Bob's Links and Rants

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Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Leading in the race to the bottom
Wal-Mart no longer has any real rivals. It does more business than Target, Sears, Kmart, J.C. Penney, Safeway, and Kroger combined.

This Fast Company article describes how the world's largest company's ruthless cost-cutting has put suppliers into no-win situations. They can't afford not to do business with Wal-Mart, but in the end they can't afford to do business with them either. The almost universal response is to move manufacturing overseas.

In my opinion, it's fine for a company to be as efficient, and even as hard-nosed, as Wal-Mart is. It's not fine for a company to be so big that it dominates practically all markets for consumer goods, not to mention putting inexorable downward pressure on wages. We need to dig Auntie Trust out of her grave, pump her full of fair-trade coffee, and put her to work dismembering the Wal-Mart monster. You can help the old girl by never shopping at the Beast of Bentonville.

Thanks to Cyndy for the link!