A recent release from Wal-Mart touts the company's plans to open or relocate 300 Wal-Mart and SAM's CLUB stores this fiscal year. The company is quick to add that it has
contributed $1.4 million to local charities through the 147 stores already opened. The mega-retailer, which has often drawn criticism for strangling local businesses in the small
town locales it favors, uses the Wal-Mart Good Works Initiative as an incredibly effective image enhancer, garnering position as Fortune's third most admired American Company and
the first company Americans think of when they think of support for local causes and issues, according to Cone Inc.