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Chapter Two From the Ozarks to the Planet © Routledge 2013
Context: The Modern Department Store Turn of the century: cities had large and elegant department stores Department stores were most often utilized by well-to-do shoppers Before the arrival of discount stores rural shoppers had access to a less refined set of manufactured goods from giant mail order warehouses © Routledge 2013
The Rise of Wal-Mart Sam Walton began with a variety store franchise and was compelled to buy products from a distributor He created cost-saving innovations (self-serve model), but his biggest obstacle was inefficient middle-men His retail revolution took hold when he built his own distribution centers. This provided him with increased power over other retailers © Routledge 2013
Rise of Wal-Mart (Contd) A specific set of factors contributed to Wal- Marts early expansion: 1. Southern and female workforce who were unaccustomed to unions 2. Stores were built in county seats 3. Walton beat competitors who still had to deal with middle-men 4. Followed government contracts © Routledge 2013
The Wal-Mart Squeeze Squeeze associates: Low wages Just-in-time scheduling Wage theft and off-the-clock work Squeeze vendors: Investments in technology Supply chain control/domination Just-in-time ordering Retail Link Consolidation and monopsony We are all caught in the squeeze – can we get out of it? © Routledge 2013
Anti-Wal-Mart Activism Wal-Marts reputation damaged by the early 1990s Anti-Wal-Mart movements are born Local anti-sprawl groups Historical preservationists Activists fighting for local mom and pops Unions Increasing size led to increased legal problems arose: Gender discrimination (class-action suit) Workers rights lawsuits Environmental contamination lawsuits © Routledge 2013
Next Generation Wal-Mart Permanent public relations team to combat souring reputation: Leslie Dach: former Democratic presidential campaign advisor to John Kerry Hurricane Katrina: PR Gold Jib Ellison, green Wal-Mart, and the Sustainability Index Criticisms of these moves © Routledge 2013
De-naturalizing Wal-Mart …nothing is inevitable: not Wal-Mart, not the regulatory framework that facilitates its existence, and not the sociopolitical problems that the company purports to solve. Wal-Mart, like most human phenomena, is socially constructed … By disassembling … Wal-Mart, we aim to demonstrate that the company can not only be de-constructed, but that it can be transformed into something fundamentally different. © Routledge 2013
Picking Wal-Mart’s POCKETS © Michael Bergdahl International Speaker, Author & Wal- Mart Competition Authority Baltimore, Maryland November 6, 2007 American.
Chapter Eight Wal-Mart and Freedom © Routledge 2013.
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