Mart makes some gains

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April 22, 2007By Andrea K. Walker Andrea K. Walker,Sun reporter

moncler saldi Two years ago, Wal Mart began a counterassault on its critics, launching a re imaging campaign to thwart those who had successfully painted an unsavory picture of the company as an employer who didn’t treat or pay its workers well, among other things. moncler saldi

outlet moncler The world’s largest retailer embarked on a public relations blitz, introducing initiatives to portray it as more environmentally friendly, more in tune with the communities where it was building and as a better employer to its workers. outlet moncler

moncler bambino outlet The strategy has succeeded in some areas, but the company remains a target of criticism on other fronts. And as Wal Mart still struggles to prove to others that it has implemented changes that really moncler saldi uomo matter, efforts to improve its image have taken on added significance during recent months moncler uomo as the company loses market share to competitors. moncler bambino outlet

moncler outlet Wal Mart reported its weakest sales growth in almost 30 years for 2006, something that analysts and consultants said is at least partly moncler outlet online shop attributed to the drumbeat of criticism about its corporate image. “For too long moncler donna a period outlet moncler they didn’t do a great deal with image competition, and as a result they have had some serious imaging moncler saldi outlet problems,” said Eugene Fram, a professor at the University of Rochester. “They’ve piumini moncler outlet had to take a different tactic than they did five or 10 years ago. They have to prove to their critics that they are working at it and that they are changing.” moncler outlet

moncler outlet trebaseleghe The company’s imaging efforts have worked in some areas. Even Wal Mart’s harshest critics say the company has made strides on the environmental side with initiatives that include reducing waste and making its stores more energy piumini moncler saldi efficient. And it has worked more closely to get community input when opening new stores, including one of its newest piumini moncler scontatissimi in Landover Hills in Prince George’s County. moncler outlet trebaseleghe

piumini moncler saldi But labor groups especially those that moncler bambino outlet have formed for the sole purpose of piumini moncler criticizing the company argue that it has done little to improve working conditions for its employees. piumini moncler saldi

moncler saldi uomo That’s despite a plan to increase the frequency of bonuses to Wal Mart workers and opening up its health care system to more employees. moncler saldi uomo

piumini moncler scontatissimi There was a time when Wal Mart didn’t care what its opponents thought. For years it practiced a strategy of ignoring its critics and not speaking to the press. piumini moncler scontatissimi

piumini moncler outlet But then the company’s predicament began to change. piumini moncler outlet

moncler bambino saldi Labor unions organized a savvy campaign to point out the moncleroutlet-i moncler bambino saldi company’s flaws, accusing it of paying its workers low salaries and benefits while bullying its way into communities and moncler saldi putting mom and pop stores out of business. moncler bambino saldi

moncler uomo “We now take every opportunity to counter our union funded critics and their campaign of misfortune,” said Steven Restivo, a Wal Mart spokesman who adds that the criticism has not affected the company’s reputation and that consumers still shop at its stores for its low pricing. “Put simply, we’re starting to educate the general public about all the good things we do in the community every day.” moncler uomo

moncler outlet serravalle Wal Mart Chief Executive Officer H. Lee Scott Jr. The worker, who said he snooped on shareholders and others, recanted portions of those statements in sworn testimony, Wal Mart said. moncler outlet serravalle

moncler donna Analysts point out that Wal Mart’s focus on image has also come at a time when its sales haven’t been as strong. It was easier for the retailer to ignore criticism when it wasn’t having moncler outlet serravalle an impact on business, they said. moncler donna

moncler outlet online uomo The company ended 2006 with a sales gain of 2.1 piumini moncler uomo percent, the lowest since 1980, the year it began reporting moncler outlet online uomo same store sales increases. moncler outlet online uomo

moncler outlet online shop Wal Mart built its business in rural communities desperate for better shopping choices. As it moved into more competitive urban areas, it started facing moncler outlet online uomo more opposition. Many people didn’t want the retailer in their neighborhoods. moncler outlet online shop

To help quell that criticism, Wal Mart executives are working more closely with communities before breaking ground on new stores. They worked with community groups in Landover Hills after residents there expressed concern about how a new store would affect the area.

moncler saldi outlet The store opened last month with a facade different from its typical format. The store doesn’t sell alcohol or guns, and it has a large ethnic food section to moncler outlet serve the area’s demographics, including a growing Latino population. And unlike some other stores, this Wal Mart is not open 24 hours. moncler saldi outlet

piumini moncler uomo Restivo said Wal Mart would include similar elements that reflect the community when it expands its “supercenter” concept to stores in Hunt Valley, Arbutus and Glen Burnie later this year. Those retail centers include traditional Wal Mart offerings as well as full supermarkets, which are typically are two to three times the moncler outlet trebaseleghe size of normal groceries piumini moncler uomo.