Published on: February 9, 2004The Arizona Republic reports that Eddie Basha, owner of the grocery chain that bears his name, has described Wal-Mart and its growing power in stark terms.
"I call it the economic holocaust," Basha told the paper. "It's no different than what the Nazis did in World War II. It's a blitzkrieg. They are doing economically what the Nazis did militaristically."
Basha also said that he didn’t mean that Wal-Mart was run by Nazis, but that it is a "cultural predator" with tactics that ?are wiping out small businesses and hurting workers."
While Wal-Mart did not comment to the paper about Basha's accusations, the paper notes that the company "has strongly denied claims that its low-cost, low-prices strategy has harmed the economy or been a detriment to employees."
Basha's comments came as Wal-Mart plans to expand its presence in Arizona. It is Arizona's largest non-government employer, with close to 24,000 employees, 21 discount stores, 22 Supercenters, two Neighborhood Markets, and 10 Sam's Clubs.
Basha said one of his stores expects to lose 10 percent to 20 percent of sales when a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market opens nearby.
Ironically, the paper notes, while Basha decries Wal-Mart's treatment of employees - "in the scheme of things, they exploit and take advantage of their people…that's not my idea of citizenship" - his company is a non-union shop that has been criticized for its resistance to third party labor representation.
- KC's View:
- Tough words. Tougher sentiments.
And while we feel for Basha and are sympathetic to his concerns, we're honestly not sure that framing the enemy in these terms is helpful.
On the other hand, maybe those are the kinds of stark terms that need to be used.
But here's what is not addressed in the article:
What does Basha want? A government response? (Not likely.) A consumer response? (The ball is in his count on that one.)