Today has been Buy Nothing Day, which is fine by me - see this interesting article on the BBC website of the psychology of bargain hunting.
Whilst we're on shops, we're planning to show the film 'Wal-Mart: the high cost of low price' next weekend, just in time for the Christmas rush, along with a Fair Trade stall. It's not what you'd call a balanced movie, the format is a series of episodes which take the words of the Wal-Mart bosses, and measure them against reality on the ground.
If you want a UK perspective on the same issue then try Tescopoly, a web watchdog on the impact of the Big 4 supermarkets on UK communities. Their 'local campaigns' section details what's happening near you. Good to hear, by the way, that the Tesco plans for the centre of Darlington were overturned after popular protest, well done folks.