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HOw do you feel about "walk up" clinics in the supermkt?

Discussion in 'Topics in Healthcare' started by jsnuka, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. jsnuka

    jsnuka Senior Member
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    Want Treatment With Those Pills?
    Walk-in clinics are springing up in retail chains nationwide, offering shorter wait times, lower prices—and a challenge for doctors.


    By Jennifer Barrett
    Newsweek


    Updated: 8:34 p.m. CT July 25, 2006
    July 25, 2006 - A couple weeks ago, Judy Mui noticed that one of her bug bites had become infected. But the 24-year-old New York City paralegal had just started her job and her employee insurance hadn't yet kicked in. When she called a friend's doctor, she learned a visit would cost her $150. Then a co-worker told her about a walk-in clinic located inside a drugstore just a few blocks away. In 20 minutes, Mui got a diagnosis and two prescriptions from a nurse practitioner at the RediClinic, which she filled at the pharmacy in the same store. Total cost: $45. "This was definitely more convenient and cost effective," she says.

    At least six retail clinic chains have emerged in the past few years—all betting there are millions more like Mui, who either don't have insurance, don't have a provider, or don't have the time to spend in a doctor's office for a minor health problem. "The time for this concept has come," says Brian Jones, CEO of MedXpress, which is opening its first clinic this summer in Texas and expects to have 500 locations nationwide by 2010. "We expect this to be almost a revolution in terms of the delivery-care model," he adds.

    More than 100 walk-in clinics—with names like RediClinic, MinuteClinic, and Take Care Health—are already operating in major retail stores like Wal-Mart, CVS and Rite-Aid. There are plans to open several hundred more locations within the next few years. Generally staffed by a nurse practitioner instead of a physician, the clinics stay open on weekday evenings and weekends. They offer basic services for patients 18 months and older, ranging from vaccinations to diagnostic screenings to prescriptions and treatment for minor problems like sore throats, skin infections and sprained ankles. Though most now accept insurance, even the out-of-pocket prices are generally relatively low—from about $40 to $100, depending on the service. RediClinic, where Mui was treated, won't begin accepting insurance until next month, yet more than half of the patients seen there (the company won't reveal precise patient figures) are insured. "They're willing to pay for convenience," says Webster Golinkin, CEO of InterFit Health, which operates RediClinic.

    Richard Scott, chairman of the Florida-based Solantic, which operates a dozen clinics in Florida and plans to open as many as 1,000 locations across the country over the next five years, notes that there are more than 40 million uninsured Americans—and millions more who can't get a timely appointment to see their primary care provider, don't have a provider, or don't want to spend the money or time to go to the emergency room. "There is a significant need for clinics like these to treat episodic problems," he adds.

    So far, consumers seem to agree. MinuteClinic chief executive Michael Howe (the former CEO of the fast-food chain Arby's) declined to comment on the chain's profitability. But he said that more than half-a-million patients have visited the clinics since the first location opened in Minnesota six years ago. It now has 83 clinics, with plans for 250 in 19 states by year's end—many of them in CVS stores. Earlier this month, CVS Corporation (the country's largest drugstore chain, with more than 6,100 pharmacies) announced it would acquire the Minneapolis-based company. "We did some research and couldn't believe the customer receptivity to these clinics. We really think this fills a void," says CVS CEO Tom Ryan. "It's an easy affordable way to get high quality access to good healthcare."


    Even former AOL chairman Stephen Case is staking a claim in the growing market. In July 2005, he founded Revolution Health Group, now InterFit Health's largest investor. Though there are only 11 RediClinic locations now, the company expects to open 75 in the next year and have about 500 locations within the next three years. "Convenient care can revolutionize how patients deal with simple health problems, and how they get help staying well," says Case.

    Howe, Case and others stress that the clinics aren't intended to replace but to complement doctor's offices; they don't treat chronic ailments or serious health problems. Still, there's little question that they're siphoning away some business by offering lower prices, shorter wait times and longer opening hours. How much, though, is unclear. A report issued by the American Medical Association in June expressed concerns about the impact that clinics would have on physicians' practices and on patient care. But many AMA members in areas with retail clinics told the writers of the report that clinics have so far done an effective job of referring patients to providers for more serious or chronic problems.

    Still, the report did note that the popularity of the clinics has prompted many physicians to consider extending their own hours and set aside time each day to accommodate walk-in patients with immediate needs. Some have even joined clinics like Solantic, one of the few chains to staff its clinics with doctors. Others have agreed to serve in advisory roles for clinics.

    Dr. Larry Fields, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, says his group's members have also been able to weather the competition, so far though some have adapted their practices to accommodate more patients. Last month, the AAFP issued a list of "desired attributes" for retail clinic practices, recommending the use of referrals for more serious cases, electronic medical records (which can be transmitted to the patient's primary provider) and a clearly defined—and limited—scope of services. "To the credit of many of these clinics, they've endorsed the guidelines," says Fields.


    Still, he worries that the walk-in clinics may be tempted to expand the range of their services as they grow. "They may want a bigger piece of the market and that's a concern," he says. "In today's complex world of healthcare, patients really need to have a medical home." For most Americans, that's still a doctor's office—for now, at least.

    URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14014782/site/newsweek/?GT1=8307
     
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  3. docB

    docB Chronically painful
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    I don't see these as being significantly different than urgent care clinics. They can treat this stuff faster and cheaper than we can in the ER so more power to them.
     
  4. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy
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    I agree with docB except maybe this is a step down from the urgent care clinics. :thumbup: I was thoroughly surprised when I went to an urgent care clinic (that was hospital affliated so maybe that is why it was so good in my opinion) they had all the necessary stuff to give me IV's, get my lab results asap, etc. I'd go back instead of the ER and it was only the cost of a doctor's copay. :thumbup:
     
  5. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy
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    Oh but I'm weary of the fact that there are no doctors on staff. Someone brought up a good point in another thread that many symptoms can overlap and could be signs of a deeper problem.
     
  6. MirrorTodd

    MirrorTodd It's a gas.
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    I foresee those places making some major bank. What are the rules and regulations regarding those types of places and the treatments that can be given? Also, what about malpractice insurance? Will there be even more frivilous lawsuits against medical professionals?
     
  7. jsnuka

    jsnuka Senior Member
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    Most of these places are staffed by nurse practioners and not MDs/DOs so it is cost effective for the healthcare conglomerates that run them.

    True, it is a moneymaker for some, but for MDs/DOs, it is another lynchpin in killing a heretofore lucrative (financially) career option.

    I just think it is weird that it is in supermarkets, but then you have the foot traffic on a constant basis and the pharmacy and even labwork could be accomplished onsite.

    It is GREAT for folx w/o health insurance, but I think it does not address the overall nonsensical nature of America's healthcare system.

    There is a boon of them here in Wisconsin, BTW.
     
  8. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    Not true that it will be a financial nosedive for FP's. Let's say said FP sets up a few of these places in his city. That's a lot of referrals coming into his office for stuff thats more serious than the NP/PA can treat. Massive advertising, think of all the people going through there everyday.

    The right business plan for an FP could make this trend very lucrative.
     
  9. DNP student

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    I think it could go either way. If you have a good NP, it will offer convenient affordable healthcare. If you have a sorry NP, it will not be worth the money. It's no different than any other profession; there are good ones and there are bad ones - it's true for nurses, PA's, MD's, etc. I'm glad someone is offering convenient healthcare at an affordable price. Would you rather someone see an NP for what appears to be the flu, when in reality it is something worse, and get referred for more extensive treatment; or wait 3-4 weeks to see an MD die while waiting for the appt.

    I have a friend who's husband died from the flu. If he had been able to access more timely healthcare, he might not have died. When he went to an urgent care clinic he was told that his chest pain was due to a pulled muscle from coughing (by an MD). The next morning his wife took called an ambulance because he started seizing and quit breathing. They got him back but the flu had attacked his heart and it was too far gone. He died the next day. He was in his mid 30's.

    I'm not saying that all MD's in Urgent Care clinics are bad; just like not all NP's are bad.
     
  10. ForbiddenComma

    ForbiddenComma Tanned for Bowling
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    I say more power to 'em. Average people need a fast, low-cost "first line of defense" for minor problems, cuts and colds.

    Just as long as the NPs there get to share in the "pleasure" of malpractice suits like every other provider.

    Wait, is that evil of me? :smuggrin:
     
  11. Vox Animo

    Vox Animo Runs with Scissors
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    First the optometrists and the pharmacists, and now the doc and nurses will be working for wal-mart. Pretty soon everyone will. I'd like to do it before it's cool though
     
  12. ForbiddenComma

    ForbiddenComma Tanned for Bowling
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    "Sir, I'm afraid you have an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Please take this ticket down to Emergent Surgery in aisle 42-D and have your credit card ready. They can also take care of your other purchases there as well. As always, thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart."
     
  13. Daemos

    Daemos Junior Member
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    I'm confused...are walk in clinics a new thing in the US? or is this a competely new thing I'm missing out on?

    I mean in Canada we've had walk in clincis probally as long as I've been alive, and they've been from anywhere from someone's house to crazy office buildings.
     
  14. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog Fides et ratio.
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    IMO, if a practice can't provide same-day appointments to patients when they're needed, they deserve to have their lunch eaten by urgent care centers and walk-in clinics.
     
  15. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    That quote matches your avatar perfectly. I can see the Scrubs janitor saying that!
     
  16. McDoctor

    McDoctor Over One Billion Cured
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    In the end, a little competition is a good thing.

    Similarly, you could say that the presence of NP's and PA's well equipped to handle straightforward ailments forces family docs to crank it up a notch as well. If a patient can't tell the difference between a nurse practitioner and a doctor, then shame on the doctor.
     
  17. MacGyver

    MacGyver Membership Revoked
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    All this talk about doctors competiting against minuteclinics is further evidence that no doctor shortage exists.
     
  18. Kuba

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    i'm a little confused too, this is not that much different than a regular walk-in clinic. (and yes there are a lot of walk-in clinics in the US, at least in CT there are)
     
  19. dawg44

    dawg44 Senior Member
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    You don't see any shops set up for Orthopedics, Radiology or Urology though do you.

    This whole thing gives new meaning to the phrase "WalMart Fall Apart".
     
  20. 8744

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    There is nothing nonsensical about urgent care clinics, supermarket-based or not. It's just the market responding to a demand and it makes perfect sense. The way FPs can compete is to offer same-day appointments or adjust their office hours to have more slots in the after-work hours.
     
  21. 8744

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    Let's not bash Wal Mart. A Wal Mart opened up in my small home town, Ruston, Louisiana, and in short order there were all kinds of thriving busineses growing up around it. The only people that were hurt were a few crappy mom and pop stores in our decrepit downtown, a few over-priced hardware stores, and a supermarket chain that charged on 30 percent more for the same gorceries.
     
  22. Vox Animo

    Vox Animo Runs with Scissors
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    Walmart is the worst thing to happen to american labor. Your right though, mom and pop stores were not short on price gouging. But walmart is low paying, gives not benefits and gets almsot all of their goods from slave/sweatshop labor overseas.

    Check out Walmart: The High Cost and Lower Prices. I'm not saying to take it as the bible, but it has alternatives view and research of walmart negative impacts.
     
  23. Wackie

    Wackie Inappropriate, always
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    I thought NP's were supposed to operate under an MD/DO's license? :confused:
     
  24. 8744

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    The funny thing is that Wal Mart pays better and gives better benefits to it's employees than the typical Mom and Pop store.
     
  25. 8744

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    I think a lot of people who bash Wal Mart want to live in a world where all the stores are quaint boutiques like the type one might find on, say, Church Street in Burlington, Vermont where one can soak up the guilt-free shopping atmosphere at cutesy stores like "Once a Tree" or "The Peace and Justice Shop."

    Either that or they yearn for a Norman Rockwell type world that never really existed.

    I also don't know why people single out Wal Mart. Sears, JC Penny, and the growth of shopping malls killed the small town downtowns. Wal Mart just did them one better. Not to mention Target, K-mart, Ben Franklins, Meijer, and any number of big and not so big big-box stores.

    The downtown in my hometown was dead long before Wal Mart decided to move in. The downtown is still dead except for seedy clothing stores and pawn shops but the Interstate service road area has exploded in the last ten years. A lot of commerce, construction, restaurants, and (finally) a decent Movie theater which our town hasn't had since the only remaining crappy one closed several years ago. Sure, these new stores aren't quaint and you might not get the same service you got from the old, poorly stocked hardware store that had to close when Lowes moved in but we also pay a lot less for our lumber.
     
  26. PBEA

    PBEA Senior Member
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    Why is it that right-wingers always seem to defend Wal-mart?
     
  27. docB

    docB Chronically painful
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    We are uncomfortable with the idea that people want government to limit a legitimate business just because it is large and successful. American businesses are already regulated to the point where we can't compete globally. More regulation for the purpose of social engineering just moves us that much closer to outright socialism. That's where the left wants us to be and they know that that pill will go down easier incrementally. Hence the efforts to strip more control of the means of production and distribution away for the private sector.
     
  28. Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer
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    Ehh. Wasn't there also some thing about Wal-Mart systematically screwing their employees out of health care coverage? And (again, systematically) falsifying time cards and "promoting" people to management, to avoid paying out overtime for mandatory re-stock days and whatnot?

    The free market is a great thing, as long as it operates like a free market. When you're the only employer in town for a huge segment of the population, why shouldn't you have some extra responsibilities to go along with all that control?

    Oh, and also: walk-in clinics are cool. They (maybe) keep people out of the ER for dumb stuff. In a perfect world, there would be the ER, and then there would be a walk-in clinic a block away with more comfy seats and better vending machine choices.
     
  29. 8744

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    What's the difference working for mom and pop without benefits or Wal Mart without benefits? Nothing.

    My hometown has about 20,000 people plus about 10,000 college students. Wal Mart is not the only employer in town, nor is it the only large mega-mart. They have to compete for labor like anybody else. There is nothing magical or sinister about Wal Mart except that its detractors think that all commerce is sinister.

    I also have to add that our grocery bills went down close to thirty percent when we started shopping at the Super Wal Mart. Then they opened up a discount supermarket next door and our grocery bills decreased even more. Groceries are not produced in Chinese slave labor camps. Most are domestic.
     
  30. Vox Animo

    Vox Animo Runs with Scissors
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    Never in any post did i defend small mom and pop stores. And you will have a hard time proving to anybody that wal-mart gives good benefits. Walmart largely uses welfare as its health care plan. They define full-time as 28 hours a week. The town i lived in for my undergrad had lots of poverty mainly because the average person could not find 40 hours of work a week.

    All the big box stores are responsible and do evil sh!t. Just because everybody else does it doesn't mean its ok for walmart too. There is no reason that a company like walmart couldn't pay their employees $10 hour and give them health benefits. They have to do that for their branches in Germany. I think local politicians should set living wage requirments for work at walmart much like they are attempting to do in chicago.


    I could not live with myself if i knew that i was profiting by keeping my workers in poverty. Each walton is worth 18 billion, how much does one person need?
     
  31. Miami_med

    Miami_med Moving Far Away
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    If Walmart paid $10/hour to all its employees it would not be profitable (Yes, the margins are small). If it were not profitable, it would shut down. If it shut down, the employees would make $0/hour.

    What is evil? People don't have to work for Walmart? They choose to. There is plenty of work in this country. If a person wants to stay in a small town, where Walmart is the only choice, then that is a personal decision. In most of these towns, Walmart took the people to $8/hour from unemployment. Walmart made things BETTER. The cheap goods offered by Walmart allow poorer people to have access to things that they could have never afforded before. Championing the demise of Walmart as a fight for the poor is 100% backwards.

    The Health Benefit argument is a joke. Most companies don't offer them any more to low wage employees. If Walmart did, they would no longer be profitable. See paragraph #1. Nobody is dumping on to Medicaid. Walmart offers a contract with a specific wage and a defined set of benefits. Nobody HAS to take it. The government then chooses to offer Medicaid. Walmart has nothing to do with Medicaid, aside from paying the vast majority of the taxes in many small towns that support it.
     
  32. 8744

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    Low wage employers have never, or rarely ever, offered health benefits. Why pick on Wal Mart?

    I realize a lot of you are not from small towns but a lot of people like working for Wal Mart. It pays better than the usual small town job, is not as physically demanding as most jobs, and for the skills required pays pretty well. Definitely a step up from McDonalds or the local feed store. Can you support a family of four on one person's wages from working an entry level position there?

    It depends on what kind of standard of living you want. Most of us could not. On the other hand most of us have higher aspirations than living in a single-wide and having enough disposable income to afford hunting, fishing, and a few irregular pleasures. We make our beds and must lay in them. If you have a mess of kids by the time you are nineteen and have neglected your education then you are obviously up a creek. Your lifestyle choices are not the government's responsibility and certainly not Wal Mart's.

    I get the distinct impression that many of you have never worked at a real job and don't actually know any poor people except the ones you have patronized on one of your resume-padding extracurricular activities.
     
  33. 8744

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    Wal Mart cannot use medicare as it's health care plan as this is reserved for retirees. For your information in every state, children of families with less than a certain income (in Lousiana it was 32,000 per year for a family of four) are eligible for medicaid until the age of 18. This applies to employed and unemployed so whether of not Wal Mart employees are elegible is a function of their income and not some sinister trick on the part of Wal Mart. Certain working adults based on income are also eleigible. What states like Maryland tried unsuccessfully to do is to extort money from Wal Mart to help them close their own budget deficits which are more the result of government fiscal irresponsibility than anything else.
     
  34. 8744

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    I also want to know where it is written that employers are responsible for anything other than paying the wages of their employees. Benefits are things that are offered to employees as incentives to get them to work for the company.

    A lot of you are deeply entrenched in that socialist, nanny-state mindset.
     
  35. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog Fides et ratio.
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  36. PBEA

    PBEA Senior Member
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    I got another joke for you. Who cares if wallymart is PROFITABLE?
    Answer: YOU :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Anyway, what I'd like to see are your claims of low margins. No LOW MARGIN company job I've ever been in, had fargin' buildings 2-3 acres in size. Gimmmee a break already. Face it, wally mart is a faceless example of small scale communism. Dumb right-wingers got it wrong! they think supporting walworld is procapitalist, but it is in fact what they should be avoiding. How many walmartin items are made in china exactly?Hmmmm, alot i'd say. Who profits from this "overseas" economy? ANYBODY want to work on the budget?

    Come on pal, the fleecing of the common man happens. question is does anyone care?
     
  37. DNP student

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    The exact nature of MD/DO oversight depends on the state. In the states of which I'm aware, there must be an MD/DO available by telephone. I understand that Walgreens has contracted with an MD in one city to oversee all the NP's working in their walk-in clinics within that city. This seems like it would be very lucrative for that MD/DO since every urgent care clinic I've ever been to instructs the patient to follow-up with a primary care doctor.

    As for the WalMart discussion, i have a family member who was working for Wallyworld when he was diagnosed with bladder and prostate cancer. After major surgery and months of convalescence, he was unable to return to work. His health insurance (through Wal Mart) had paid close to 100% of his medical bills. WalMart allowed him to retire early and continues to pay a large part of his health insurance. That is much better than many employers in this country.
     
  38. Miami_med

    Miami_med Moving Far Away
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    Oh God, here we go again. I won't expect you to change your mind, because this post shows a true lack of understanding of basic economics. If a company is not profitable, it cannot survive, because only the government can make fake money out of thin air. The only way to survive as a non-profitable company is to get support from the government (As is the case for the airlines) and nobody thinks Walmart should be getting lots of government money. I care if Walmart is profitable, because that keeps all of its workers employed, and it allows me to continue having access to less expensive groceries (Because I am currently poor, and I am getting a lot of benefit from Walmart like many poor people.)

    Walmart is not communist, pseudo-communist, or anything else of that nature. All of its employees work BY CHOICE. Nobody MADE them work for Walmart. If they thought they could do better, they are allowed to QUIT. They don't, showing that Walmart is offering them a BETTER choice than whatever their alternatives are. Walmart is still making their lives better.

    I have never worked for Walmart, however, I have had many low wage jobs, supported my family on low wage jobs, and put myself through college on low wage jobs. These included a $6/hour warehouse job for JLAUDIO, a two year stint at Home Depot that paid between $7.50-$8.00/hour, and even a *gasp* government job with the University of Florida Library System that paid $5.15/hour and gave no benefits.
     
  39. Miami_med

    Miami_med Moving Far Away
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    One more thing. Most low margin companies have large stores. They need to sell a large volume to make up for low margins.

    As an aside to the actual topic of this thread, why is an urgent care clinic in Walmart a bigger deal than a clinic that is not in Walmart? Why is anyone bothered by this?
     
  40. 8744

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    Whoa. The grocery and general merchandise business runs on incredibly low margins. You just don't understand economics. Suppose you want to buy a case of Diet Coke. If you visit Target, Wal Mart, K-Mart, and Meijer you will notice that within a couple of cents the price is the same. A conspiracy nut will ascribe this to a sinisiter cabal of retailers meeting in secret to fix the price. What really happens is that competition drives the price down to the lowest possible price where it is worth the stores effort to stock and sell the product. Eventually, in a competative market, everybody will charge the same price or risk losing business to lower priced rivals. I believe this price is called the point of zero economic profit.

    Mom and Pop, as they are usually the only game in town especially in poor, inner city and rural areas, have no competition and can charge substantially more for the same products because this is what the marker can bear. If you have ever shopped at a small town grocery store where there is no competition you would be astounded. I hear it's the same in the inner cities. Additionally since Mom and Pop don't buy in high volume from the supplier they don't get the benefit of volume discounts. A bottler would rather sell 100,000 case a month to Wal Mart at a discounted price than a couple of hundred to Mom and Pop.

    As you correctly observed, a typical Wal Mart store covers a few acres. But that's the point. They move an incredible volume of merchandise every day. The margins are low but volume makes up for it. Just a side note, as I used to work in the forest products industry I know how much it costs to produce and transport a pallet of plywood. I also know how much Lowes and Home Depot, the Wal Marts of home improvement, charge for the pallet and believe me they are not making anywhere near the obscene profit you probably think they do. I am perpetually suprised at how little profit there is in things like that, and amazed that that the mom and pop hardware stores could get away with screwing the consumer for so long.

    Oh, and Georgia Pacific, International Paper, Weyerhauser, Boise Cascade, and the rest of the big forest product firms charge roughly the same for the same type and grade of product. In fact, much of my job as an engineer was to find ways to cut production costs so the company could undersell it's competitors. It is a constant battle to gain incremental efficiency to increase market share as there is no brand loyalty for plywood or lumber.

    I also think it's wrong to say that I "support" Wal Mart. I am actually completely ambivalent about Wal Mart except when they are used as scapegoat by leftists for our entire (mostly) capitalistic system. In other words, and you have to step back and breathe, Wal Mart is just a store like many others. When you attack Wal Mart, you are really setting the stage for even more government intervention in every business, including yours. I just don't want to hear you whining and complaining when the public decides that physicians, including primary care doctors, are making too much money on the backs of the poor and need to have their salary capped by congress to...oh...I don't know...20 dollars an hour which seems fair to me considering we don't actually do anything that my neighbor in his double-wide actually considers work.
     
  41. 8744

    8744 Guest

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    PBEA, I ask this kindly, did you ever take an economics course or make the effort to educate yourself on the subject? I'm sure Barnes and Nobles must have an "Economics for Dummies" or some such book that you could read through before you spout off again.
     
  42. docB

    docB Chronically painful
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    Barnes and Noble?!? Why they are just another big box, evil, corporate entity that is squeezing out the little guy and crapping all over the American dream of total egalitarianism. I would never go there. Whenever I need a new copy of Engels, Che or Fonda I go down to the local book and coffee house. They never have anything but at least they're pure.
     
  43. Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer
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    Aww, these talks are no fun when people make sense. ;) Okay, okay, you've got my vote for next year's "Coolest Conservative" award.

    Me, I mostly hate Wal-Mart because their stores are ugly, I can't find anything, it's mostly crap when I do, and I'm from Target's hometown. Target > Wal Mart, and no logic can convince me otherwise.
     
  44. Vox Animo

    Vox Animo Runs with Scissors
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    Very true. But if employers don't pay liveable wages or benefits, the government pickups up the tab in welfare.

    So since peole need money and healthcare whether or not walmart pays for it, i would rather have the walmart corporation pay for it than the us government. As i believe for all the other big box corporations.
     
  45. PBEA

    PBEA Senior Member
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    Walmart gets used as a "model" corporation for the right, and left uses it as the "anti-model". Truth is, walmart is not the ideal that the right or left should strive for. wally is just a self-serving corp (like many others), NOT a beacon of capitalist democracy. Where is it written, that companies must be ruthless, and heartless to be considered a success. And how does that success translate into a victory for capitalism? Does wallymart's stock go up evertime it moves into a town (offers it's loss leading products) closes up all the nearby stores who cannot compete, forcing those people to seek employment elsewhere (like at the new wallyfart world), and successfully opens that specific marketplace to other faceless, tasteless, meaningless, corporations to ply their version of chinese made junk, to the unsuspecting masses. These imports from china mean less unskilled americans have jobs, leading to just more people who can only shop AND work at, you guessed it, smallmart. The profits are pocketed by the hirer ups and (maybe) the consumer, and the working man is left to stew the pot. I hate how wallmart has somehow become a cultural icon for american culture, when it is really only slightly better then the flea-markets I used to go to when I was a kid. Treat it like it is, a ****ty large marketplace, nothing more. I know I'm rambling now, fire up the flamethrowers
     
  46. DoctaJay

    DoctaJay bone breaker
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  47. 8744

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    I'd never flame you for expressing your opinion. especially as you are very polite in doing it. Still, you seem unable to discuss economics without getting emotional. I think this is because you don't really know anything about economics and therefore reduce the subject to concepts that most of us reserve for religion as this is easier than sucking it up and learning something about how goods are produced, transported, priced, and sold.
     
  48. 8744

    8744 Guest

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    Then why do you get so worked up about it? If you don't like it don't shop there. There are plenty of non-big-box stores in most towns where you can pay either more for the same crap or still more for domestically produced crap. Or you can get all snobbish and buy nothing but premium brands, most of which are actually made in the same sweat shops as the Wal Mart crap.

    See my point? You get all worked up over a friggin' store which, were it to disappear, would be replaced by something almost exactly the same because it's what the people want.
     
  49. PBEA

    PBEA Senior Member
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    stop with the silly economics 101 already. Every time you comment that I need "help with this stuff", you are losing credibility with me (not that you care). We arent exactly talking advanced economic theory here.

    You and the rest are so quick to stifle any disparing comments on walmart. Why is that? Because you see wallyworld as a symbol of ideal americana?

    I'm a snob because I don't shop at the local junk store?
    You think this is what the people want? You are delusional, it's only through difficult to pass local legislation, that the people get heard and actually prevent Walmart from forcing its way into the local economy.

    Look I'm against bigger gov also, but sometimes big gov is a good thing. And if a big powerful co like wallfart who will basically dominate the local economy, and determine the livelihood of so many people, needs some kind of oversight, then so be it. I'll be back later
     
  50. 8744

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    No. It's the professional activist class that don't want Wal Mart, serving as does to represent everything they hate about American life. Ironically the people for whom they claim to speak like Wal Mart and the other large general merchandise stores. People vote with their wallets. In Lansing, where I currently reside, even though we have plenty of Mom and Pops of every variety Wal Mart, Meijer, and Target are doing great business.

    You also need to understand that the economy is not the so-called "finite pie" where there is a constant and unchanging demand for goods and serivces. It is true that some enterprises cannot compete with the mega stores. On the other hand, as the mega-stores invariably attract new business to the area I bet if you checked you'd see that the tax revenue to a typical town increases substantially once the "strip" gets going. I know for a fact that in my home town that the city revenues have increased geometrically, the only price being the extinction of some downtown businesses that had been around since the turn of the century, were somewhat small-potatoes from a tax revenue point of view, and carried on the tradition of fleecing the little guy until the bitter end.

    I'm serious about your need to study economics. It is criminal that this kind of thing is neglected in most people's expensive college education. Everybody needs to take a course in micro- and macro- economics.
     
  51. 8744

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    And the funnny thing is, PBEA, that I'm actually an economic liberal. Hell, I'm almost progressive compared to you who are extremely conservative in your economic views. Conservative, I mean, because you cling grimly to the way things used to be while I embrace change.

    You're conservative to the point where you advocate what amounts to good old-fashioned orthodox socialism. Hey, set your mind free. Be progressive. How about we try some market economics for a change?
     

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