The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) appears to be playing catch-up with the “Wal-Mart issue.”
The Human Rights Campaign is giving Wal-Mart (WMT) a red "do not buy" rating in its new consumer guide, bestowing a lump of coal on the retail giant just in time for the holiday shopping season. Citing Wal-Mart's refusal to offer domestic partner benefits to its gay and lesbian workers, the HRC said Tuesday that the USA's biggest private employer has "more work to do in furthering equality." It advised gays and their supporters to shop elsewhere.
Wal-Mart rated a red 40 on a scale of 100, down from a yellow 65 in 2006. It was among 54 companies that scored 45 or lower in HRC's 2008 Corporate Equality index, which assigns ratings to 519 large companies.
Also in the red: Toys R Us, RadioShack (RSH) and AutoZone (AZO).
Wal-Mart rival Target (TGT) rated a "green" 80, meaning that "consumers should make every effort to support these businesses." Last year's guide was downloaded from the group's website (www.hrc.org/buyersguide) more than 250,000 times.
But, we covered this story back in July:
If you shop at Wal-Mart you can find the same (or better) prices at Meijer, K-Mart, Family Dollar, Kroger, or Save-A-Lot. Stop shopping at Wal-Mart! Forget about the so called "convenience" of "everything" being in one store, it is time for the gay community to stand their ground against Wal-Mart.Let us forget for a moment that this company destroys the "American Dream," exploits their employees, and contracts labor for less than $1.00 per hour in other countries.
Let us not forget that Sam Walton, Wal-Mart's founder sit on the Board of Directors of Winn-Dixie for nearly a decade (thereby learning the grocery business) and opened the first Supercenter (with groceries) less than a year after Winn-Dixie retired him. Let us not forget that Wal-Mart targets other stores to run them out of business: K-Mart, Winn-Dixie, Sloan's (Lexington), Rose's, Kroger, Toys "R" Us, Publix (Florida), Food Lion, A&P, Grand Union, Colonial/Big Star and Piggly Wiggly, and Target.
As it stands Wal-Mart remains the only national discount chain that does not offer partnership benefits (both Sears Holding Company and Target offer same-sex domestic partnership benefits). Wal-Mart also has the dubious distinction of being one of the few companies to ever pull back a GLBT initiative.