Walmart, the world’s largest private employer with over two million retail workers, deserves credit for doing what no other major company has done before. It has promised to hire 100,000 recent veterans over the next five years. In an announcement on Tuesday, Walmart US President Bill Simon urged fellow retailers to follow his lead: “We could be the ones who step up for our heroes just as they stood for us.”
Walmart can’t be that fabulous, right? It’s not. The piling on began immediately, with critics of a company often accused of unfair practices calling its offer a pathetic public relations stunt. But Walmart, like most major corporations, is a complicated entity with good works and aggressive profit grabs happening under the same roof.