Saturday, October 29, 2005

Retailers can learn from Wal-Mart

has had a long run of bad publicity, but now the retail giant is trying to polish its image. Wal-Mart announced Monday that it will add a new health care plan for workers, reward environment-friendly suppliers, and reduce its energy use. Wal-Mart says its full-time workers are paid an average of $9.68 an hour.

How does your little retail business stack up on social and environmental issues? If you pay your employees well and provide health care coverage, publicize that fact! Put up a discreet poster explaining how you treat your "associates" well. And what are you doing to lessen your impact on the environment? Recycling cardboard boxes? Installed efficient HVAC, natural lighting, or solar hot water heating? Let people know. Wal-Mart does.