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.
"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)
Reading this book I recalled a professor who in the 60's claimed Sears was destroying America. Big attracts such comments. I was hoping for discussions of cross docking and collaborative planning and forecasting and other supply chain innovations that Wal-Mart used to create an advantage. Instead it was 75% bashing. Big is evil.
This was an amazingly even handed view of the effect of Walmart on the world. Dispells many myths and misconceptions. Provides a very fair over view of the effect of Walmart on neighborhoods, people, prices and international business. I would have given it 5 stars, but the last chapter was surprisingly stilted as it recounts the personal tales of ex-employees who lost their jobs because Walmart came into town. Surprising as it builds the case that jobs, overall, are NOT lost when Walmart comes to town. Otherwise a very interesting read if you are at all interested in business.
I don't normally shop at Wal-Mart and although I had some sense of how big and powerful they were, I had no ideal that it was to this extent.
I don't feel sorry for the vendors who do business (or the employees who choose to work there) with Wal-Mart, especially if they knew what they were getting into and weren't double-crossed, but Wal-Mart has "it's way" if you want to do.
A great read for anyone who wants to understand the "bigger picture" and make different choices!
It was interesting to have my suspicions confirmed, that quality and variety in many many consumer goods have gone out the window in order to yield to low cost. I don't even shop at Walmart but see the result of its fingerprints on consumer goods everywhere. Its a shame. The book could have been a little more concise. I got the point over and over.
This Walmart truck swerves all over the road! More than you ever wanted to know in unrelenting detail about Snapper lawnmowers and salmon farming in Chile. This book is bloated an noth worth your time.
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