Protesters Call for Boycott of Wal-Mart
Nationwide, Wake Up Wal-Mart, a lobbying group trying to influence Wal-Mart’s employee practices, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association teamed up for a campaign entitled “Send Wal-Mart Back to School.” The campaign aims to draw attention to what organizers say is Wal-Mart’s disregard for workers, including underage workers, and others in the pursuit of profit. The campaign has planned more than 30 events in 24 states to raise public awareness for their cause and encourage consumers to shop elsewhere for their back-to-school items.
Wal-Mart strongly opposes the campaign, explaining that it provides low price back-to-school items for consumers and also gives millions of dollars to educational causes such as scholarships. Wal-Mart issued a statement that said it “enjoys a strong relationship with local teachers, schools and families in communities across America and helps get them ready to go back to school.”
Wal-Mart recently paid a fine for allowing underage employees to operate dangerous machinery. It agreed to pay $11 million to settle a lawsuit charging its cleaning organizations hired illegal immigrants. Currently, the company is involved in a class-action lawsuit alleging it discriminated against female employees.
Retailers Cater to College Students
New York City, The back-to-school season may have a new focus. College students are increasingly interested in decorating their dorm rooms, and they are willing to pay plenty to do it. According to National Retail Federation, college students spent $2.6 billion in dorm room furnishings in 2004. That number does not include the $7.5 billion spent on electronics.
Retailers have responded to this market by offering new dorm-room furnishings, such as more brightly colored backrests and beanbag chairs. Companies are also implementing unique incentives for students. For example, Target Corp. plans to give students free roundtrip bus trips from university campuses and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. and Linens ’n Things Inc. now have dorm registries on their Web sites.
New York City, Tweens have a big say in family purchasing decisions, according to the new Nickelodeon/Youth Intelligence June 2005 Tween Report. The 9- to 14-year-old age group wields considerable influence on household purchases, the report shows, particularly on technology-related products such as computers.
According to study, tweens average $9.15 per week in allowance or spending money. They rely on their parents to pay for clothing, food, room decor and toiletries, and save their money to buy “non-necessities” in categories of entertainment, technology and fashion.
Girls strongly influence purchasing decisions on buying clothes and CDs, and for which movies to rent and see in the theater, according to the report. Boys exert their influence on parents when it comes to which video games or systems to buy and which television shows to watch.