"For generations, the policy of Sears Roebuck and Company, the granddaddy or retailers, was not to purchase more than 50% of any of its supplier’s output. The rationale of this policy was that it allowed Sears to move to other suppliers, as the market dictated, without destroying the supplier’s ability to stay in business. In contrast, Wal-Mart purchases more and more of a supplier’s output. Eventually, Wal-Mart can be expected to sit down with that supplier and explain why the supplier no longer needs a sales force and that the supplier should eliminate the sales force, passing the cost saving on to Wal-Mart. Sears is losing market share, has been acquired by K-Mart, and is eliminating jobs; Wal-mart is gaining market share and hiring. What are the ethical issues involved, and which firm has a more ethical position?"
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