A few months ago, I got on a kick to boycott walmart. Perhaps I was mistaken. Afterall, Walmart is a fine purveyor of American Culture to the Chinese....well, that is not all. Check out this article from the New Yorker:
...Wal-Mart and other superstores contributed to the trend. They undercut their competitors, and forced the rest of the world to adapt. But now Wal-Mart is stuck; it has no choice but to keep selling things cheap. That’s what it does. Which means Procter & Gamble—even super-sized—is stuck, too. Few products are irreplaceable. So-called private-label products—the kind that, in the tradition of generics, are hardly advertised or marketed—are now big sellers at many stores. Ol’ Roy dog food, Wal-Mart’s house brand, is the best-selling dog food in the country. CyberHome, which makes DVD players for companies like Radio Shack, sold more of them last year than Sony. It’s getting harder and harder for manufacturers to charge premium prices for so-called premium brands. Of course, this is how it should be, according to the economics textbooks. In a genuinely competitive economy, the company that ends up selling a good is going to be the one that produces (and therefore sells) it at the lowest cost. This is a case where, as the Princeton economist Alan Blinder put it, “the economy came to resemble the model.
Inexpesive retail items that are of a high quality are good in my book.