by Parija B. Kavilanz
| Apr. 29, 2008
No. 1 discounter will let shoppers cash their checks for free and offer additional discounts on key groceries.
In a move designed to attract consumers' rebate money, Wal-Mart Stores said Tuesday it will let shoppers cash their federal stimulus checks for free at its stores and offer additional discounts on groceries.
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an interesting story about how retailers will 'help' people spend their rebate tax checks. there is no analysis of this information offered here such the potential results may be mixed. I imagine some customers will truly benefit from some of these offers. others may spend the money, as the administration intends, but not necessarily on what they may need most. there were no sources offered from either customers' or economic analysts' points of view.
Provides basic reporting with quotes from retailer spokespersons. Substantive information about the financial woes these retailers face would have added context. Quotes from customers who plan to avail themselves of the offers would have improved sourcing. It would also be interesting to hear what consumers in different income brackets plan to do with the money - although this is perhaps beyond the scope of the article.
The term that jumps to mind is "bottom feeders." Applying it, of course, to Wal-Mart. Consumers are under stress, burdened by record levels of credit card debt. What most of Wal-Mart's customers should do with their rebate checks is to use them to pay down their existing debts, not buy more stuff, they likely do not need anyway, so Wal-Mart can meet it's quarterly revenue targets.