Poll Results: Walmart Will Flourish Here

Readers think world’s largest retailer will be a North Shore success but criticize its business practices.

When Patch sought Reader opinion on the potential success of a Walmart Store on Skokie Valley Road in Northbrook, there was no shortage of opinion as well a strong feeling the retail giant would find a winner on the North Shore.

Nearly 70 percent of the respondents think the business will be a flourish here. Of the 59 people who responded, 41 think the location will be a good bet for Walmart while 18 think the company will fail.

Earlier: Poll: Will Walmart Flourish on the North Shore

The story also sparked a debate among readers as it generated more than 100 comments as of 5 p.m. Sunday. The people who offered their opinion also weighed in on whether they would shop at the store, Walmart’s labor practices and the location itself

A number of people would like to see Walmart take ready space at Deerbrook Mall. “Too many empty spaces to satisfy this need around here that are more than sufficient,” Erin Cooper wrote.

Some people like Debra Gisby criticize Walmart for the way it treats its workers. She claims to feel for people who both work for the company and shop there to save money, but would like to see Northbrook say no.

“If Walmart does ask to build in Northbrook, Northbrook should make it mandatory that they pay a decent wage, and part time workers are not allowed to work more than their maximum number of hours and if they do, they are to be deemed full time and given full benefits,” Gisby wrote. “If no one speaks up for the oppressed, when it’s your turn, no one will speak up for you.”

Donald Brayer is content to let people make their own decisions about shopping and working at Walmart. He argues no one is forcing either on anyone.

“There are many poor people in Northbrook who may be well served by a Walmart,” Brayer wrote. “As for wages and benefits, I believe people will make up their own minds as to whether they choose to work there. Some may need a second or even third family income to make ends meet.”

Another reader, Sandy Granroth thinks Walmart will have a challenge finding a work force on the North Shore. She writes of other businesses which have closed because of an inability to find people willing to work for low wages in the area.

“The North Shore is notorious for having shut down business, mostly restaurants, in the past because they could not find a local employee base willing/wanting/needing to work for bottom of the living scale wages,” Granroth wrote. “Call it snobbism if you like, I call it reality.”

D'skidoc December 19, 2012 at 01:41 PM
I'm talking about hungry children here b g. Poor nutrition plus poor schools plus crappy jobs for the parents equals another generation of less productive adults. Make sure kids today have a good meal, a good school, a living wage for their caregiver, and the next generation will be better able to take care of itself.
David Greenberg December 19, 2012 at 11:11 PM
I agree, the typical unskilled (and even some skilled) workers may not know their rights, that's why States mandate that employers post signage in the break room or by the time clock that contains the information employees need to know about their rights. The signs are inexpensive, the fines are expensive, so the only employers that don't post them are probably sweatshops that chain the doors anyway... After that, it's up to the employee to read the signage and take action if they want. Regarding the 1/3 higher fatality rate in right-to-work States, where'd you get that stat from? As for OSHA not being able to help after you're dead - to some extent that's true. They may have an investigation after a death that tends to help others, but for help after you're dead, you have to call "James Sokolove Law" (totally tongue in cheek for the late night commercial impaired).
D'skidoc December 20, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Dave, your problem is that you're an intelligent, educated guy who can't relate at all to the fact that a huge proportion of this country is not in your fortunate position. It's not that I don't think you have empathy, I just don't think you get it. These are folks who, through no basic fault of their own come to adulthood with the reading and writing, and evaluative skills we here in the bubble would expect from a 5th grader. The cycle repeats itself when the jobs that these folks qualify for don't pay enough to house and feed and nurture the next generation. Take away food stamps and the kids go to school hungry, they can't learn effectively, etc...And you think folks like that can or would call OSHA or any other agency. No clout, no friends who are lawyers with a little free advice. No other job prospects and rent and gas and other bills that are all taxed at a far higher rate than income so as to be regressive. Screwed those people are, and you expect them, as individuals, to be able to speak up against the corporate overlords. Yeah right! That's why Unions won hard fought battles and represent workers both in the workplace and politically. Without the Unions it's a very one-sided fight.
D'skidoc December 20, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Capitalism works for the rich cause they can hold onto all the money until everyone else has none.
Gary December 20, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Skidoc, Capitalism combined with free markets has created the greatest engine of prosperity the world has ever known. It is that engine which makes it possible for a large segment of the population to rise out of poverty into the middle class. A free market economy is the only economic system that does not involve coercion. You keep referring to "corporate overlords", but Walmart does not force anyone to work at their stores. They do not enslave anyone. Are you saying there are thousands of workers per year dieing at Walmart stores due to the hazardous conditions and callous management? No. Who should we be afraid of? Walmart : Who offers safe jobs to people who willingly accept them, while providing low cost goods which raise the standard of living for those who have the least to spend. Essentially Walmart is a win-win for poor people. They can get a job there, and they can shop there. ... or ... State and Federal governments who take trilllions of dollars from the private sector and use it to pay off their political friends while making trillions of dollars of unfunded promises to be paid in the future which will leave our children toiling as slaves under the crushing burden of our debt. If you check your history you'll find that capitalism is the only system that works for everyone.
D'skidoc December 20, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Sorry Dave, I was off by a bit. Right-to-work states and workplace fatality rates 28Dec10 According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of workplace deaths is 52.9% higher in states with right-to-work laws. Does this mean that employees in right-to-work states are somehow clumsier, or more accident-prone? Not likely! But it does allow employers to ignore worker input about their working conditions… One of the most egregious offenders in recent news are the mines in West Virginia. As opposed to some news reports, the companies with the highest workplace injuries and fatalities are those without union contracts. If you think your employer probably values money more than your health, you might be right. Especially if you work for one that does not have any union contracts at all.
D'skidoc December 20, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Don't go over the edge Gary. I'm not against capitalism as an economic system. I'm against capitalism as a system of government. The oligarchs (Koch, Adelson, and many more like them) would like their outsize money and power to translate fully into political power. Democracy says we each should have equal power to decide who leads. And sorry, the workplace stats aren't specific to Wal-mart, but when there is no other job available for which you qualify, you take what you get, and still need food stamps to feed your family. And that is low wage, service and retail, as well as labor, which is dangerous. Henry Ford paid workers enough that they could afford to buy a car and still feed a family.
D'skidoc December 20, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Gary, if capitalism worked for EVERYONE we wouldn't be having this discussion.
Gary December 20, 2012 at 03:40 PM
So what you just said is that if Walmart didn't give these people jobs, then they'd be out on the street drawing a welfare check, because according to you they have no place else to go. Do you stand by that?
Gary December 20, 2012 at 03:41 PM
If capitalism didn't work, we wouldn't have this country.
lucas December 20, 2012 at 04:12 PM
you forgot to mention the BILLIONAIRIES that are Dems
McCloud December 20, 2012 at 04:20 PM
He thinks they would all be better off sitting at home watching Dr Oz, and walking to their mailboxes once a day to pick up checks funded by the Kochs. For him the oligarchs are anyone who tries risks by attempting to meet a market need by becoming a business owner, unless they pay the worker equal to their own take. After all they didn't build it.
David Greenberg December 20, 2012 at 09:52 PM
"...your problem is that you're an intelligent, educated guy who can't relate at all to the fact that a huge proportion of this country is not in your fortunate position. It's not that I don't think you have empathy, I just don't think you get it." Actually, that's not true. I 'get it' - I've known and I'm proud to know people from all strata in life, and I respect those who work to better themselves and their families - even if it takes generations to do so. Simply because someone doesn't have a college-degree (or maybe even high school in some cases) doesn't mean that the taxpayers now have a dependent that has to be coddled for life. Quite the contrary - we need to give these persons a fighting chance, but we need to make it crystal clear that it's limited and won't be renewed, so they need to do what's necessary to move forward. We've already seen the problems that occur when we feed, clothe, and house people who have zero motivation to better themselves or their families. And simply because they're making minimum wage doesn't mean they can't get out of a rut - is it easy? Hell no. But it can be done. Millions have done it over time. Millions more can continue to do so. Once upon a time Unions served a purpose, but I believe that the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of the Unions and they've now become what they fought against - to the detriment of the rest of us.
David Greenberg December 20, 2012 at 09:54 PM
How long should the taxpayer be required to feed someone else's child? Or children? Having kids is expensive. If you want to have kids, make sure you can afford them first. If you can't - don't have them. But don't have them and then expect the taxpayers to feed them, clothe them, and house them forever. That's a lousy solution.
D'skidoc December 21, 2012 at 03:22 PM
So I suppose you disavow the GOP fight against contraception, since that's how most people (Catholics included) do that family planning thing. What is your solution? Let the kids go to a shitty school (cheap labor w/o Union) with an empty stomach. Can't learn, can't possibly succeed. Repeat. How about camps? Debtors prisons? Where are those job creators you guys all talk so much about? I'll tell you where. They're offshoring and banking their cash and not investing in the US because it's not a good investment right now. Politically unstable, I'd say with this debt ceiling threat and fiscal cliff crap. Rich guys invest to make money, not to create jobs, and that's fine, but what happens when the rich guys take most of the money and stop playing. Do you just let everyone else starve, Dave? What's your answer, since you always seem to have a smart one?
D'skidoc December 21, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Gary, the problem isn't capitalism. As you say, we woudn't be where we are without it. But capitalism is an economic system, not a governmental one. I object to the notion that because folks have been successful economically, they should then have more influence over the government. You know that pesky, "of the people, by people, and for the people" thing. Not just the rich and powerful people. Luke, the rich and powerful Dems advocate for that "for the people" thing. The ultrarich GOPers advocate for their own personal agendas more often than not. But I don't suppose you see the distinction. And McC, you don't have a clue what I really think, and the ridiculous hyperbole and insults only hurt your cred. C
D'skidoc December 21, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Wal-mart is just the example..we're talking about a huge segment of the economy. Low wage, no full time hours so no benefits, no advancement potential, subsistence level at best. If it's not Wal-mart it's fast food, or Disney (they pay just above min wage) Service sector, cheap labor. And get fired at the will of your employer for cause, or no cause at all. Don't get me started on the "for profit education industry" scam either.
Gary December 21, 2012 at 04:12 PM
If these jobs are so awful, then why does anyone accept the position?
Gary December 21, 2012 at 04:16 PM
It sure is a good thing our teachers' unions are a non-profit enterprise.
McCloud December 21, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Maybe we can push Walmart overseas so Jewell can start doubling their already high prices. This way when we start paying an extra $95/mo for mental health benefits in our insurance premium, we can all eat celery like the first lady wants us to.
McCloud December 21, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Why should anyone profit from my right to eat? I need food to live, just like I need heathcare. It's my right after all. Food should be on the single payer system, Kochs can pay for it.
David Greenberg December 21, 2012 at 10:27 PM
I believe that contraception is up to the parties involved in having sexual intercourse. No one else should get to tell them what to do. Schools without a Union don't necessarily = a bad school. There's plenty of schools that don't have unions and provide a quality education. Empty stomach? Again, where did the taxpayers inherit a dependent that they have to feed? At what point does parental responsibility factor into the equation? At what point do we tell people to 'do the math' before having kids? The 'job creators' create jobs because they want to INVEST their money and make more. When you have a bunch of politicians who put uncertainty into the market, businesses will tend to hoard their cash to weather a storm. If someone doesn't like what's offered - they're free to start their own business, risk their own capital. If they can't get it from a bank, they're free to get a number of persons together, pool their funds, and go from there - then perhaps they'll gain some insight into just how difficult it is to own/operate a business. So long as there's money to be made, people will invest - but confiscatory tax rates, onerous regulations, and extortionist groups such as Unions demanding ever more $$$ when they don't add value isn't going to spur investment. If Unions want to demand more money, they need to prove the value to the employer and the employee. If they don't, they operate at their own peril.
David Greenberg December 21, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Although I'm no fan of Jewel or their parent company it's not just them, it's across the industry - a lot to do with the price of food is derived from the price of corn. And ever since some genius decided it'd be a great idea to turn food (corn) into fuel, we've been dealing with the fallout. Add in the recent drought this past summer which adversely affected corn crops and you've got more pressure. Then add in fuel costs - they've been sky high, so you have increased costs for delivery and transportation. Google for "grocery shrink ray" and discover even more grocery store pricing craziness.
RB December 21, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Sarcastic, but I'll continue the comparison. You're all for the free market healthcare system and if the Grocery stores charged like the medical providers....everyone would pay a different price, and the poorer people would pay more for their groceries than other people....just like the McCloud healthcare system.
millie December 21, 2012 at 11:35 PM
David Greenberg December 22, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Regarding Henry Ford - you may wish to read this article and know your thoughts. http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/03/04/the-story-of-henry-fords-5-a-day-wages-its-not-what-you-think/
lucas December 22, 2012 at 12:26 AM
NON Union
CB December 27, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Very true!
TT Man January 11, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Did Walmart pay for this poll? Sure it might make money, since customers in the Northbrook area have a lot of money to spend. But the obvious question to Northbrook residents would be "Do you want a Walmart", and I would guess 80% would say no. I and my family shop at a Walmart only once a year somewhere in the U.S., and if there was one only a mile away, the rate would not increase.
lucas January 11, 2013 at 11:09 PM
if Wal-Mart paid for this poll I didn't get a cut. I don't shop Wal-Mart because there isn't one close enough. think most of the haters claim they wouldn't either haven't for sililiar reason, or actually do and don't want to admit. Most claim everything comes from china I doubt that but most stuff I looked to purchase came from other countries other then this one


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