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The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works--and HowIt's Transforming the American Economy Paperback – Dec 26 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (Dec 26 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143038788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143038788
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.1 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Fishman shops at Wal-Mart and has obvious affection for its price-cutting, hard-nosed ethos. He also understands that the story of Wal-Mart is really the story of the transformation of the American economy over the past 20 years. He's careful to present the consumer benefits of Wal-Mart's staggering growth and to place Wal-Mart in the larger context of globalization and the rise of mega-corporations. But he also presents the case against Wal-Mart in arresting detail, and his carefully balanced approach only makes the downside of Wal-Mart's market dominance more vivid. Through interviews with former Wal-Mart insiders and current suppliers, Fishman puts readers inside the company's penny-pinching mindset and shows how Wal-Mart's mania to reduce prices has driven suppliers into bankruptcy and sent factory jobs overseas. He surveys the research on Wal-Mart's effects on local retailers, details the environmental impact of its farm-raised salmon and exposes the abuse of workers in a supplier's Bangladesh factory. In Fishman's view, the "Wal-Mart effect" is double-edged: consumers benefit from lower prices, even if they don't shop at Wal-Mart, but Wal-Mart has the power of life and death over its suppliers. Wal-Mart, he suggests, is too big to be subject to market forces or traditional rules. In the end, Fishman sees Wal-Mart as neither good nor evil, but simply a fact of modern life that can barely be comprehended, let alone controlled.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The "Wal-Mart effect" has become a common phrase in the vocabulary of economists and includes a broad range of effects, such as forcing local competitors out of business, driving down wages, and keeping inflation low and productivity high. On a global scale, Wal-Mart's relentless commitment to "everyday low prices" has had a massive impact on the trend toward importing from countries like China and the resultant loss of manufacturing jobs here. Because of its strict policy on secrecy, surprisingly little is known about the inside workings of the largest corporation ever in the U.S and now the world. Although much has been written before on the legendary story of Sam Walton, Fishman finally takes us inside the carefully guarded workings of the "Wal-Mart ecosystem," where management surrender their lives and families, working 12 hours a day, six days a week, in a near-holy quest toward the never-ending goal of lower prices. He brings to light the serious repercussions that are occurring as consumers and suppliers have become locked in an addiction to massive sales of cheaper and cheaper goods. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Starting in the early 1990s, a change swept through a line of products that most adult Americans use every day. Read the first page
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Chandramohan on Oct. 11 2009
Format: Paperback
Want a non-biased point of view on everything Wal-Mart? Then this book is it. The story and impact of Wal-Mart is presented from different points of view; those who see Wal-Mart as a good and those who see it as a bad for the local and national economy. Supported by various, insightful examples, the book is also very well written and has well annotated source notes. The book was also shortlisted for the FT/ Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year award. Recommended read for any who are interested in Wal-Mart and its effects.
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Well researched. Not just another pro or con book, but in insight into how pervasive the Wal-Mart corporate ideology pervades our lives. Hopefully people realise that a race to the bottom still ends up at the bottom. Unfortunately, most people are selfish and will happily support this if it benefits themselves.
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I found this book to be much more interesting than expected. It's informative, with a lot of the information and arguments put forth being original to the author, at least at the time of publishing. It is well written and easy to read. I recommend the version of the book with the new introduction by the author.
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Format: Paperback
Mr. Fishman has written a very focused book that explores the “Wallmart Effect” to the consumer, the supplier and society in general. For the consumer, Wallmart has been an effective bargainer getting the best prices for the consumer that money can buy. As a consequence, consumers have been able to buy more stuff at cheaper prices. An interesting story is used to illustrate the consumer accumulation of stuff as observed by the Haines underwear company. With a drop in price of boxers, y-fronts and panties, the company thought the consumer would save their money to spend on other items. They’ve observed the opposite. Consumers spent as much money on their underclothes as they had done previously at the higher prices. They were simply purchasing more of them to the extent that Haine's marketing specialists couldn’t figure out what consumers were doing with all that underwear. They couldn't possibly wear it all. My daughter purchased enough underwear to only have to do laundry once a month but how many of us want to do that? For suppliers, Wallmart can be their best friend and their worst enemy. Suppliers are squeezed to sell their products at the very cheapest price often to the detriment of the quality of that product and the sustainability of their company. The Levi name was added the list of products offered by Wallmart only to be forced to sell an inferior product under their name. The “Snapper” company ended their relationship with Wallmart because they didn’t want an inferior lawnmower sold at that store to be mistaken for the more expensive version sold elsewhere. The impact of Wallmart on the towns and small communities where it’s introduced is also explored.Read more ›
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