With Great Prices & Appealing Products, Where do Ethics Come In?

November 06, 2014

The other day, I read that the Novogratz family released a new mass market product line in their style of colourful, high design, modern aesthetic. 

I was thrilled! Fabulous interior design that brings Manhattan to me! and, you know, all the other great things it touts. My daughter needs a new bed, they sell metal frame funky beds in bright colours: perfect!

Then, I saw where the line would be exclusively sold: Wal-Mart. Enter my inner conflict. See, as I’ve begun to think about “shopping good” over the last few years, one of the first (and really only) hard lines I’ve drawn was against this mega-store. [I’ll keep it real and state that within my “hard line”, I’ve still probably purchased from Wal-Mart 3 or 4 times in the last 5 years.]

Three things brought me to this decision:

  • The way they treat their employees. Specifically, discouraging or limiting the ability for employees to have full time hours, thus excluding them from company benefits like health care.
  • Poor quality goods that are touted as good value.
  • A staggering 4 out of the top 13 billionaires in the world are Waltons, each with over $35Billion in Net Worth. In my opinion, that's simply too much money.

I’m not mentioning this to have a hate-on Wal-Mart, simply to show my own thought process in deciding where (or where not) to shop.

And then they go and launch some super cool products that make me want to shop there! Of course they do... the strategy, of course, is to get people like me to shop there, and people who already shop there to shop more. The question is…

Will I be convinced?

When you’ve got great prices and appealing products on the table, where do ethics come into the mix? Do my “convictions” stand up to my desires? Do I reassess my opinion of purveyors based on the products they sell?

Good marketing will convince me to make the purchase before I have too much time to think about it.

Fortunately for me, the Novogratz line is not yet available in Canada! So I do have time. Time to think, to price compare, to shop around, perhaps to reassign a budget line. And, probably, ultimately, hopefully, shop somewhere else. 


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