Wal-mart is the world’s largest public corporation in terms of revenue collection and the largest private employer. This was declared by Fortune Global 500. Wal-mart was founded in 1962, incorporated on 1969 and listed on New York stock exchange in1972. It is the fourth largest commercial employer and the largest grocery and toy retailer in the United States. It operates in several countries such as Mexico, United Kingdom, and Japan as Walmex, ASDA and Seiyu respectively. It has fully owned operations in Argentina, Brazil, Canada and Puerto.
However despite its large ownership and the diversified products that it sells, Wal-Mart has been criticized severally by many organizations and groups such as the women rights groups, labor unions, community groups and other native groups in the United States. This is due to its extensive foreign products sourcing into the country, its low rate of enrolling for employees’ health insurance, its resistance to employees’ union representation as well as the sexism that is said to take place within the company. (Biesada, F4).
however these criticisms don’t bear a strong foundation against Wal-mart and they have ended up being outdone by the many advantages that have been derived by the country and its people at large. Other countries have also been able to derive significant advantages from the dealings of Wal-Mart such as China. Wal-mart has taken advantage of the two powerful forces which are; rise in information technology and the rise on global economy therefore changing the business power balance in the world and becoming the world’s largest company.
It has upturned the history of consumer dependence on the manufacturer and made the retailer to have the power and be at the centre while the manufacturer has become less powerful and inferior therefore the retailers gained more power than the manufactures. The company believes in buying products at the lowest prices possible so as to benefit the American consumer. This has led to creation of a joint venture with China so as to get cheap imports.
However, the low prices of wal-marts products are causing a conflict between the desires and wants of the American people as consumers and their interest as workers. Economist Larry Mishel commented that it would be good to have low prices for goods only if all the people are consumers, but it should also be considered that people as workers need to earn decent living standards and have a stable life which may not be achieved if the goods have very low prices.
A long term worker of the Thomson plant, Steve Ratchiff supports Larry Mishel’s argument by simply saying that if people want cheap products, they should go and buy them from wal-mart but they should be aware of the negative impacts that the low prices are doing to the country such as lowering the people’s standards of living and putting people out of work.
On the other hand, Brink Lindsey, an economist from Cato Institute argue that producing products that the customer wants to buy and offering a wide range of goods at low prices is what the American economy is all about. He further added that Wal-mart has already met the market test therefore making it is good for America. (Biesada, F4).