Monday, December 20, 2004

Everyone Hates Walmart

Here is this really great article about how Walmart may have saved Levi Strauss.


At 2:21 PM, Blogger Angela said...

I have always loved Levi's Jeans, but at $35 a pop in recent years I started looking at other brand names (my 505, high waisted, slim ankled jeans aren't really fashionable anymore anyway). I was recently in Walmart and did a double take when I spotted the new line of Levi's for $20. Without trying them on I bought a pair and kept the receipt in my purse (off brand Walmart jeans typically have the craziest shape so I avoid them.) Well to make this short, my jeans fit great, just like 515 boot cut jeans. I'm in love!

Everyone hates Walmart. Name a reason and people hate Walmart. Its drives Mom and Pop dimes stores out of business, it sells too many items from China, it doesn't allow its workers to unionize, its too crowded and the lines too long. I'm sure that there are at least 10 other reasons.

I'm a Walmart shopper. We have bought at least 5 electronic Christmas presents from there this year. If it wasn't for stores like this we wouldn't be able to afford to give a DVD player as a gift (a cheap gift at that.) Americans are really fortunate in that even folks on the lower ends of the economic scales can still often afford consumer electronics such as tv's and microwave ovens. If large superstores had never evolved we would still be paying $700 for the old dinosaur color televisions of the 80's. I also love the idea of stopping in one place to get my digital photos printed, picking up milk, contact lenses, floormats for the car, and servicing my cell phone.

Anyway, back to my Levi's. Here is this really great article about how Walmart may have saved Levi Strauss. Basically by contracting with Walmart, Levi's had to revise their shipping system, going from 65% of on time shipping to 95%. They expect that to increase sales by at least 10%. Cool huh? And I get great jeans at $20 a shot. Not bad.

At 3:56 PM, Blogger Ian said...

Hi. Here is an interesting interview from last year that explains how Walmart hurts businesses in the US, during which they discuss the potential loss of American Jobs at Levi Straus (now having no US manufacturing jobs, actually putting no manufacturing anywhere (maybe they would have gone to the bye anyway), due to the Walmart "Muscle" - not consumerism. This offers some extra info about behind the scenes at Walmart.
I also visit Walmart from time to time.

Almost 9 minutes - requires Real Player

At 12:56 AM, Blogger Kender said...

I avoid the place like the plague, unless it is 2 AM and I REALLY need something. But they do really help the lower end of the economic spectrum keep up with the Joneses....even though most of those people at that end may actually have had better paying manufacturing jobs if walmart did not exist. But that is simply my hypothysis from what little I have read.

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Angela said...

Interesting site Ian, thanks for the reference. NPR is great.

I do respectfully take issue with the point that they try to make regarding Walmart's low prices and outsourcing. This plays off of the urban legend that outsourcing is significant source of lost jobs or that it is bad for the US economy. is a highly respected site set up by the Annenberg Public Policy Center and they have dedicated several postings to debunking the myth of the outsourcing problem. Don't be misled by the beginning of the article, the juicy stuff is closer to the end.

According to Ben Bernanke (governor of the Federal Reserve) less than 1% of jobs lost are due to outsourcng. He said “…that the US gains more from "insourcing" of jobs than it loses from outsourcing. He said that in 2002, the most recent year on record, the US exported $29 billion in "business services" while importing less than $11 billion. And he said the jobs that are being gained are generally higher-paying jobs than those that are being lost.”

Christian Weller (Democratic-leaning Center for American Progress.) Acknowledges that outsourcing only accounts for a “a fraction of the jobs America has lost” in the last 3 years.

The Labor Department reported that layoffs due to outsourcing showed that only 2.5% of layoffs in early 2004 were from outsourcing. (the first report of its kind)

Charles Schultze (Brookings Institute, Democratic economist) - "there is nothing in the data to suggest that large increases in. . . offshoring could have played a major role in explaining America's job performance in recent years. "

“Matthew Slaughter, a Dartmouth economist, looked at foreign and domestic job growth in multinational corporations from 1991 to 2001. He found foreign affiliates of American companies added 2.9 million workers to their payrolls overseas, but at the same time those companies added 5.5 million US employees to their payrolls.”

In a study by Lawrence Klein, (Nobel Laureate) at Global Insight they looked at outsourcing in IT. They "found that outsourcing generated a net gain of 90,000 jobs during 2003."

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Ian said...

Those are some excellent points, Angela. Thanks.

At 11:41 AM, Blogger Kender said...

Great info.....with that ammo on my belt now I know just where to go blast with it....thanks Angela.

At 5:33 PM, Blogger cracker said...

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