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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Large grocers working against Wal-Mart

Large grocery chains including the parent companies of Giant and Shoppers have hired a consulting company to work against the development of Wal-Mart stores in communities across the U.S., according to a very interesting article in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Saint Consulting Group has frequently been hired to thwart Wal-Mart, according to the article, and its clients are often companies that compete directly with the Arkansas-based retail giant. The competing chains don’t publicize their involvement in working with Saint Consulting.

The article is especially interesting for our region given the controversy that is playing out in Wilderness, where Civil War preservationists are the public face of the opposition to Wal-Mart’s plans for a store near the intersection of State Routes 3 and 20.


  • TPKeller

    The trouble is that we as a society are so accustomed to corruption, this probably doesn’t even bother anybody any more.

    I would love to find some proof that this dirty PR firm is secretly behind the Wilderness opposition. Of course, there really isn’t much competition in Orange County, so who would hire them?

  • M Abel

    I would like to see the other chain stores sell groceries at Walmart prices. Then, maybe they wouldn’t have to hire consulting firms to fight Walmart!

  • bhaas

    This smells peculiarly like the way organized crime operates. Send in the goons to keep the competition out.

  • JBone

    Sounds like a communist state. Lets control what the people pay for groceries. Why dont the so called large grocers lower thier prices and get rid of the greedy crime ridden unions.

  • Martin (Marty) Work

    It’s called “MARKET SHARE” and there is no level or limit to undermining the the competition, corporate America wouldn’t go to raising the stakes with the publics money. I’ll go along with Bill. The article is “VERY INTERESTING.”

  • dwright

    Corporations have manipulated the laws of this country for well over a century to not only eliminate competition but to also hamper the ability of governments to control them. Anyone who thinks that Walmart has their best interest in mind is a fool. They do not have the public’s best interest in mind either. Unrestrained greed is destroying the Earth and enslaving people all over. Corporations don’t want you to know that.

  • wideopenspaces

    Nice, they are angry over Wal-Mart doing what they should be doing. Wal-Mart/Sam Walton used the American System exactly how it should be used and now the competitors are mad that they can no longer compete with Wal-Mart. Just as #2 and #4 said, try lowering your prices, can’t do that then tough if you go out of business. Should not have sold your soul to the Unions which have helped ruin this country and the American System/Way. Let’s get paid more to do less, yeah that’s the ticket, no wonder people can’t afford anything that a Union was a part of, ie: a car these days.

  • Jason

    Really, Wal-mart groceries are really at the bottom of the food chain (PWT). But I guess if you have 5 children to feed on food stamps you have to buy your mac and cheese, motor oil, and cigerettes from Wal-mart.

  • kh

    Bottom Dollar and Aldi prices are cheaper than Walmart. At least the basics bread, milk, eggs, canned goods. If you shop the sales at Bottom Dollar, you’ll definately save money. I don’t work for them either!

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    WalMart is not always the lowest cost on a per item basis but on a per basket basis – I’ve always found them pretty low.

    Having a so-called “consultant” company that specializes in “dirty tricks” to “stop” or more likely – just slow down WalMart is amusing.

    Are folks aware that WalMart has been experimenting with “neighborhood markets”

  • rufus

    If you go to Giant or Wegmans, you’re gonna pay 25% more for your food, At Central Park, Walmart has the exact same groceries, as next-door Wegmans, and Giant up-the-road. But the Walmart prices are usually 25% less. You gotta be mighty stupid not to buy from Walmart.

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    yeah but Wegmans and Gaint don’t sell “cheap Chinese crap”!

  • ted

    Read recently where Walmart in the next 5 years will hire 500,000 people.

  • Syd

    Let us not forget the armada of laywers Walmart has to get themselves into communities that do not want them. Walmart does the exact same thing these chains are doing, they just do not have to hire outside consultants to do it for them, they have the resources in house.

    Also, if it wasnt for general merchandise WM would not be the largest grocery seller. They cannot sell groceries by stand alone. They have been experimenting with neighborhood markets (a grocery only store) for years now and cannot make them profitable. If WM sold groceries only, they’d be struggling because what they sell is crap quality. Go ahead and save 25%, I’d rather pay more at Wegmans and actually get something I would want to eat.

  • Robert Dundon

    Wegmans is better than Wal-Mart (To my liking), but that’s why we have competition, or ‘options’ as I like to call them. Life here is short so I’d rather not spend my time in line at Wal-Mart,