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The Wal-Mart Effect Audiobook

The Wal-Mart Effect

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Publisher's Summary

Drawing on unprecedented interviews with former Wal-Mart executives and a wealth of staggering data - such as that Americans spend $36 million an hour at Wal-Mart stores - this is an intimate look at a business that is dramatically reshaping the American economy.

Wal-Mart is not only the world's largest company; it is also the largest company in the history of the world. Though 70 percent of Americans now live within a 15-minute drive of a Wal-Mart store, we have not even begun to understand the true power of the company and the many ways it is shaping American life. We know about the lawsuits and the labor protests, but what we don't know is how profoundly the "Wal-Mart effect" is shaping our lives.

Fast Company senior editor Fishman, whose revelatory cover story on Wal-Mart generated the strongest reader response in the history of the magazine, takes us on an unprecedented behind-the-scenes investigative expedition deep inside the many worlds of Wal-Mart. Fishman penetrated the secrecy of Wal-Mart headquarters, interviewing 25 high-level ex-executives. He journeyed into the world of a host of Wal-Mart's suppliers to uncover how the company strong-arms even the most established brands. And he journeyed to the ports and factories, the fields and forests where Wal-Mart's power is warping the very structure of the world's market for goods.

Wal-Mart is not just a retailer anymore, Fishman argues. It has become a kind of economic ecosystem, and anyone who wants to understand the forces shaping our world today must understand the company's hidden reach.

©2006 Charles Fishman; (P)2006 Tantor Media Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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." (Publishers Weekly)
"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." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (923 )
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4.3 (354 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Kyle Richardson, TX, United States 01-04-14
    Kyle Richardson, TX, United States 01-04-14 Member Since 2013
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    "What did Walmart do to his family?"

    Very biased view of Walmart and large corporations in general. The author appears to have very little understanding of basic economics. He claims Walmart is a monopoly when it only controls 20 - 30% of the market. The book eventually devolves into a rant against the free market and need for government regulation.

    I learned a little and there are a few valid criticisms, but overall this is a very biased rant against Walmart.

    Don't waste your credits, I'm headed to Walmart to pick a few things up now!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Commerce Township, MI, United States 07-25-13
    Sean Commerce Township, MI, United States 07-25-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Not exciting but you learn a ton about walmart"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would make it a bit shorter. It is not repetitive though.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    Was The Wal-Mart Effect worth the listening time?

    It was worth listening to. It will make you more conscience when you buy from supermarkets. It teaches you how it effects the WORLD ENVIRONMENT, WORLD ECONOMIES, and PEOPLE from small towns in South America to big cities in the US.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark St. Ann, MO, United States 03-20-13
    Mark St. Ann, MO, United States 03-20-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Factually interesting"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    It was really factually interesting. The narrator was really monotonous and difficult to concentrate on.
    I work with a company that sells products to Walmart... So I found some of the insights about how the Walmart works and their history to be quite fascinating... but it was just a little too dry for me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blake Portland, OR, United States 03-12-13
    Blake Portland, OR, United States 03-12-13 Member Since 2016
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    "A fun, well balanced, informative story"

    A very instructive, informative and entertaining look at Wal Mart's massive impact on the world. Alan Sklar is great as always and I flew through this book because it was lots of fun. Not life altering or anything, but definitely a cut above the average audiobook in terms of keeping my interest while teaching me about the world at the same time. Highly reccomended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald W. Skrzelowski. Sr. 03-11-13
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    "Fascinating"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Very interesting about a business we all have at one time or another used.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The gentleman who pulled his products from Walmarts rather than lower the quality of his products.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    That the executives at the corporate offices use sample lawn chairs as guest chairs.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 03-06-13
    Sam Motes Tampa 03-06-13 Listener Since 2009
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    "Make you an offer a vendor can't refuse"

    Paints the picture of the behemoth Walmart bossing its partners around to constantly cut prices while it kills the job market in new locations it enters. The stat of a new Walmart creating a net of 30 new jobs after 5 years was astounding. Vendors being strong armed t cut prices or get cut off sounded like a mob boss mentality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maggie Pine Bush, NY, United States 02-28-13
    Maggie Pine Bush, NY, United States 02-28-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Good book, not totally balanced"
    If you could sum up The Wal-Mart Effect in three words, what would they be?

    The book starts off very fair and balanced. But towards the end it seems the author just hates walmart (with good reason) and becomes less objective.


    What about Alan Sklar’s performance did you like?

    Alan Sklar is one of the best book narrators out there. I have listened to many of his books just for his narration.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wayne Mississauga, ON, Canada 02-27-13
    wayne Mississauga, ON, Canada 02-27-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Very balanced"

    Unlike most books and documentaries on WalMart I found this one very balanced. I especially liked hearing how some items. Most interesting was how much influence Wal Mart has on the production of salmon and other seafood. There was a lot of information that I had never though of before, like the fact that airlines before the 80's would not allow any fish on the planes (due to the worry of melting sea water corroding the equipment).

    The narrator was very good and did an excellent job of capturing the mood and theme of each chapter. The only complaint was the afterward tacked on to the epilogue, read horribly by the writer of the book. This second narrator missed the mark with his part. The editing is sketchy which many sentences obviously chopped with awkward pauses and repeating sentences. Even with this flaw it doesnt take away from the book, which I found to be not too long and not too short. It was a pleasant surprise for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TodFrog 11-10-12
    TodFrog 11-10-12
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    "Chum for the mindless"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The author does exactly what he started out to do: Ignore the facts and slander WalMart with distortion and sleight of hand. This book will give more fuel to the Wal Mart haters because to them, like the author, facts are irrelevant. To be sure, Wal Mart has made mistakes in how it has treated its employees, sometimes violating labor laws. For that, they should be, and have been, fined and made to work within the confines of the law.But to be hated simply because of their size and perceived influence is just one more bit of evidence how progressives hate the rich and powerful. Unless of course your a rich and powerful liberal (see George Soros).To make this a 4 or 5 star book, the author could have simply reported on the facts without consistently adding negative commentary that really only revealed his pettiness. The author starts the book by revealing a story of a Wal Mart success. Wal Mart was the impetus for deodorant manufacturers ceasing to package their plastic and metal deodorant products inside cardboard boxes. By all accounts, it was a wonderful idea. Less weight when shipping, less waste in landfills, fewer forests cut down to make the boxes. But none of these positives can detract from the fact that the guy who sold the cardboard lost business. This is the theme throuought the book. No matter what positives Wal Mart contributes, the author is not even a glass half empty guy. No, the glass is dry!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaffe San Diego, CA, United States 09-07-11
    Jaffe San Diego, CA, United States 09-07-11
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    "Excellent--Fun to read and very informational."

    Very entertaining, well written, and easy to listen to. Kept my interest throughout the entire book. The newly update afterward by the author was a delightlful surprise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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