Who's Boycotting Wal-Mart This Holiday Season?

A blog about business and economics.
Nov. 23 2012 9:37 AM

Who's Boycotting Wal-Mart This Holiday Season?

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Customers walk outside a Walmart store on November 17, 2012 in Norwalk, Connecticut. Black Friday shoppers will need to shop earlier this year to bag those amazing bargains.

Photo by DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

Robert Reich calls on his readers to boycott Wal-Mart in solidarity with workers, many of whom are staging walkouts and protests sponsored by union groups and calling for representation and higher wages.

I do wonder, though, how often Reich and his readers are shopping at Wal-Mart on a day-to-day basis. Right now, for example, I almost never shop at Wal-Mart largely because there's no Wal-Mart anywhere near my house. And I think that's a pretty typical situation for a lot of urban liberals. As it happens, a Wal-Mart is under construction pretty close to my apartment so we'll see how I feel about it when that's done. But for now for me to be claiming to boycott Wal-Mart would be cheap talk.

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The question for any boycott is whether it can actually reach into the store's core customer base and cost sales. But maybe it can. Precisely because I'm geographically isolated from Wal-Mart locations, I don't have a great sense as to whether these actions are gaining any salience with regular customers. So let me know. Do you shop at Wal-Mart regularly? Or at least live near one that you're deliberately passing up? Any thought of joining in a boycott?

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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