Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., branded as Walmart //, is an American multinational retail corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. The company is the world's second largest public corporation, according to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2013, the biggest private employer in the world with over two million employees, and is the largest retailer in the world. Walmart remains a family-owned business, as the company is controlled by the Walton family, who own over 50 percent of Walmart. It is also one of the world's most valuable companies.
The company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962, incorporated on October 31, 1969, and publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. It is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. Walmart is also the largest grocery retailer in the United States. In 2009, it generated 51 percent of its US$258 billion sales in the U.S. from grocery business. It also owns and operates the Sam's Club retail warehouses in North America.
Working Families for Walmart is an advocacy group formed by Walmart and the Edelman public relations firm on December 20, 2005. It has been used to praise Wal-Mart in a show of opposition to union-funded groups such as Wake Up Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart Watch. The group is financially supported by Wal-Mart and is headquartered in Edelman’s Washington, D.C. office. It is not organized as a non-profit, and is not required to disclose its sources of funding.
Critics have accused Wal-Mart of leaving the impression that Working Families for Walmart is a spontaneous grass-roots organization, without fully disclosing its financial reliance upon Wal-Mart. The group's web site does not reveal its connection to Wal-Mart or Edelman. Its home page features a blog and with a link stating that the bloggers are employees of Edelman; however, no other mention is made of Edelman on the site. This has led to accusations of Walmart being engaged in deceit and astroturfing. For example, Wal-Mart Watch has stated, “Working Families for Wal-Mart is not a lobbying group or a 501(c)3 (non-profit), but is a sock puppet for Edelman, Walmart’s public relations firm…”.
Wal-Mart has been subject to criticism by numerous groups and individuals. Among these are labor unions, community groups, grassroots organizations, religious organizations, environmental groups and Wal-Mart customers. They have protested against Walmart, the company's policies and business practices, including charges of racial and gender discrimination. Other areas of criticism include the corporation's foreign product sourcing, treatment of product suppliers, environmental practices"." USA Today., the use of public subsidies, and the company's security policies. Wal-Mart denies any wrongdoing and maintains that low prices are the result of efficiency.
In 2005, labor unions created new organizations and websites to influence public opinion against Wal-Mart, including Wake Up Wal-Mart (United Food and Commercial Workers) and Walmart Watch (Service Employees International Union). By the end of 2005, Wal-Mart had launched Working Families for Wal-Mart to counter criticisms made by these groups. Additional efforts to counter criticism include launching a public relations campaign in 2005 through its public relations website, which included several television commercials. The company retained the public relations firm Edelman to interact with the press and respond to negative media reports, and has started interacting directly with bloggers by sending them news, suggesting topics for postings, and sometimes inviting them to visit Walmart's corporate headquarters. In November 2005, a documentary film critical of Wal-Mart (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price) was released on DVD.
farming, forestry, and fishing: 0.7% manufacturing, extraction, transportation, and crafts: 20% managerial, professional, and technical]disambiguation needed[: 37% sales and office: 24% other services: 18% (2009)
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
Rockland is a city in Knox County, Maine, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,297. It is the county seat of Knox County. The city is a popular tourist destination. It is a departure point for the Maine State Ferry Service to the islands of Penobscot Bay: Vinalhaven, North Haven and Matinicus.
Abenaki Indians called it Catawamteak, meaning "great landing place." In 1767, John Lermond and his two brothers from Warren built a camp to produce oak staves and pine lumber. Thereafter known as Lermond's Cove, it was first settled about 1769. When in 1777 Thomaston was incorporated, Lermond's Cove became a district called Shore village. On July 28, 1848, it was set off as the town of East Thomaston. Renamed Rockland in 1850, it was chartered as a city in 1854.