ILRIC - Assignment_3 - Wal-Mart_Essay

ILRIC - Assignment_3 - Wal-Mart_Essay - [Type text] This...

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[Type text] This morning my alarm went off at 6 a.m. I got in my car, drove to Wal-Mart, and proceeded to wait in line outside on a cold Ithaca morning to enter the store as it opened at 7:00 AM. I was motivated to this level of turbo-consumerism by the marketing pull of Wal-Mart which was selling a new, high quality performance laptop for the absurdly low price of $348…a price significantly lower then I have ever seen for a laptop of this specification. Once I was in the store holding the American branded, Japanese (hey, Joe, are you sure it was made in Japan? Better check, I’d bet it was Taiwan) manufactured mysteriously low priced laptop I started to think about the larger picture. Sure, I was happy to have such a deal, but how was Wal-Mart able to sell this laptop so low? If I’m not paying more, someone else must be bearing the costs, but whom? Do gains I received from the low price outweigh losses by suppliers and their employees? If so, what is the net effect on society here in the US and abroad? Is Wal-Mart to be praised or condemned for its prowess at leveraging a globalized marketplace to get “everyday low prices” for its customers? How will this retailing behemoth affect our country in future? These questions and more make Wal-Mart is one of the most controversial of US multinational corporations. Wal-Mart’s aggressive yet innovative business strategy of supporting foreign low-wage manufacturing, cross docking inventory system, continuous replenishment system and other cost cutting systems made it become the largest retailer and employer in the U.S. In becoming the largest retailer of consumer goods in the country that consumes more than any other, Wal-Mart has become China’s 4 th largest trading partner and the poster child of the affects globalization has on the American society. Although it has been a tremendous force in delivering value to the American consumer and delivering wealth to its shareholders, it has done so by leading the charge in expatriating previously US-based manufacturing, assembly and service jobs. Although the net impact varies greatly by individual, I would estimate the gross societal effect to be positive, so far. Questions surround the ability of millions of Americans to successfully migrate from lost manufacturing jobs to good-paying and secure positions elsewhere in the economy so that they may continue to fuel the consumption that China, India and other net exporters to the US count on for their economic growth and prosperity. Or, will a globalized “house of cards” fall when the American consumer runs out of credit? U.S. consumers benefit from Wal-Mart's policy of buying its inventory and selling product of targeted quality at the lowest possible prices. Consumers in the US have it better than anywhere else in the world in terms of selection, quality and price. American consumers benefit from the convenience and low prices of Wal-Mart by being able to single-source anything from groceries to furniture to electronics to clothing, all at the lowest prices on the market. Their
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ILRIC - Assignment_3 - Wal-Mart_Essay - [Type text] This...

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