Detente Mellows Wal-Mart's Once-Virulent Foes

Retailer finds middle ground with detractors
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jun 5, 2008 10:21 AM CDT
The outside of a new Wal-Mart supercenter is seen, April 29, 2008 in Maumelle, Ark.    (AP Photo/Mike Wintroath)
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(Newser) – Wal-Mart, more accustomed to being lambasted than lauded by its critics, is seeing a shift in public opinion, reports the New York Times. The mega-retailer has reached accords with some of its most ardent detractors, even listening to their advice on issues like employee health care. The company, too, has gone green, becoming the largest retailer of energy efficient light bulbs.

The change has been good for business, analysts say, allowing the company to disband the flying squad it kept on hand to deal with negative public relations generated by groups like Wal-Mart Watch,, and union campaigns that vilified the retailer. “It definitely has helped the company,” a retail analyst tells the Times. “Those attacks hurt Wal-Mart.”