I'd support the smaller businesses owned by guys named Bob, if Bob still knew business ettiquite and knew how to compete and earn my business back. I usually know what I want when I go to buy, so I generally don't need, nor like, a shop holding my hand when it comes to stuff, or telling me what product is better for me.
What I do want from places like Bob's shop is being treated like I'm welcome in his shop. Not look at me like I'm not welcome as I walk in the door. For him to not watch me like a hawk thinking I'm going to shoplift from him. For Bob to not neglect me or other customers just because his best buddy is in the shop at the moment and needs something right away. When I see Bob bending over backwards for his best buddy and not doing much for his other loyal customers, it makes me wonder! For him to keep his sticker prices always up to date and not increase the price at check-out time right in front of me as I'm buying the product, and then fail to honor the existing sticker or lable price. Yes, I've had all of this stuff happen too many times in just about every small mom and pa shop I've ever shopped in. Some of these small shops don't even have a standard practice in place to be able to special order an item I know they can get, well maybe if you're Bobs buddy he'll try hard to get it for ya.
I don't put up with that crap anymore I just walk out or tell them no thanks! I understand the reasons why Bob can't compete on price and I appreciate that, but Bob is so angry at Walmart that he's completely lost his other abilities to compete and keep my business. Not saying I haven't recieved to some degree the same treatment at walmart from time to time, but walmart doesn't charge me extra full price for the occasional lack of customer service. Generally I find Walmart to be pretty accomodating often when it comes to customer service.
I can't blame manufactures and suppliers for trying to get their products moved through walmart when Bob isn't doing the best he can at it. Heck, he often won't even special order any of it for his loyal customers. You gotta move product if you want the suppliers to be happy too, and I'm sure those suppliers and manufacturers are plenty happy to have a corporation like Walmart or any big-box operation. Where would they be without places like walmart? It's a two-way street ya know!!
Are we all Americans here? Do we all believe in American values and the American dream? Work hard, do the best that you can do at what you do, play the game right and success will be yours. Sam Walton understood that and he succeeded at doing it. Too bad if Bob isn't savvy enough to do so in his business. Sam was once the little guy too at one time. GE, Boeing, IMB, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Apple, Microsoft, they were all the starter companies and little guys at one time too. Only in the USA can a guy/gal step off a boat with only the clothes on their back and become successful by ambition, hard work, and being smart. Only in the USA can a lowly farm boy step off the farm and become a major player in the corproate world later in life. Try doing that in places like Europe, even today in the 21st century, aint gonna happen.