The Wal-Mart Prescription Drug Benefit

I've spent a fair amount of time shilling for Wal-Mart's prescription drug plan on this blog, so don't think for a second that I would miss today's news that the Corporate Monster from Bentonville is greatly expanding the program to include a whole slate of new drugs, including, according to AP, "several women's medications."

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, announced Monday it would expand its discounted prescription drug program to offer 90-day supplies for $10 and add several women's medications at a discount. It also said it would lower the price of more than 1,000 over-the-counter drugs.

The move marks the third phase of a company program that began in 2006 to provide a 30-day supply of generic prescription drugs for $4. The Bentonville-based company said the program has saved customers more than $1 billion.

With the expansion, the company began filling prescriptions Monday for up to 350 generic medications at $10 for a 90-day supply at Wal-Mart, Neighborhood Market and Sam's Club pharmacies in the U.S. Almost all the prescription generics in the company's $4 program were included in the expanded $10 offer, said Wal-Mart senior vice president John Agwunobi.

In addition, the company will add several women's medications to its list of prescriptions available for $9, including drugs to treat breast cancer and hormone deficiency.

For instance, alendronate, the generic version of osteoporosis medication Fosamax, will be added to the list. Company pharmacies will fill 30-day prescriptions of alendronate for $9 and a 90-day supply for $24 at a comparison of $54 and $102, respectively, that women previously paid for the same amounts, the company said.

Tamoxifen, used to treat breast cancer, will be offered for $9 for a 30-day supply, as well as combination estrogen/methyltestosterone tablets, prescribed for menopause and hormone deficiency.

Wal-Mart also will lower the prices of more than 1,000 over-the-counter medications to $4 or less in its pharmacies, company officials said. The company has sold over-the-counter medicines in the past at discounted prices, but revised and expanded its offerings specifically to include commonly used drugs that usually sell for $7 or more, said company spokesman Deisha Galberth.

My previous paeans to the Wal-Mart plan can be read here and here. My pooh-poohing of the "big box panic"—with the requisite Wal-Mart mentions—can be found in this month's Utne Reader.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    omg, I super swear, last comment. Japan has the highest suicide rate in the free world and some of the most obscene gun control laws.

  • SIV||

    Cue the closet lefty "libertarians" and cosmotarians to start Wal;Mart bashing in three....two.....one......

  • Mike Laursen||

    RACE TO DA BOTTUM!

    (If joe can get by with using "DEMAND KURVE!" in place of an argument, I can use "RACE TO DA BOTTUM!")

  • Mike Laursen||

    omg, I super swear, last comment. Japan has the highest suicide rate in the free world and some of the most obscene gun control laws.

    I now I get it. You were commenting on the previous thread.

  • thoreau||

    On the main page I see a WalMart thread, a gun control thread, and an abortion thread.

    This is going to be an interesting afternoon.

  • ed||

    Fabulous news. The evil giant has reduced my prescription costs to less than a Jackson a month...AND they carry those giant jars of pickled sausages. Everybody wins!

    http://www.swredsmith.com/smith_sausage_combo.html

  • Guy Montag||

    Go Wal*Mart! I heart The Wal*Mart! I buy most of my shotgun shells and Mobil1 oil there. Now I can buy my drugs there without Hillarycare!

  • kinnath||

    Walmart is our primary defense against Universal Health Care.

    Can't decide if that's good or bad ;-)

  • cosmotarian||

    Obviously, of course, this is just a gimmick to influence the political process

  • Guy Montag||

    ed,

    Do they have the big giant jars of dill pickles and good bicycles now too?

    I remember from my days on Ezra Klein's 'blog, those were some pretty serious charges against The Wal*Mart, the Vlasic pickle tragedy and Schwin(?) bicycles.

  • Colin||

    If only Walmart offered health insurance.

    I'm sure it would be better and cheaper than any of the plans proposed by politicians.

  • ||

    Completely OT, but word on the street is that the Ohio AG will face impeachement charges by tomorrow.

  • Guy Montag||

    I'm sure it would be better and cheaper than any of the plans proposed by politicians.

    [Leftie voice]
    But all they are doing is putting mom & pop drug stores out of business! Besides, it won't be fair!
    [/Leftie voice]

  • Guy Montag||

    [Leftie voice]
    It won't be better unless the government does it! Have you all gone mad?

    It will only be cheaper for the rich!

    Are you people so heartless? Think of the poor! Think of the children! Think of the poor children!

    The drug company leeches need to pay for this! Not the poor children!
    [/Leftie voice]

  • Ramsey||

    Now if only I could see a nurse practitioner for a tenner to take care of this burning urination.


    I'll tell you this, capitalism is great, but sometimes you get more than you bargained for (JK)

  • Guy Montag||

    [Leftie voice]
    Walmart is not paying enough! They are greedy corporate tools! They need to lower prices more, unionize and provide welfare!

    They do not give back to the community enough.

    This is a racist measure that will only promote sickness amoung people of color.

    They are dividing America with these fascist measures!

    Why won't they unionize instead of trying to take over Medicaid?

    The drug company leeches need to pay for this too! Not the poor children!
    [/Leftie voice]

  • ||

    ACC,

    I also see that Dann is going to be booted from the Democratic Party. Serves him right, and not only for the current scandal, but for getting that skank Capri Cafaro a seat in the state Senate. I bet she votes to acquit.

  • effay||

    I'll take Wal-Care over HillaryCare or ObamaCare anyday.

  • T||

    Somebody remind me again why Walmart is bad? I mean, besides the lumpy proles that shop there and the piss poor customer service. But that's just the elitist in me speaking.

  • Guy Montag||

    T,

    Mentioned Ezra Klein's 'blog earlier, he usually has a fit about them not being unionized too, along with the Vlasic pickle thing, bicycles and "bad" work rules (goes with union thing).

  • Piantu||

    I've been told Wal-Mart's discount prices only apply if you do NOT have insurance. Does anyone know if that's really the case?

    If it is, could I get in trouble for claiming to not have insurance when I really do?

  • Guy Montag||

    Piantu,

    Did you check their www-dot thingie to see if they mention it?

  • TrappedEastOfTheBigMuddy||

    @ T

    Somebody remind me again why Walmart is bad? I mean, besides the lumpy proles that shop there and the piss poor customer service. But that's just the elitist in me speaking.



    I try to only go there between 02:00 and 05:00. In the wee hours most of the customers are there because there is something they have to have.

    Much less weird.

  • kinnath||

    Somebody remind me again why Walmart is bad?

    Walmart is a ruthlessly capitalistic corporation that generates profits by selling stuff to people that care nothing except getting the lowest possible price . . . . not that there's anything wrong with that.

    I shop there on occasion. I spend a lot more time in Sam's Club though. Zrtec went over the counter a few months abo. The generic showed up at Sam's last week. 18 bucks for 350 pills (effectively a year's supply).

    I don't "heart" Walmart, but I do have a big hard on for Sam's.

  • SIV||

    The smiley face has stopped rolling back prices.
    Now he is rolling them forward quite aggressively. I blame Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, and our "no win" policy in Iraq.

  • ||

    Cue the closet lefty "libertarians" and cosmotarians to start Wal;Mart bashing in three....two.....one......

    I like how, in my town, millionaires and Mexican immigrants all shop at Walmart at the same time.



    ...


    Corning is code for "Jew".

  • ||

    If it is, could I get in trouble for claiming to not have insurance when I really do?

    That would be fraud, so yes, you could get into trouble.

    Walmart has a pharmacy, which has access to databases showing what insurance you carry, so don't think you can get away with it, either.

  • ||

    Guy Montag,

    Let me help you, I speak their corrupt, pidgin tongue:

    Walmart is not paying enough, man! They are greedy corporate tools, man! They need to lower prices more, unionize and provide welfare, man!

    They do not give back to the community enough, man.

    This is a racist measure that will only promote sickness among people of color, man.

    They are dividing America with these fascist measures, man!

    Why won't they unionize instead of trying to take over Medicaid, man?

    The drug company leeches need to pay for this too, man! Not the poor children, man!

  • Ranjit Mathoda||

    My essay, "Is Walmart really more evil than Google?", may be of interest: http://mathoda.com/archives/184

  • ||

    Wal-mart's putting local mom-and-pop pharmaceutical laboratories out of business! Why, with prescription drugs available for such low prices, who's going to buy my aunt Gussie's home-made amoxycillin capsules?

    -jcr

  • ||

    Somebody remind me again why Walmart is bad?

    They are very sucessful in the retail business. If a company is successful in any business endeavor, there is a portion of the left that assumes it must be evil. It's a reflexive, not rational, process.

  • ||

    I've been told Wal-Mart's discount prices only apply if you do NOT have insurance. Does anyone know if that's really the case?

    That is not the case. I get my generic Prozac from Wal-Mart, and I have health insurance. Five bucks for a month's supply.

  • ||

    Piantu | May 5, 2008, 4:34pm | #
    I've been told Wal-Mart's discount prices only apply if you do NOT have insurance. Does anyone know if that's really the case?


    According to the fact sheet located here the only restrictions may be on certain "government programs". Insurance and cash are wholly welcomed. There is also a .pdf with a full list of drugs on the program.

  • Invisible Finger||

    The OTC stuff sounds interesting. I wonder if we'll start seeing shortages at some Wal-Mart stores of some OTC items.

    Of course, Wal-Mart could introduce rationing if that started to happen, e.g. pseudophedrine.

  • smallvoice||

    I used to shop at Wal-Mart all the time until I saw a documentary that showed some serious union-busting activities (videotaping employees--not for possible theft but for talking in groups of more than two), ill treatment of workers in China (charging workers for "rent" when they declined to live in company quarters), ill treatment of women (pretty blatent gender discrimination), enormous tax breaks and incentives given by local governments, etc. The list of disgusting behavior goes on and on and on. A lot of the info in the documentary came from managers, too, not just $7/hr workers who may have a beef....

    I choose to "vote" with my (few) dollars. Wal-Mart's behavior (whether legal or not) is disgraceful, and I try to not support that kind of stuff. I'm sure the Waltons really miss my money... ;-)

    Taking a small stand hurts my wallet, for sure, but it makes me feel better about myself... ;-)

  • ||

    Guy Montag | May 5, 2008, 3:45pm | #
    Go Wal*Mart! I heart The Wal*Mart! I buy most of my shotgun shells and Mobil1 oil there.


    What about your Nascar stickers, naked-chick mudflaps, and wife-beater shirts?

  • zoltan||

    enormous tax breaks and incentives given by local governments

    Okay, this seems like the only legit complaint in the mix. Does Wal-Mart really get tax breaks or subsidies? If that's how they get their low prices I might be pissed, but other than that, they seem to be playing decently fair. At least to we American consumers, lol.

  • smallvoice||

    What's "fair" about denying promotions to qualified women just because they're women? What's "fair" about charging workers compulsory "rent" when they aren't living in company quarters? What's "fair" about spying on your employees to make sure they don't unionize for another $1 an hour? Wow, your sense of what's playing "decently fair" is kind of sad. I assure you that I don't have much money, but I can't stomach adding one more cent to the Wal-Mart coffers. Price isn't everything.

    Just 'cause they're big enough to do it doesn't make it right. And yes, they get all kinds of tax breaks and subsidies that aren't offered to other, smaller companies.

  • H&R commenter in training||

    What's "fair" about denying promotions to qualified women just because they're women?

    Your question makes no sense.


    What's "fair" about charging workers compulsory "rent" when they aren't living in company quarters?

    The workers are free to find another job.


    What's "fair" about spying on your employees to make sure they don't unionize for another $1 an hour?

    What's fair about the workers colluding against the employer and extorting another $1/hour from Wal Mart? The workers knew how much they were being hired for when they took the job. If they wanted more money, they should have negotiated a higher wage or not taken the job.


    And yes, they get all kinds of tax breaks and subsidies that aren't offered to other, smaller companies.

    Well, that's just shocking. I think I'm going to be physically ill.

  • zoltan||

    What's "fair" is that those people have a choice not to work there, whether it's the best place to work out of all the shitty places in China or the US to work. No one is forced to work for Wal-Mart, whether you think extenuating circumstances might make it the best or least bad option. No one is forced to work there. I, on the other hand, am forced to pay taxes, and I don't want my taxes going to businesses!!! that should be able to lower prices and treat their employees like shit without government intervention.

  • Guy Montag||

    What about your Nascar stickers, naked-chick mudflaps, and wife-beater shirts?

    The specialty stores that open right next door.

    smallvoice,

    Perhaps you would enjoy China better? I am a little fuzzy on this business of people having to pay rent if they don't accept free quarters provided by the company. I mean, I am fuzzy about how you expect to get a different place free if you turn down the free one they are offering, of course.

    Your posts sound like a bunch of nonsense actually.

  • Guy Montag||

    enormous tax breaks and incentives given by local governments

    That is one to take up with the local governments, now isn't it? They are the ones with all of the police power, not some department store.

  • Kolohe||

    What's "fair" about charging workers compulsory "rent" when they aren't living in company quarters?

    I've never even heard of this one. WTF is this about?

  • smallvoice||

    Guy--
    If you choose not to live in company housing, you shouldn't have to pay anyway. Just my opinion. I wasn't saying Wal-Mart should pay for you to live somewhere else. Just saying they shouldn't charge you if you're not actually living there.

    People, people...of course they could choose to work somewhere else. Just like I can choose to shop somewhere else. Doesn't mean that what they do isn't deplorable. Also, just because it may not be as bad as other companies in China doesn't mean it still isn't bad.

    I just find it ultra-creepy the lengths to which Wal-Mart goes to union bust. I scoff at anyone who claims that the employees have any real bargaining power re salary, benefits, etc. Wal-Mart has the right to union bust, but I still find it disturbing. *shrug* What are they so afraid of, anyway?

    You're right, it's the local governments that give the tax breaks, not Wal-Mart. They just take advantage wherever they can, like most businesses would.

    H&R commenter in training,

    What don't you understand about discriminating against women? Seems pretty unfair to me.

  • zoltan||

    You can find Wal-Mart's practices creepy all you want, but they aren't unfair if people choose to work under them. If you want to change the way Wal-Mart practices business, deprive them of their profit. Other people here will still shop there and support them because they think these employees have a choice to work at Wal-Mart, so if they choose to work in an unfair environment then that's their fault. What else should be done exactly?

  • Guy Montag||

    If you choose not to live in company housing, you shouldn't have to pay anyway. Just my opinion. I wasn't saying Wal-Mart should pay for you to live somewhere else. Just saying they shouldn't charge you if you're not actually living there.

    So, are you saying that if they don't take free housing from The Wal*Mart, they have to pay The Wal*Mart plus their landlord, and the Chinese government enforces this arrangement?

  • smallvoice||

    zoltan---
    I understand what you're saying, but when Wal-Mart is (essentially) the only game in some towns due to its incredible ability to undercut other businesses (helps when they have huge tax breaks), it's hard for me to blame the workers for "choosing" to work in crappy conditions. If they protest, there are hundreds more applications that Wal-Mart can choose from.

    And I agree, I like to deprive them of their profits all I can. ;-)

    Listen, I really did used to shop there all the time, so I'm not just some hippie saying all big corporations are bad, etc., etc. I just happen to believe in supporting companies that treat their employees well. I think it says a lot about a company. I'm not really sure what (if anything) can be done about their practices...just saying I don't like 'em. ;-)

  • smallvoice||

    Guy--
    Yup. They do. The "rent" is taken out of their paychecks regardless of where they live. Don't want to live in their tiny dorms? Then you better be prepared to be paying double rent.

  • Guy Montag||

    smallvoice,

    What is stopping you from opening a little store that becomes hugely successful? Make sure you enact all those measures that you insist The Wal*Mart to follow.

    Also, I am not buyuing your long-on-emotion, short on facts, sexual discrimination story either.

  • ||

    I used to shop at Wal-Mart all the time until I saw a documentary that showed some serious union-busting activities...

    What would be the advantage for you as a consumer to have Walmart's employees unionized?

    [I]ll treatment of workers in China (charging workers for "rent" when they declined to live in company['s] quarters)

    What concern of yours or mine should it be how they treat workers in China? What makes you think what you saw in the documentary is the truth, or that it is accurate?

    ill treatment of women (pretty blat[a]nt gender discrimination)

    What do you mean by "gender discrimination"? How do you know that what's happening is gender bias, and not rational promotion policies?

    [E]normous tax breaks and incentives given by local governments, etc

    Walmart is not (is NOT) the only superstore to receive tax breaks from local governments. If you really wanted to avoid buying from companies that received tax breaks (really, less tax burden) from local governments, your shopping list would have to be much smaller than it is right now.

    The list of disgusting behavior goes on and on and on. A lot of the info in the documentary came from managers, too, not just $7/hr workers who may have a beef....

    ... and, of course, that makes their word even more valid, right?


    Taking a small stand hurts my wallet, for sure, but it makes me feel better about myself... ;-)

    I feel better about myself knowing I am, instead, a rational person...

  • Guy Montag||

    Hay folks, sounds like an Ezra fan has decided to join us.

    joe has a new pal.

  • ||

    Oh Guy of the Hybrid Mopar,
    I can't view the accompanying video and the poster of this post elaborates none at all but perhaps this will answer your question regarding "rent".

    She makes mention of a "WalMart" factory, but I suspect this said factory is not owned by WalMart at all.

  • zoltan||

    I understand what you're saying, but when Wal-Mart is (essentially) the only game in some towns due to its incredible ability to undercut other businesses (helps when they have huge tax breaks), it's hard for me to blame the workers for "choosing" to work in crappy conditions. If they protest, there are hundreds more applications that Wal-Mart can choose from.

    See, this reasoning I don't understand. I live in a city where it is damn difficult to find a good job. But why won't most people move 200 miles north to the exploding Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, where jobs are plenty, land is cheap, and more men are attracted to women? I have about as much pity for people who are unwilling to make a change in their lives in order to better themselves as I do for comma-placement majors who whine about not being able to get a job in an IT/Real Estate town. Where exactly does this sense of entitlement come from that businesses should be providing people with great jobs wherever they want to stay. Move with the market or stop crying about it. I used to work in Fort Worth and I got better pay, sweeter benefits, and better working conditions. But I chose to move away from that to shittier circumstances; I'm am not, however, going to blame the company I work for for taking advantage of cheap, plentiful, and willing labor. It sucks, but it's the way it works.

    I'm not saying you don't have a point in boycotting Wal-Mart. I haven't shopped there since I've moved. I'm just saying there's not much you can do about their unfair policies except that. And, of course, campaigning for local government officials to stop giving them tax breaks.

  • ||

    What's "fair" about denying promotions to qualified women just because they're women?

    How do you know they were denied promotions because they were women? Could the documentary makes read the employer's mind? Can you? Can the women? Where is the tangible evidence?

    What's "fair" about charging workers compulsory "rent" when they aren't living in company quarters?

    Be careful about your choice of words: What do you mean by "compulsory"? Does the company place a gun in their heads to extract money from the workers? Otherwise, it is clear the workers have a choice: Work there or go somewhere else. The increase of choices in China will make such business practices more difficult with time. Your choice of not buying won't make a single dent.


    What's "fair" about spying on your employees to make sure they don't unionize for another $1 an hour?

    Don't be disingenuous. The issue is not $1.00 more but that by law the company would have to unionize all its employees once it accepts to have some under an union, and only hire through the union, basically making the cost of labor even more expensive. Also, unions are not all that they're cracked up to be: Union membership has been declining over the years due to leadership corruption and the high cost of dues.

    Price isn't everything.

    True; there is also availability, convenience, multiple choices...

    And yes, they get all kinds of tax breaks and subsidies that aren't offered to other, smaller companies.

    Your quarrel is with the government and its tax system, not with Walmart.

  • Wal-Mart||

    We pay way better wages than Mom'n'Pop ever did and unlike them we offer health insurance to full time employees.We can't undercut what we don't sell so there are plenty of business niches open for entrepreneurs.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Walmart is not (is NOT) the only superstore to receive tax breaks from local governments. If you really wanted to avoid buying from companies that received tax breaks (really, less tax burden) from local governments, your shopping list would have to be much smaller than it is right now.

    You had a lot of good refutations to smallvoice's arguments, but on this one, the correct answer is, "Yep, smallvoice, you're right." We don't always have to defend Wal-Mart.

  • Guy Montag||

    She makes mention of a "WalMart" factory, but I suspect this said factory is not owned by WalMart at all.

    No doubt.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Your quarrel is with the government and its tax system, not with Walmart.

    Gotta disagree. Wal-Mart's management could refrain from seeking out and accepting these tax breaks.

  • Guy Montag||

    [Snidley Whiplash voice]

    On that rent quibble, just how much room do you think Chinese children really need anyway? if they are not happy with their provided quarters they can go find another lead bos residence.

    [/Snidley Whiplash voice]

    Now, back to my Martini's and patting my teenage maid on the bottom.

  • Guy Montag||

    Gotta disagree. Wal-Mart's management could refrain from seeking out and accepting these tax breaks.

    Good luck with the shareholders (those widows and disabled veterans can be a rough bunch) when you were offered reasonable taxes and turned them down to let Target move in.

  • Mike Laursen||

    I just find it ultra-creepy the lengths to which Wal-Mart goes to union bust. I scoff at anyone who claims that the employees have any real bargaining power re salary, benefits, etc. Wal-Mart has the right to union bust, but I still find it disturbing. *shrug* What are they so afraid of, anyway?

    Wal-Mart is afraid that the union will lay waste to their thin retailer's profit margin. That's a pretty legitimate worry.

    True, the employees don't have much bargaining power, but it's also true they are very unskilled employees that wouldn't have much bargaining power anywhere they went. No power to bargain with another employer, open to exploitation by unions and politicians, too.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Good luck with the shareholders (those widows and disabled veterans can be a rough bunch) when you were offered reasonable taxes and turned them down to let Target move in.

    Maybe, maybe not. I find taking advantage of eminent domain and subsidies as unethical, but I agree that ultimately it's the laws that need to change.

  • Guy Montag||

    Oh, I get it, The Wal*Mart is destroying commerce just like:
    A&P
    Sears & Robuck
    JC Penny
    K-Mart
    7-11
    White Castle
    McDonald's
    Rite Aid
    Home Depot
    Newswires
    The FAX machine
    modems
    . . .

  • Mike Laursen||

    Okay, this seems like the only legit complaint in the mix. Does Wal-Mart really get tax breaks or subsidies? If that's how they get their low prices I might be pissed, but other than that, they seem to be playing decently fair.

    Yes, they do get tax breaks, subsidies, and take advantage of eminent domain abuse. I'm not sure how much it contributes to their low prices -- my impression is that their low prices are attributable to their advanced inventory and supply chain control, and being tight-fisted with expenses.

    (I learned a lot about their inventory management when I was interviewing for a job with a company that did data mining for them. One of the job's "perqs" was that I would get to travel to Benton, AK regularly. That had a lot with my turning the job down.)

  • Guy Montag||

    If i got to go to Alaska all the time I might have made a different decision than you.

  • zoltan||

    Guy, I'm a little too young to know anything about how the fax machine or modems would destroy commerce, care to enlighten me?

  • Guy Montag||

    FAXes were going to destroy the Postal Service, and indirectly destroy "commerce". Similar with modems.

    Note: these were arguments that Leftists (on the open or disguise) would use to try to keep things static.

    Same same as with Home Depot and The Wal*Mart, because things "changed" around them, the "commercial" world will end.

  • Guy Montag||

    zoltan,

    Not sure how young you are, but 10-12 years ago, the same thing was being said about Home Depot as is now being said about The Wal*Mart.

  • Mike Laursen||

    If i got to go to Alaska all the time I might have made a different decision than you.

    Doh!

  • zoltan||

    Yeah, I was just hitting puberty so I don't know anything about that, Guy. But from I understand talking with my colleagues about Home Depot, it seems that an overwhelming amount favor Lowe's, even though they're a little more expensive, because they provide better service. I don't doubt some people will get sick of Wal-Mart's exceptional lack of service soon, and at least the hysteria will die down somewhat.

  • Guy Montag||

    I have not experienced the lack of service problem at either place, but my mom prefers Lowe's and I get her gift certificates for there.

    One reason The Wal*Mart got so big was they were competing with K-Mart and the standard of service to beat was suck.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Same same as with Home Depot and The Wal*Mart, because things "changed" around them, the "commercial" world will end.

    Yes, Home Depot was going to end civilization as we know it in the city where I live, but concerned citizens have driven the corporate invaders back (twice).

    They would start by driving the two family-owned lumberyards in town, both claiming to be struggling, out of business. Never occurred to anybody that Home Depot wasn't their biggest problem.

    Their biggest problem was each other. The best thing for either of them would be if the other went out of business. Or if the two merged, saving the expense of operating two lumberyards in the same neighborhood.

  • Mike Laursen||

    We were visiting every Home Depot, Lowe's, family-run lumberyards, plumbing outfitter, websites, and every other home improvement vendor you could think of while remodeling our house. My experience was that Lowe's has a little bit more stylish merchandise, while Home Depot has slightly better customer service and a little bit more selection of good, ol' boring home improvement merchandise.

  • Mike Laursen||

    wo family-owned lumberyards in town, both claiming to be struggling, out of business

    Both are thriving, by the way, despite their being about ten Home Depots in the area.

  • Guy Montag||

    ML,

    Yep, the whole thing comes down to the small, entrenched businesses exercising power to keep competition out so that they can continue to rip you off by remaining the only game in town.

    I do like the gaggle of stores that sprout up around Home Depot, Lowes, The Wal*Mart, Target, etc.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Yep, the whole thing comes down to the small, entrenched businesses exercising power to keep competition out so that they can continue to rip you off by remaining the only game in town.

    And loads of paranoia. We did a bunch of shopping at the Home Depot and the traditional lumberyard. Although they are nominally in the same business, they have very different lines of merchandise, very different services, different strong and weak points, and to a large degree different customer bases.

    The two family lumberyards, on the other hand, are in exactly the same business.

  • highnumber||

    One reason The Wal*Mart got so big was they were competing with K-Mart and the standard of service to beat was suck.

    Heh. They beat "suck" with "blow."

  • ||

    I, on the other hand, am forced to pay taxes

    No one forces you to live in America.

  • Geotpf||

    As a "liberaltarian", I've never had a problem with Wal*Mart. Selling products to poor people for low prices doesn't strike me as a problem. Hell, even importing crap from China doesn't strike me as a problem. (From a "workers of the world unite" perspective, isn't it a good thing that people in China now work in factories and can afford a motor scooter and a cell phone and three meals a day instead of half starving on a collective farm?)

  • ||

    Walmart Pharmacy sucks big time. They changed my script, not my doctor, Walmart did, and the new medication does not work, probably fake meds from China and they refuse to give me my money back. I am out $130.00 for medication that doesn't even work.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement