Well, I guess it's only appropriate since Congress is going reward illegals with amnesty. It's kind of annoying sometimes. I speak some Spanish so it's not that big of a deal with me. Sometimes when I go to the grocery stores or Wal-Mart in the border towns, the cashier only speaks in Spanish, so for those who don't speak Spanish, it could definitely be frustrating going to places like that, or even fast food places.
It's a bunch of crap though. My wife is Filipino and Filipinos aren't allowed to speak Tagalog to each other at the Wal-Mart's here in San Antonio. Yet, Mexicans are allowed to speak to each other in Spanish. Sounds like anybody who isn't speaking English or Spanish could sue for racism
Wal-Mart goes bilingual
Posted Mar 13 2009, 12:39 PM by Anthony Mirhaydari
Retail giant Wal-Mart (WMT) will open its first Hispanic-focused supermarkets this summer in Arizona and Texas. The stores will feature Spanish speaking staff and new layouts, products, and signage that will be "relevant to local Hispanic customers."
The stores, dubbed Supermercado de Walmart, will appear in converted Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market stores in Phoenix and Houston. Separately, the company also plans on converting a Sam's Club warehouse into a Hispanic-themed Más Club.
Some of this reflects Wal-Mart's U.S. stores chief Eduardo Castro-Wright's previous experience in the company's Mexican subsidiary. But it also reflects the realization that by 2042, according to the Census Bureau, ethnic and racial minorities will represent a majority of the U.S. population. So instead of apple pies and hamburger buns; get ready for Latino pastries and tortillas.
Now that the sales boost from penny-pinching consumers is peaking, it's nice to see the company ramping up capital investment plans in search of new sources of growth. Prior to the recession, the company was focused on revamping existing locations with sushi bars and faux-wood floors. Besides the multi-cultural efforts, Wal-Mart is pushing forward on its Marketside convenience store concept.
It appears that the "consumer trade-down" investment theme is over, as shares have come under pressure since the beginning of the year. There are rising concerns that the Obama Administration's support of the pro-union Employee Free Choice Act will likely translate into much higher labor costs across the company's U.S. store base. Earlier this week leaders in both the House and the Senate introduced the legislation, so things are moving forward. If passed, the Act would allow employees to unionize if a simple majority wanted to join the union -- waiving the requirement for a secret ballot election that takes place up to 50 days after employees petition for representation.
Citigroup analysts downgraded the stock this week on these concerns. The obvious outcome for Wal-Mart is higher hourly wages, increased benefits, and decreased scheduling flexibility. As a result, the retailer will likely be forced to raise prices to protect margins -- undermining the company's main competitive advantage.
In anticipation of rising costs associated with a unionized workforce, Wal-Mart is looking to grow the top-line by opening its powerful supply chain to new markets. From Hispanic shoppers to inner city vegans, a wider swath of the population will soon benefit from the company's massive scale. Also worth mentioning is the push into retail health care services. But these are long-term growth stories. In the near-term, investors will continue to be pressured by the negative sentiment surrounding the card-check legislation.