Wal-Mart You Dont Know | Fast Company

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/77/walmart.html

I am a bargain hunter and thrifter par excellence, but even in my quest for deals, I refuse to buy from Walmart. (Not least because their appalling service is clearly a trickle-down effect of their abhorrent front office policies.) In pressuring American businesses for the lowest possible price on their product, Walmart assures itself of a reliable, available workforce by causing the closure of many American plants. As a friend once said, there’s a “human cost” to the deals on offer under the smiley-face signs.

Wal-Mart wields its power for just one purpose: to bring the lowest possible prices to its customers. At Wal-Mart, that goal is never reached. The retailer has a clear policy for suppliers: On basic products that don’t change, the price Wal-Mart will pay, and will charge shoppers, must drop year after year. But what almost no one outside the world of Wal-Mart and its 21,000 suppliers knows is the high cost of those low prices. Wal-Mart has the power to squeeze profit-killing concessions from vendors. To survive in the face of its pricing demands, makers of everything from bras to bicycles to blue jeans have had to lay off employees and close U.S. plants in favor of outsourcing products from overseas.

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