The Real Story of Wal-Mart

By Deane Barker on November 16, 2003

The Wal-Mart You Don’t Know: While not terrifically geekish, this is a good story about Wal-Mart, a company that is affects us geeks more and more everyday. From Linux desktop computers to iTunes competition to RFID adoption, Wal-Mart is a retail force that will push its way into any market it sets its sights on, technology included.

…the story of the pressure the biggest retailer relentlessly applies to its suppliers in the name of bringing us “every day low prices.” It’s the story of what that pressure does to the companies Wal-Mart does business with, to U.S. manufacturing, and to the economy as a whole. That story can be found floating in a gallon jar of pickles at Wal-Mart.



  1. Great article. Another reason to not like Walmart/Sam’s Club.

    “Wal-Mart has also lulled shoppers into ignoring the difference between the price of something and the cost.” So true.

    I don’t deal directly with Walmart, but our customers do (we print product identification labels), and I can attest to Walmart’s big bully attitude. One example I hear all the time; if a product has a bar code on it that scans poorly (ie: requires more than one pass through the scanner), and is shown to have a print defect Walmart will penalize their supplier heavily, usually in the six-figure range. The supplier passes that on to the printer. Hasn’t happened to us yet, but… Youch.

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