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2002-12-08
Sterling, CO. Wal-Mart Takes Toys For Tots And Resells Them To Customers!

Tis the Season to Make Profits! Wal-Mart describes its philanthropy efforts as "Caring in Action", and says that its "associates" lead by example. One Associate who apparently didn't get the message is Brad Barritt, manager of the Wal-Mart store in Sterling, Colorado. His actions make a heart-warming Christmas story that might be titled: "The Wal-Mart Grinch." According to a Channel 7 ABC news story in Colorado, local residents in Sterling were promoting a "Toys for Tots" program in town, and had a drop-off box in the Wal-Mart. One TFT organizer, when she was told the box was nearly full, went to gather the toys. "I was devastated when I found it empty," she told ABC News. What Grinch would steal the toys from needy kids? It turns out the Grinch was none other than Wal-Mart manager Brad Barritt. The manager claims he told TFT organizers that toys placed in the box needed to be wrapped in Wal-Mart bags to ensure that customers had bought the items before putting them in the box. (Otherwise the donations would have been directly from Wal-Mart.) Barritt removed the toys out of the Toys for Tots box -- and put them back on the shelves for RESALE! So Wal-Mart got the profit twice, and Toys for Tots got nothing. When the story came to light, Wal-Mart pointed out that there must have been a mix-up, and that the company had given $1,000 to TFT this year. "Not that that had anything to do with this situation," Barritt told ABC. "Only to say that as a corporation we are very community-minded. I'd hate to see a discrepancy over a few toys change that perception in the eyes of the public." After checking with corporate headquarters in Bentonville, AR, Wal-Mart officials delivered $425 worth of toys to the TFT local organizers.

What you can do: Wal-Mart is what my mother used to call "a loud giver." They constantly boast about their "Good.Works" in the community. In 2001, Wal-Mart said "over $190 million was raised and contributed by our Associates and Customers and given back to our local communities." In this TFT's campaign, ALL the donations come from the generosity of the customers, and nothing from Wal-Mart. All the company did was agree to put a box on the floor. The manager's actions to take toys out of the box and put them back on the shelves to sell twice, tells you something about what Wal-Mart must think of its customers. This cynical act says explicitly that Wal-Mart assumed the toys in the box had not been paid for by customers -- making the items (horrors!) -- a gift directly from the company's bottom line. Merry Christmas to all from the "caring inaction" company. For more Christmas stories, search this database by "Christmas".










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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