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The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: AndreaSews
Date: 11-30-2006, 08:05 PM (1 of 23)
I was just perusing online at Walmart's table linens. Now, I don't have any special interest in Walmart, but if what you're looking for is 3 yards of 60" wide white silk duppioni, then you might want to go and buy a tablecloth from them. $20! That's a very good price. I'd be interested to see the quality in person, but sometimes it pays to look outside the bolts at the fabric stores. (Me? I was really just looking for a table cloth!)
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: GreenDragonLady
Date: 11-30-2006, 09:34 PM (2 of 23)
Talk about false advertising! I just looked at the tablecloth, and down below it says "silk like". They should NOT be allowed to say "dupioni silk" in the title if it's not.
User: GreenDragonLady
Member since: 07-29-2004
Total posts: 495
From: AndreaSews
Date: 12-02-2006, 10:57 PM (3 of 23)
ahh! That explains a lot! I was so puzzled about that.
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: Tom Land
Date: 12-03-2006, 05:48 AM (4 of 23)
Talk about false advertising! I just looked at the tablecloth, and down below it says "silk like". They should NOT be allowed to say "dupioni silk" in the title if it's not.

Guess thats kinda like Walmarts "Made in the USA" signs on products that are stamped "Made in Tiawan". Its our own fault. We let them get so powerfull that they can do what they want and we continue to buy from them anyway.
Have fun or don't do it, Tom
User: Tom Land
Member since: 09-21-2005
Total posts: 514
From: VenusElaine
Date: 12-06-2006, 02:23 AM (5 of 23)
I have not patronized Wal-Mart for several years. The following are few of the reasons why:
1. They have an antiquatited and archaic system of promoting women. Several class action suits have been filed and some won.
2. They have several class-action suits (some settled and some pending) concerning: unpaid breaks, working through lunches, and unpaid overtime. I understand that some people need a job, but the company should comply with federal regulations concerning the above.
3. In a time where some people are trying to conserve, they have eliminated lay-away. They are, however, pushing their credit card.
4. (And this is personal). My aunt has cerebral palsy. She must use crutches to walk. When we go shoppng, she puts them in the cart and uses it to assist her. At Wal-Mart, we encoutered two types of shoppers. The first were the ones having a caffeeclautch in the aisle, and very difficult to get around. The seond were the ones in such a hurry they almost knocked her down. Fortunatly not a single person ever did, so I did not have to hurt:mad: them. We now shop KMart, where the aisles are wider and the people (employees and customers) are friendlier.

"Always put as much effort into your marriage as you do into your wedding."
User: VenusElaine
Member since: 10-22-2005
Total posts: 126
From: MaryW
Date: 12-06-2006, 10:21 AM (6 of 23)
I agree, we did let them get this big and powerful. Their presence means the little mom and pop stores are a thing of the past. I go to WalMart on occasion but I also try to buy from local vendors if I can. I was there just yesterday and I noticed a lot of people buying groceries on their credit cards.
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: mamadus
Date: 01-04-2007, 12:07 AM (7 of 23)
Walmart's entrance into many areas, particularly more rural areas, caused the closing of many small businesses, of special interest to most of us are those small fabric stores one often finds in rural areas. Walmart drove them right out of business... now, Walmart is scaling back or downright closing their fabric departments, leaving many areas without any fabric options other than long distance shopping... I've begun to be much more particular in my shopping... if I can get the same product elsewhere without too much extra cost, I do... I am no longer a fan of Walmart... They are breaking the backs of the American worker. Yes they provide jobs, but they cap earnings, and they provide little if any health benefits for the vast majority of their employees... Walmart is our nations largest employer and is responsible for at least 50% of the working poor... I'd rather spend a couple dollars extra and allow an employee to have health benefits... I think I'm becoming a Target shopper...

just my 2 cents....

life is too short, not to explore
User: mamadus
Member since: 12-31-2004
Total posts: 492
From: Mom of Six
Date: 01-04-2007, 12:16 AM (8 of 23)
Does Target offer health Insurance? I know most stores around here don't offer any unless you are full time & they make it almost impossible to be full time. Even the full time workers can't add families for a while after they start. & if their hours drop they lose their benifits. I shop WalMart because I can't afourd to shop other places & I am very careful to make sure that what I am buying is worth the price. I do shop at Target & Meijer but I usually can't find what I want there for a price I am willing to pay. If I can buy Hanes underwear at Walmart for 2/3 the cost why would I shop elsewhere?
Happiness is having time to sew!!
User: Mom of Six
Member since: 11-03-2001
Total posts: 1115
From: Bama
Date: 01-04-2007, 08:38 AM (9 of 23)
I live in a rural area and we never had anywhere nearby to buy fabric or notions (or clothing and underwear for that matter) until Walmart opened.
As for employees insurance, I read this recently...

(In FY 2006, Wal-Mart is projected to spend roughly $4.7 billion on associate benefits. For perspective, Wal-Martís net income for FY 2005 was $10.3 billion.)

I also read that they supply more health insurance than any other company in the nation. Maybe it's still not alot considering how many they employ. I don't know.

I'm not sure they're different than most other retailers on this one. I know that around here several grocery stores are terrible about not hiring many full-time workers so they don't have to provide benefits to all of them.
User: Bama
Member since: 03-21-2000
Total posts: 2116
From: Tom Land
Date: 01-04-2007, 11:22 AM (10 of 23)
As much as I dislike everything about Wal-Mart I must concede that the health care benifits problem is not entirely theirs. Here in the US the tax deductions are not available that companies used to get for providing such benifits. Therefore a lot of companies had to curtail or discontinue health care packages. However, I would think that Wal-Mart would be able to form a large enough group to get good rates.
Have fun or don't do it, Tom
User: Tom Land
Member since: 09-21-2005
Total posts: 514
From: Pudge99
Date: 01-04-2007, 05:25 PM (11 of 23)
As a person who has only worked minimum wage jobs I had to jump in on this one. At every job I have worked insurance was available to full time employees only and at a cost that would eat a 1/4 to a 1/3 of your income. That does not include the high deductables you have to pay. This is not a Walmart only problem. I read on here all the time people who won't shop at Walmart because of the way they treat their employees. Well I can tell you that you might as well not shop anywhere or for that matter don't eat out either. I have never, ever heard a wait person/sales person/service person speak of the great insurance benefits that they get from their job. Most of them say something more along the lines of "Oh I hope I don't get overtime this week or the state will take away my medical card."
The problem here is not WALMART!!! Walmart only brought the problem out into the media.
Oh yeah and one more thing. Think about how much your Houshold Item /Big Mac/ Whopper/ MochaCafewhatever would cost you if these businesses were to offer affordable benefits to their employees.
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User: Pudge99
Member since: 10-30-2001
Total posts: 1375
From: lara m
Date: 01-10-2007, 02:04 AM (12 of 23)
I have heard of these things too about the way they treat their employees. I agree that they aren't the only ones. I used to work as a pre school teacher. A long hard day with a bazillion kids and they only break I had at some schools I worked at was my lunch break and sometimes didn't get. I was also supposed to get two 15 minute breaks and didn't. And they took money out of my already measly paycheck for my insurance. :mad:

I didn't shop at Wal mart for almost a year. But now the one closest to me added groceries and I go there because I could hit two birds with one stone. It is easier for me because I have small children. But I do agree about when they open in rural areas and make all of the other mom and pop stores have to close down. That is not good. And now that they aren't going to have fabric is the pits. They lady told me that they are still going to have all of the notions and crafts just not fabric. That is dumb. And now some of the JoAnnes are closing around where I live. :sad:
User: lara m
Member since: 05-06-2003
Total posts: 65
From: plrlegal
Date: 01-10-2007, 05:36 PM (13 of 23)
AT my Quilt Guild meeting last night our speaker talked about Wal-Mart closing their fabric departments and she said the President of Wal-Mart had made a statement that due to a "big" decline and lack of interest in quilting and sewing, and the bigger interest being in handmade crafts (folded paper cranes, origami kimonos, handmade greeting cards, etc., I guess???) that is why Wal-Mart is switching over to bigger hand craft areas and doing away with their fabric departments. I have no idea what world the President of Wal-Mart lives in but when you go in a fabric store or quilt shop on some days it looks like a mob scene rather than a shopping encounter with a mixture of both old and young, experienced and beginner. However, the Internet ordering has also cut into profits for local quilt and fabric establishments according to some of their owners/managers.

User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: SandyGirl
Date: 01-11-2007, 07:52 AM (14 of 23)
I would agree that the internet may be the big culprit in cutting into the smaller retailers. BUT....the selection is better on the net and frankly, my small LQS does not stock what I like and buy elsewhere. I plan to continue to purchase online to save the trip(s) looking for what I want.

Re Walmart...our local one has just liquidated their fabric dept which I see as a great business opp for our LQS to bring in "value priced" fabric, which I know are out there. Will they? No, they would rather complain about sales and not do anything pro-active to bring in customers. Another small - town LQS (2 hours away fromhere) has a very nice mix of quilt shop fabrics along with a value priced area. Not a bad idea esp w/Walmart pulling out of the fabric business. At least it is an option to build up some new business. Thoughts on this?
User: SandyGirl
Member since: 09-16-2005
Total posts: 97
From: Hogmami
Date: 01-11-2007, 11:49 AM (15 of 23)
Did anyone see sewing with Nancy yesterday? She was showing how to make tops from tablecloths. It was interesting.
User: Hogmami
Member since: 09-30-2004
Total posts: 800
From: ohiodeb
Date: 02-24-2007, 11:54 AM (16 of 23)
I have been on an email campaign to WalMart and others about what I use and want in their stores. We need to be more vocal about what the stores carry. I have gotten some things added because I've complained. So speak up to the people in charge, if you don't complain to someone who can help you can't change anything.

As for WalMart the employees at the one I shop in love the place. They never have anything bad to say and I'm in there alot talking to people. I guess it could be different parts of the country as well.

Just my .02.
User: ohiodeb
Member since: 01-07-2007
Total posts: 9
From: MissTaraTara
Date: 03-07-2007, 10:13 PM (17 of 23)
interesting article about Walmart (
User: MissTaraTara
Member since: 01-24-2006
Total posts: 227
From: plrlegal
Date: 03-07-2007, 10:42 PM (18 of 23)
I'm not a big fan of or a big shopper at Wal-Mart but it seems to me that Wal-Mart has a "Catch 22" going for it; they're dammed if they do and dammed of they don't. If they keep the fabric departments they are accused of running small business out of the area. If they don't keep the fabric departments they are accused of not caring about their patrons. Hmmmmmm??? Do you think Wal-Mart cares one way or the other or are they interested in running yet other businesses, i.e. party, wedding, etc. supply stores out of the areas they are in? My opinion is that they are looking at the party warehouse stores that are springing up and thinking, "Let's take that business in this area also." I can guarantee you if Wal-mart does away with their fabric departments and a local fabric store. a Hancock's or a JoAnn's open up and looks as if they are going to be in the least profitable, Wal-Mart will jump back in and put their fabric departments back in their stores. I'm willing to make a big bet on that fact. Wal-Mart is greedy and wants all of the business to be had in any area at any cost.

User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: MotherInLaw
Date: 03-07-2007, 11:26 PM (19 of 23)
I go there for clothes and junk food but I make my regular groceries at the local store called Winn Dixie. They have better quality meats and if I'm going to shop there for meat I might as well shop there for the rest of the food. Walmart doesn't always have the brands I like.

I use my credit card to buy groceries but it's not a credit card at all it's a debit card. It keeps me from carrying a lot of cash and I come home and check the computer for my balance right away. I have to go so far to the grocery I hate to carry that much cash on me. I use my debit card for almost everything. I carry about 20.00 on me and sometimes less than that if I can't find a bank close to where I'm headed.
I'm regressing back into my youth, I just have to figure out how I'm going to convience my body to come along with me.
User: MotherInLaw
Member since: 06-25-2005
Total posts: 1118
From: Carol in ME
Date: 03-08-2007, 02:29 PM (20 of 23)
I don't go out of my way to shop at WM or not shop there. I have worked there. The issues with lunches and breaks was not present at our store. The fact that there were few full time employees aligns with how retail stores have been managed _long_ before WM appeared on the scene.

While Starbucks does provide insurance for all their employees, it will have to be funded by some one with deeper pockets than mine. I can count the number of times I've patronized a Starbucks on the fingers of one hand...all of those (except one) were treats from my boss on a particularly busy days. I wish I could afford $4coffees.

WM did not put a single fabric store (or any other store) out of business in our area. Beaconway had folded in to So-Fro, and So-fro had closed. The independent fabric store in the city had struggled along under several different owners before closing. It sold it's bridal stock to one seamstress, it's cotton to a woman who opened a quilt shop up the street. The quilt shop lasted less than two years. Even the real estate that WM built on was a closed Ames, (which was a closed Zayre's before that)

Walmart did provide jobs for some who I suspect would be otherwise unemployable (judging from their clothing choices and demeanor) I think that all employees are eventually able to participate in profit-sharing, something most Mom and Pop stores do not do. Even before the starting wage was ratcheted up, our local WM paid more than the local stores did.

The pay cap is a recent thing. It was instituted when there was pressure to increase the starting pay for employees. (Lawmakers ought to be careful what they wish for) When I was employed there over the 2005 holiday, it was quite common for a cashier to make more than the CSR who supervised him or her.

As far as promotions, most of the supervisors in the store I worked in were women, and lauded the fact that "you could go as high as you wanted to without a college degree." I don't know many companies that operate like fact not having that four-year degree is more often the way your app is sorted into the circular file.

Walmart got at least one more bad rap that they didn't deserve...that the cleaning crew of a store was comprised of undocumented workers. It wasn't quite so well reported that those folks weren't WM employees, but employees of a contract cleaning company. I worked in a department store where that was the case, and in fact, the store has no say over who the cleaning company sends to do the work. None. The only time our store had any sway was after the head of the crew was caught on camera stealing. We had complained about his crummy treatment of the rest of the crew for months.
User: Carol in ME
Member since: 01-27-2003
Total posts: 105
From: plrlegal
Date: 03-08-2007, 11:21 PM (21 of 23)
I can't and never have made any statements about how Wal-Mart does or does not treat their employees, but my dh knows first hand how they treat their vendors as his company has been a victim of Wal-Mart not paying their bills owed to vendors. His company provided Wal-Mart in excess of $20,000 in paint, etc. for a new store and then Wal-Mart refused to pay the bill saying the paint was defective and they didn't use it which was a bare face lie and all the business people in the area knew it was but dh's company had to swallow the bill but that is the last time they provided Wal-Mart with anything and, in fact, Wal-Mart tried to sue them but the case was dismissed by the Court when they saw the massive bill for the paint that Wal-Mart refused to pay. None of the paint companies in Oklahoma will sell product to Wal-Mart now.

User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: Tom Land
Date: 03-08-2007, 11:42 PM (22 of 23)
The bottom line is that Wal-MART is very good at what nearly all business wish they could do. They're in business to make money and their policies and tactics are pretty much universal in the business world. I really cannot fault them. The fault lies in that we let them get so big and powerful that they can do whatever they want... and in some cases even be above the law (ie. in Arkansas the "Predatory Pricing" laws apply to everyone except Wal-Mart) because politicians want their contributions. This is our fault not Wal-Marts and we enhance their power with every dollar we give them.
Have fun or don't do it, Tom
User: Tom Land
Member since: 09-21-2005
Total posts: 514
From: jessie s
Date: 03-09-2007, 09:55 PM (23 of 23)
I shop at Walmart. I live in a small rural area in southern Ontario, Canada. Kmart moved out of Ontario and Zellers took over. They sell very little sewing notions and no material. We do not have a fabric store in our town. But the next town has a regular size Walmart. It has a good fabric section and the sales clerks there are very good. Very friendly and knowledgeable. Twice a year I go to a larger city about an hour away and wander the different fabric stores but other times I use Walmart. They are going to build a super store within 2 yrs in our town and I can hardly wait.
User: jessie s
Member since: 02-26-2007
Total posts: 46
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