Posted by Tim Stobbs on October 28, 2009
Alright here is Candidate #2, again the same applies as yesterday. If the candidate wants to respond to questions please use a name like Candidate #2. Thanks – Tim
The world’s largest retailer just seems to be getting bigger and bigger.
This month, Canoe Money reported that the giant discounter would begin flexing its muscle while carrying out its new e-commerce strategy in the form of a price war and in an attempt to effectively compete in the online book business against Amazon and other book retailers.
Regarding the article’s discussion of Wal-Mart slashing prices for over 200 current best sellers and books in general, a senior analyst with Simba Information is quoted as saying, “They can’t bring (prices) that low. As a whole, it’s very hard for traditional bookstores, large or small, to compete with this kind of nonsense.”
The above-mentioned highlights what many would consider to be a reoccurring theme regarding Wal-Mart’s prowess and ability to penetrate new markets and locations, while at the same time, smaller-sized businesses become casualties in the business world.
An in depth article of Wal-Mart by the CBC in 2005 stated that there were 256 stores located in Canada at that time. A more recent Financial Post article titled, “Wal-Mart plans supercenters for Western Canada” from this past summer, indicates that there are now 312 stores in Canada. In addition to the increase, we realize that in just a few short years, the giant retailer has waged a price war on our turf, competing with Canadian enterprises such as Loblaw and Metro Inc in the grocery store market.
As we witness this corporate giant expand into new markets and locations, the question we often ask ourselves is the following: “Is Wal-Mart Good or Bad?”
From a consumer standpoint, the notion of being able to buy goods at a store and at reduced prices can certainly be appealing; however, it can also be reasonably assumed that many of these same consumers also know what kind of a negative ramifications a new Wal-Mart store entering a community can have on many of the small businesses. This in turn, can arguably affect the culture, and unique aspects to a community’s economic environment.
From an employee standpoint, things are often seen in another light. Many of you may have read or heard about Wal-Mart’s apparent history of having to get the lowest prices at whatever cost-even at the expense of local employees. For example, an article written by Charles Fishman for Fast Company in 2007 mentions, “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.”
Furthermore, many of you may have heard stories in the news regarding struggles to unionize some of the Canadian stores. A CBC article from April 2009 discusses the success employees in Quebec attained by forging the first collective agreement in North America. On top of that, there now exists a Union for Walmart Workers in Canada, and their website appears to be under the threat of censorship as the site indicates that Wal-Mart is taking the organization to court.
Unquestionably, it is obvious that Wal-Mart has become a massive organization that affects the activities and lives of businesses, consumers, and employees.
What are your thoughts regarding Wal-Mart? Are you indifferent to the various opinions of the company’s corporate activities? Do you feel that Wal-Mart instills a “David & Goliath” presence wherever it goes? Or, do you simply think they are running a great business and are deserving of the successes they have attained?