Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Why Do People Hate Wal-Mart but not Ikea?

Kevin Brancato at Always Low Prices presents evidence that more people hate Wal-Mart than Ikea:
I decided to assemble a post about the lack of IKEA-hatred. Before we get started, let's look at the magnitude of the hatred. Right now, "I hate IKEA" turns up 766 Google hits, while "I hate Wal-Mart" turns up 7000, and "I hate Walmart" brings up 4000. That's 11,000 to 766, or 14 to 1 more hatred for Wal-Mart than IKEA (from English writers; I haven't tried Spanish, German, Swedish, or any other language). So IKEA-hatred is dwarfed by Wal-Mart hatred. Why?

... It seems to me the primary reason is that IKEA's footprint in the US is small -- only 24 stores! Really (see
map)! But they're in California, Chicago, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, and the Northeast bringing a European simplicity, exclusivity, and style to the "coastal elites" and other cosmopolitan types -- a combination of low-cost and internationalism not available in the rural, so-called red-states. In contrast, Wal-Mart is perceived by those self-same people as bringing "hick" values -- and garbage goods -- to big-cities.
He offers other reasons as well, but that one seems pretty good to me.
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