Friday, November 25, 2011

Would you like pepper spray or a cup of tea with your shopping experience?

The LA Times is reporting that police are still looking for a woman who pepper sprayed other shoppers at an LA area Walmart.   The attack took place on Thanksgiving at 10 pm when Walmart started its Black Friday sales.  Twenty people, including children, were injured.  After the attack, the woman reportedly secured the X Box she was after, paid for the item and disappeared.   

Apparently nobody stopped the attack and NOBODY CAUGHT THE ATTACKER?   Why not?  Were shoppers and Walmart employees so fixed on buying and selling bargains that they just let the attacker go? There appear to be dozens who saw the spray attack take place.   But no one was willing to step up and do their civic duty?  The report was that people unaffected by the spray just kept on shopping.      

Walmart's new slogan: "Save Money.  Live Better.  But Watch Out for the Pepper Spray."

Personally, I prefer the world according to Websters Fine Stationers.   Spend just a little time on their super-active Facebook and you get a flavor of what's going on.  Owners Scott and Lori Webster sell fine stationery, books, gifts, and a host of goods from local artisans.  The are deeply committed to offering great quality locally made goods.   They're carrying our Pasadena-made HomeBody Botanicals products.   And, they are  staking out a place on the national map --  none other than the Wall Street Journal just interviewed them for a story on independent businesses.   Folks who live in the 'Denas actuallly do make some pretty great stuff.  If you prefer locally made stuff, you need to check out Websters.


Diana Manchester said...

I did my Christmas shopping at Webster's Fine Stationers last weekend and got some wonderful, one-of-a-kind items, like HomeBody Botanicals Winter Chills Tea and Elderberry Syrup. Met Marcia Coppess and visited with the smart and hospitable owners, Scott and Lori Webster. The shoppers there were a contented lot and there was no pushing or shoving or pepper spray. A warm way to begin Christmas AND to support local businesses.

CafePasadena said...

Tomorrow is Small Biz Saturday and Websters wood indeed bee a great place to support with your biz. The downside of being a small biz is they don't have the selection of a Walmart.

I blogged about Websters about a year ago.

CafePasadena said...

And I don't wanna blame Walmart for the pepper sprayers anymore than I wood blame Websters if a selfish customer did something bad at their store.

We can't deflect blame or responsibility away from mean, irresponsible people out in the world.

Michael Coppess said...

Thanks Diana -- I like the elderberry syrup a lot and hope you do too.

CP - You were on the Webster's story way ahead of me. Good job. But, I'm not sure Walmart's blameless for the Black Friday violence at its stores. I saw where they had nine incidents this year and, of course, the death of an employee a few years back who was trampled to death. I'm not saying mean, selfless people aren't mainly to blame. But, Walmart's racking up quite a record of customer violence and I don't think other stores are having the same experience. Why? And I just don't get why they allowed the lady to make her purchases and never apprehended her.

Petrea Burchard said...

WFS got interviewed for the WSJ? I love that! Yay!

I heard on the radio today about how dangerous it is to shop on the day after Thanksgiving. One guy said he wears running shoes and comfortable clothes so if things got weird he could get away without getting hurt.


I don't blame WalMart for individual incidents, but I've long been calling our desperation for the cheap "the WalMarting of America." People want it cheap. They don't care about quality or kindness, they only care about getting as much as they can for the lowest price and they don't care if they have to hurt other people to get it.

You will not catch me in a WalMart. Ever. I sincerely despise the attitude they espouse and what it's done to America.

Wow, Michael, I've been getting on my high horse on your blog lately. You pushed my buttons! Or my button. I don't have all that many.

Michael Coppess said...

Wo... sparks a flying. That's good. This stuff gets under people's skin and it should.

To grossly understate the matter, I'm no Walmart fan. The image of a Dementor comes to mind when I think of the company. But, you know, we don't really need to battle Walmart to make the case for buying from local producers and locally owned stores. There are many benefits to buying local and I don't think anyone's disputing that. Coincidentally, Roberta's talking about this in a good post over at Pasadena Latina, day I'll learn to link in a comment).

Lori Webster said...

Michael, thank you so very much for your post, and hello to my friends that I see here!

Cafe Mike was kind enough to come up to the store last Christmas and say hello, and doubly kind to write about us. Both of you are in good company, as Petrea was the first to write about us, in 2008. Mike and I said we'd meet for lunch sometime, but a year's gone by and we've yet to schedule. Mike, let's meet up at Europane or somewhere else soon!

The argument about corporate big box stores' benefit to humanity rages on. I'm so glad that Roberta posted IndieBound's message, it's a group I joined years ago when we first bought our store. Love that they refer to The 3/50 Project, AMIBA (The American Small Business Alliance and BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies)- I wrote a post last week about them. I agree that we don't need to battle the big boxes, Michael. As you say, making the case for buying local products can be done simply by patronizing those independent shops and/or artisans that do the same. It's the small independents that can and are starting a sea-change and more people are catching on. If we all start buying our merchandise from local sources within our own communities, cities, county or state, we can increase our economic health. Imagine what that could do!

Latino Heritage said...

@ Petrea, I won't set foot in WalMart, either. Can not get into the "got to have" syndrome. All that I've read, leads me to think that they are only peripherally interested in the community that shares their zip code.

Michael, I didn't know about either of the sites I wrote about in my post, but the ideas they share make sense.

Petrea Burchard said...

The concept of getting things as cheaply as possible perpetuates making things as cheaply as possible, which perpetuates sweatshops and low wages (not to mention shoddy materials), which perpetuates outsourcing to those sweatshops, which downsizes our own manufacturing companies, which makes money for the few and loses money for the many.

Getting things cheaply loses money.

It is a losing proposition for America and although WalMart didn't invent it, WalMart perfected it and I don't "buy" into it.

CafePasadena said...

In general, business is only peripherally interested in the areas they open their doors in.

Walmart, like 99cent stores, et al, imho are a symptom of the downsizing of the American economy & wealth of Americans. In my brief lifetime I've seen "quality" retail vacate only to be replaced by "discount" or retail with lower quality offerings.

Lime Deposits in urinals said...

They don't care about quality or kindness, they only care about getting as much as they can for the lowest price and they don't care if they have to hurt other people to get it.

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