Wal-Mart back in favor
Company less 'evil' compared to banks?
Has Wal-Mart (WMT) become the company we love to . . . love?
The retailing giant doesn't seem that evil anymore, now that we've seen the utter devastation that the banking industry has wreaked, Fortune's Hank Gilman writes.
Wal-Mart doesn't need bailouts. It isn't raising credit card interest rates to 30%. It isn't kicking people out of foreclosed homes.
- Find on Bing: Criticism of Wal-Mart
And so while Wal-Mart may never become a corporate angel, it's been moved over to the "not-so-bad" pile.
The economic downturn has made Wal-Mart more attractive, even to those who swore never to shop there. It's hard to turn your nose up at Wal-Mart's prices when you've lost a job.
And, Gilman writes, Wal-Mart has gone out of its way to improve its public image. It has given better heath care to its workers, and has even promoted covering the uninsured and taking care of the environment.
"I think people are weary of the 'Wal-Mart vs. Mom and Pop' story line," Gilman writes. "Wal-Mart may have contributed to the decline of Main Street shopping, but the ugly truth is some of these merchants had it coming -- they didn't serve their customers very well."
To be sure, we'll see more PR flubs from Wal-Mart in the future -- a company of that size will have its every move scrutinized -- but for now, the retailer is getting a bit of a pass from the public.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
Serious issues like drought and the deterioration of the developed world spell opportunity for this industry leader.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.