unmarketing : release the pressure

Thursday, June 02, 2005 at 7:27:00 PM

Wal-Mart - Good for America?

Here is an excellent piece from PBS's Frontline program, a balanced look at Wal-Mart.

Frontline: Is Wal-Mart Good for America?

"Wal-Mart," Gereffi continues, "has life-or-death decision over [almost] all the consumer goods industries that exist in the United States, because it is the number one supplier-retailer of most of our consumer goods -- not just clothes, shoes, toys, but home appliances, electronic products, sporting goods, bicycles, groceries, food."

Anonymous Anonymous posted stuff


What is the alternative? The stuff that Walmart sells are all just commodity items, sold solely on the basis of price, with no value-add at the retail level. Personally, I wouldn't buy there because the closest store to me is a 15 minute freeway drive from here (and extremely grungy, as well), but these things don't matter for most people (especially those who don't have any choice due to either budget or geography). It is all the result of low cost of transportation and mass production.

There was a little article in I.D. mag this month about custom manufacturing - allowing a consumer to get a custom product rather make a total off-the-shelf purchase. It strikes me that this is the only real alternative, but it will never be as cheap as high-volume standard production. The real revolution will be when each family owns a stereo-lithography machine, so the stuff they need is fabricated right in their own home to their specs (there are occasional articles about this in Technology Review and similar magazines).




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