Fast Company Magazine: The giant retailer’s low prices often come with a high cost. Wal-Mart’s relentless pressure can crush the companies it does business with and force them to send jobs overseas. Are we shopping our way straight to the unemployment line? Charles Fishman
What an eye-opening story (just click anywhere in the paragraph above). It makes you realize that Wal-mart isn’t a national retailer anymore, it’s an international wholesaler. While it’s single-handedly forcing the migration of most of our manufacturing jobs overseas, there’s an opportunity in every crisis.
Ironically, it’s actually creating a window for the return of the local retailer in this mass customization economy shift. Who wants to wear the same shirt, use the same dishes and sit in the same chairs as everyone else? Or worse, the same as every tenth person in your town’s Wal-mart radius? Wal-mart has established a global system to acquire goods so cheaply that unique, customized items (not a Wal-mart line) are now rather affordable – from your local main street retailers.
Wal-mart’s frenzied rush to commoditizing all goods is also expediting our transformation into an experiences and services economy, all the better for relationship-building. In other words, with all that money Wal-mart ‘saved’ you on a TV set and lightbulbs, you’ll have more $ for going out to dinner, dancing and enjoying live music with friends.