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Invasion: Wal-Mart SUUUUUPER Center

04.05.2005

Wal-Mart Invasion

As Wal-Mart's moves to open the second store in Bend heat up, more and more has been said:

Chuggnutt.com :

I used to go to the Wal-Mart at the south end of town. It did the job, but I don't get down there anymore. It served its purpose. But I really see no reason for a Supercenter to be built. None at all.

Utterlyboring.com:

I understand everybody's gripe about it, but I'm sorry: I'm like most Americans and like low prices. I like supporting the local community, and do when I can, but, for the most part, I go wherever is easy and cheap (two things that will be more available since the new Wal-Mart will be about two miles from my house).

Sublime:

ANOTHER new Wal-Mart. But no matter what the voters / citizens think, it's still gonna happen - that's what makes me mad. Plus, everyone seems against Wal-Mart - yea, they pay their employees in pebbles, they used to insure their employees for millions of dollars so that when one died (even after they left the company) Wal-Mart would get those millions, because they insured them. It's win-win for the bastards.

Recently the food-workers union staged a protest against Wal-Mart. Their stance has always been against Wal-Mart because of its low pay and lack of benefits to employees. When I worked for Safeway their only fear of competition was Wal-Mart. How can this be when Wal-Mart toots it's own horn about being good for other small businesses?

The truth is that is rarely the case. Most businesses in the vicinity can't thrive , compared to Wal-Mart:

Bonnie Neisius, owner of a UPS franchise in Las Vegas, Nev., described how she has watched surrounding businesses close and her own business decline since Wal-Mart moved in down the road. "I'm probably down 45 percent," Neisius said. "I

Is it simply Wal-Mart's competitive prices that hurt others, or is it something else? Wait a second, how are those prices so competitive or downright cheap compared to everywhere else?

This is the product that Wal-Mart fell in love with: Vlasic's gallon jar of pickles. Wal-Mart priced it at $2.97--a year's supply of pickles for less than $3! "They were using it as a 'statement' item," says Pat Hunn, who calls himself the "mad scientist" of Vlasic's gallon jar. "Wal-Mart was putting it before consumers, saying, this represents what Wal-Mart's about. You can buy a stinkin' gallon of pickles for $2.97. And it's the nation's number-one brand."

But how is this the case? You can't buy that many pickles anywhere else for that cheap, plus they are Vlasic!

Vlasic discovered, the real story of Wal-Mart, the story that never gets told, is the story of the pressure the biggest retailer relentlessly applies to its suppliers in the name of bringing us "every day low prices." It's the story of what that pressure does to the companies Wal-Mart does business with, to U.S. manufacturing, and to the economy as a whole.

Wal-Mart does extensive research on manufacturers, visits their plants, reads their books (and I'm not talking about Harry Potter here). They know more sometimes than the manufacturer does some time. Then they come to the table and say, "You sell that product at THIS price or we won't do business with you." Let's see anyone else try that approach and get away with it. Wal-Mart has so much purchasing power that these manufacturers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Wal-Mart has no problem outsourcing if someone won't sell to them:

Wal-Mart is one of the key forces that propelled global outsourcing -- off-shoring of U.S. jobs -- precisely because it controls so much of the purchasing power of the U.S. economy,

Wal-Mart, has life-or-death decision over [almost] all the consumer goods industries that exist in the United States, because it is the number one supplier-retailer of most of our consumer goods -- not just clothes, shoes, toys, but home appliances, electronic products, sporting goods, bicycles, groceries, food.

Wal-Mart does give local suppliers a chance, but makes it point quite clear:

There's a broad market out there. If you want to focus on the lowest-cost part of the market, it's obvious that you can't do that in the United States

Yep, Wal-Mart knows that for companies to meet the price points they set, they are well aware that these companies often have to scramble and move overseas in order to cut costs. Is this the dream that Sam Walton had? Killing off all the competition and killing jobs in the US just so that they can sell a gallon jar of pickles for less than $3? I hope not.


Posted by monkeyinabox ::: |

Comments

Maddie Dog said:

Unions hate Wal-Mart because they can offer consumers lower prices over the union controlled stores.

"pressure the biggest retailer relentlessly applies to its suppliers" - SO WhAT? That's called negotiations and is just business. No supplier is forced to sell to Wal-Mart.

"killing jobs in the US" - not true, Wal-Mart employs more people than any other business aside from the government.

I can comment more and more on all these claims - just know they are all the typical union lies and tactics to twart non-union stores. Same old unions, same old story.



monkeyinabox said:

"No supplier is forced to sell to Wal-Mart."

While that is true, it can be a deathwish in business to not sell to a huge purchaser like Wal-Mart. If you make a bottle of glue and can sell it for $1.50 and make a reasonable profit at other stores, but then Wal-Mart approachs you and says, "We'll sell your glue for $.99 - you still make 1 cent of profit versus 51 cents, but we'll sell 100 times as much. If you don't let us sell your glue for $.99 then we won't sell any and we'll find someone else to sell it at that price".

Wal-Mart can play this card because they are so big.

A lot of people work at McDonalds too. Does that make it a good place to work? Sure, people have a choice, but if they don't have training or a good education, then working in a Wal-Mart is about the only choice besides fast-food work.




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