Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Welcome Walmart!

Dear Walmart:
I understand that a new store will be opening in the next 3 or 4 years in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont on Derby Road.  I don’t remember there being any hearing on this proposal.  I am not sure you even care what the community thinks or wants.  It seems this development was secured in a private deal with the Governor - a done deal.  So we will adjust.  And to make sure you are welcome here, I have a few suggestions for you when planning the new store in this location.

1.    Pay a living wage - not as high here as in other areas, but definitely higher than minimum wage.
2.    Offer employees some benefits that would not cost you much but would mean a lot here:
    •    free lunch/dinner for anyone working more than 4 hours per day (can be made from dated store foods that cannot be safely given to a food shelf).  Save on disposal costs. 
    •    free lunch hour educational courses in such things as customer service; GED; computer skills; management training; food preparation and preservation; tax preparation; simple home repair.....
    •    free on-site day-care for employees (absolutely essential)
    •    employee rewards and recognition system
    •    as one of the largest single employer in the area (after the corrections facility, hospital and regional high school), you can offer facilities and support to employee social and recreational activities such as league softball, after-work bus to ski evenings, children’s activities, an indoor exercise/fitness area. 
3.    Donate dated foods to local food shelves (not spoiled foods, nor too dated foods)
4.    Provide car-pool information and clearing house - consider supplementing local bus public bus service with a commuter/shopper bus.
5.    Provide free prescription drug delivery, at least to the elderly.

Mary Brenner

In order to become a good neighbor and truly be part of the community, support local farmers and small businesses by purchasing and offering local produce and local farm products.  There will be savings on transportation costs and a bonus in good will.  Consider cooperative advertising and offering management consulting services to local businesses.

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