a fork in the Gap. I believe they're about finished too. Their sales are down 20% including 'Old Navy'

Even Eisenhower said capitalism needs to be controled or it will get out of hand. If TR would see the current state of mergers he would be very concerned. We're headed back to the days of 'Standard Oil' type of situations.


Bravo!! Great post!

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