Is Walmart Good or Bad for a Community? Share your thoughts – Cornwall Ontario – August 9, 2010

Cornwall ON – Do you have any thoughts on Walmart and its impact on small town and city economies?   We’re going to be doing a story about that exactly shortly so if you have an opinion or something you think we should take a look at email us at

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  1. Walmart provides cheap affordable goods to consumers. On the other hand Walmart does not allow it’s employee’s to be unionized (e.g. it shuts down any store that becomes unionized), and it hurts local businesses. Some economist will suggest that this the logical outcome, that the fittest survive and the weak will perish. Globalization took many good unionized jobs out of Cornwall, and service sector work replaced some of these jobs (but at a fraction of the wages and without benefits). Now many people can only afford to shop at Walmart at their service sector wage. The heart of local economies is mom and pop shops, neighbours and family members who are business owners making a living, creating jobs, and creating a strong vibrant community. Not many people dream of working at or just above minimum wage at a service sector job for the rest of their life, but in this economic climate, more and more people face the reality of working these kinds of jobs, and not being able to buy a house or afford a car, or support a family. Also more and more educated people are working these jobs, because meaningful employment is getting harder and harder to find. Walmart is about the rich getting richer, and the poor getting poorer. Communist countries like China are getting rich selling us cheap consumer goods, and how do they do this, they pay their employees over there even less than what we make here. Every time we buy at Walmart, we are taking the wealth out of our community. We’re making the owners of Walmart rich, but we’re also making countries like China wealthy and powerful. This kind of economy in North America is not sustainable. If we don’t create good jobs, if we don`t generate wealth, and if we don`t have a strong vibrant community and economy, eventually this house of cards will fall. People are living in debt, losing their homes, and livelihoods. Small and local businesses can create good paying jobs and keep the wealth in our community, but in this economic climate, it’s harder and hard to compete against the beast that is Walmart, and thanks to globalization it’s not a fair fight. This is not progress, this is not the dream! We’ve created a monster, and every time we shop at Walmart we’re feeding that beast. This is an economic war, and we are losing badly. BE A PATRIOT! SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ECONOMY! BUY CORNWALL! BUY FROM LOCAL BUSINESSES! KEEP OUR MONEY IN OUR COMMUNITY!

  2. I like Wal-Mart. Prices are good, and they carry lots of inventory. I believe prices are down all over town because of them. Wal-Mart has raised my standard of living, in this way. That being said they are not the best place in town to buy everything. Their grocery items are too sparse to compete with the big boys in the food business. The ladies and mens wear is a good place to buy a t-shirt and undies but they have no fashion to speak of. Can you compare their Garden center and automotive to Canadian tire? The furniture department is nothing but partial board. There are many places to complete with Wal-Mart in your town. As for the mom and pop shops, Wal-Mart employs over 300 people . How many mom and pop shop would it take, to put 300 secure jobs in the hands of Cornwallites, and at who’s expense. No, I think Wal-Mart has helped our community, They support CHEO, hire people with disabilities and pay taxes. Yes, they are an American based company but isn’t the real problem all the Asian stuff being sold. The shirt from Zellers comes from China the same as the one in Wal-Mart. People love to bash the giant, but we better watch the way we treat her. After the last deal with council we are lucky Wal-Mart didn’t pull up stakes and move up the street a few feet to the north corner of Cornwall Center Road and Brookdale. Then the people of South Stormont would have her tax dollars. It’s closer to the 401 too. And we all would be shopping there just the same. I think the only thing stopping such a move is Wal-mart’s respect for the people of Cornwall. I think we could show a little respect back and at lest display a Canadian Wal-Mart store in the above photo and never mind stirring up crap with a picture of the US flag and all.

  3. Neither their employees nor their suppliers get paid well, but who cares? We get to buy cheap ass, poorly made Chinese garbage for next to nothing! Sure, the local economy suffers, but I don’t know any of them. I know me, and I like cheap stuff. 20 tube socks for a dollar, who can argue? So go ahead, local businesses, lower your prices. You will never beat the Wal-Mart, ever of society, and provider of low quality merchandise. So just close the doors, shut off the lights, and lick your lead-painted toys. Our glory years have arrived!

  4. Good for you Devils and Dave.
    The lowest price is always the best. Who should give a rats ass if our neighbors can feed their kids, as long as we can buy the cheapest coffee maker.

  5. I believe Wal-Mart is very bad for the community. The low prices people laud come at a costly catch: They force people with lower incomes to shop there while also attracting any who want to save money. This cuts into other businesses. For small business owners, this is lethal to their livelihood. One just has to look at nearby Brockville to see the effrtcs that Wal-Mart has on once vibrant downtown shopping area’s.

    But back to the low prices. How are these achieved? Manufacturers are forced to cut their wholesale prices. Wages and benefits are subsequently cut. Eventually companies just can’t compete due to North American labour laws, and must outsource to third-world countries or go out of business completely. So this leads to higher numbers of working poor and unemployed. More people are forced to live below the poverty line. Ironically these same people are then forced to shop at Wal-Mart, because the price savings that cost them their high-paying jobs and benefits become so vital to their survival.

    Some people use the jobs Wal-Mart creates as an excuse. But many employees have difficulty attaining full-time hours. And their wages are low compared to the profits the company makes.

    In all I believe that Wal-Mart and companies like it are a large reason for the economic troubles that we have been facing for the last few years.

  6. The stores did not leave Brockville, just went to another location. There were a couple of other chains that moved in as well, would they have moved in without Walmart?
    Sears is another major player who prefers part time workers, they also reduced the employee discount from a few years ago. A Bell Tech was telling me a few days ago they prefer on call techs as a way to reduce costs, it is not just Walmart mcjobs.

    Brockville has done a great job with the waterfront and keeping downtown walkable.

    If we did not need to give so much tax money for programs and employees perhaps we would have more money to help keep local, local!

  7. Wal Mart does not always have the lowest price and definitely could careless about quality.

    One of the Wal Mart traps or market schemes is to advertise a cheap version of the product at the end of an isle. Once you take the proverbial bait they lead people down the isle by displaying a better product but not all that inexpensive.
    If we went to other stores for the name brand products the prices are competitive, you just need to weigh in all the factors. Things like service, policy and the ever present accountability.

    Wal Mart has corrupted quality to an all tem low as well. They set the standard for when a product is to be manufactured in order to be distributed my Wal Mart.
    Imagine a smaller manufacturing company providing a quality product. The sign a contract to sell to Wal Mart and in order to have the shelf space it must be in the warehouse by a specific date or all is lost. In that case companies often produce at a lower level of quality just to meet scheduling.

    Does Wal Mart care, *lol* have they ever?

    Now have a look at the no name toys in the red wrapped boxes. They are beginning to lower our standards by only providing crap

  8. Furtz, did you even read beyond the first sentence of my post? I’ll assume the answer is no.

  9. Eric, a lot of the locally-owned small business downtown are gone. The downtown is vastly different than it was in say, 2003. Yes, the downtown is still a beautiful area and the waterfront is kept magnificent. But the downtown shopping is now a joke.

  10. The downtown (Pitt St.) is starting it’s resurgence. Through the 60,s 70’s and 80’s malls were the flavour of the era’s. The tide of change is happening. People are now getting re-acquainted with the heart of their cities. Be it Cornwall, Toronto or New York City. Give Cornwall some time. Take a walk down Pitt street and see for yourselves.
    After living many years in the GTA, big box stores are not as great as there advertisements may suggest.
    If you just want to socialize, meet people you haven’t seen in many years, stop at the Farmers Market Saturday mornings, you will enjoy the the people.
    But please, give our downtown merchants a chance. The money stays in Cornwall.

  11. Devils Advocate, I take that back. Got a bit ahead of myself on that one.

  12. Agreed willie. Socializing at Cornwall Farmers Market can be fun on Saturday mornings. You can also socialize at Island Ink-Jet’s INTERNET CAFE COFFEE BAR (and Tea Room) at 8 Third Street West just opposite the RBC. Monday thru Saturday 7:30AM on……featuring Coffey’s Coffee.

  13. Use to love standing on Pit and Second sreeets and ask people if they knew where Colusus restaurant was.

    But you’re right willie, growth and change is beginning. All we need is just a jump start on industry to help push it over the edge.

    Remember Sir Isaac Newton
    “The vis insita, or innate force of matter is a power of resisting, by which every body, as much as in it lies, endeavors to preserve in its present state, whether it be of rest, or of moving uniformly forward in a straight line.’

  14. Now if you stand on the corner of Pitt and Second, you can see a vacant lot with a partial completed srtucture…real nice for our main intersection. Someone let their ego get ahead of their wallet. Can the City not do something about this? At least return it to a green space with some benches? Or do certain people have to much pull in this City to be pushed like that?

  15. Rodney, I 100% agree that the city should do something about that space. It’s a real eye sore for downtown Cornwall, and a real shame! Either the site needs to be developed or turned back into a green space – I am for either option – as long as it’s done in a timely manner. I don’t have all the information, but aren’t there deadlines that have to be met to build on a spot like that? Also, I’d like to see some minimal standards enforced for empty buildings that are for rent or lease. Some of the buildings look real sketchy with the torn newspapers taped to the windows and look dirty. I honestly think that it hurts other businesses in the neighborhood and it doesn’t do a lot to attract new businesses into those buildings. Image might be superficial, but in the world of businesses and for our down town core, it can make or break the heart of our city.

  16. Pitt and second…. Lol …. chenier.. Really got ahead of himself there…. Than again maybe it’s karma biting him in the ass for the trouble he cause that new spa when he tore down their wall and wouldn’t replace it and the poor new biz owners had trouble and I think had to bring him to court

  17. Island Ink Jet, It looks like a nice place. I will have to stop in for a coffee on Saturday,…….. after I shop at the Farmers Market. How much to refill a HP6210xi black?

  18. Rodney, I agree with you also. I thought Cornwall had a bylaw that states commercial or industrial property must be developed within two years. I may be wrong. Money changes bylaws.
    It’s nice to see people here with some pride for our downtown and the City of Cornwall.

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