Walmart and Natural CapitalismPresentation Transcript
Wal-Mart:What the Template Business of Global Capitalism Might Reveal About the POST-Post-Fordist Future
Walmart: A brief history Founded 1962 in Bentonville, Arkansas by Sam Walton Incorporated 1969, and went public in the New York Stock Exchange (as WMX) in 1972. First store in Bentonville, AK Changes in Walmart Logo 1962-present
Walmart Today, A Snapshot: Worlds LARGEST: Public corporation, EVER Private employer 15% market share of ALL general merchandise and food sold. In the US: Over 11% share of total GDP
Criticisms of Walmart Negative Environmental Impact Resistance to union representation Sexism Pressures on employees to vote for specific parties during national elections. Extensive foreign product sourcing (70%!) Low rates of employee health insurance enrollment(dependence upon government healthcare programs)
Criticism with Humor
Overview of Analysis Walmart has grown beyond the scale and influence of any business the world has ever seen Walmart as trendsetter and market-MAKER Now functions more as global commodity chain and logistics operation Can influence market faster and more directly
If…Then…SO… In examining Walmart’s business practices, recent initiatives, and forthcoming plans, we can gain insight into the future direction of the global economy. Allen Scott’s notion of “Flexible Production Regime Harvey’s notion of “Creative Destruction”
“Always Low Prices”:Making Penny Pinching the World Business Standard Walmart requires all suppliers to submit to strict efficiency standards to cut costs in: Production processes Product design Materials/Packaging Labor Transportation “Plus One” Principle Requires that every year suppliers must cut costs or improve quality “Retail Link” Collects POS data from around the world and made available to suppliers Enhances sensitivity to consumer trends- “micro-marketing”
Logistics Revolution and “Lean Retailing” Characteristics of Lean Retailing: UPC tags and scanning devices Computerized Inventory Management Automated Distribution Centers Adoption of communication standards throughout supply chain Logistics Revolution: 70’s+
Led Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards Initiative
Left: Workers posing at a Walmart distribution center
~SeEinGtHeFuTuRe ~(maybe) Walmart and the Sustainability Index As a market-MAKER, Walmart’s actions set the standards in the global supply chain. What could Walmart’s plans for creating a “Sustainability Index” and product “Life Cycle Database” suggest about the future of the global economy?
Sustainability Index Specifics Walmart will provide each of its 100,000 global suppliers with a survey of 15 questions to evaluate their sustainability. Will develop a rating system that will be visible to consumers on all products. The questions and rating system are divided into four areas: Energy and Climate, Natural Resources, Material Efficiency and “People and Community “ -Walmart Corporate Sustainability Index Fact Sheet
Natural Capitalism& Implications for the Future Walmart being Walmart, if it implements this index, the rest of the retail industry will follow Will change consumer spending habits and consequently reshape supply chain Sustainability efforts are in line with characteristics of Natural Capitalism ------------------------
After Higher Standards Will Walmart’s requirement of higher environmental standards for their suppliers have a positive spillover effect for other problematic parts of the supply chain? Let’s hope so.