Is Wal-Mart Good for America?
Wal-Mart is considered to be the largest retailer contributing greatly to the American economy through the distribution of goods all over the world. Recently, the online retailing was introduced into the toy production and toys business, which gave rise to the toy competition. On the one hand, Wal-Mart is regarded as a powerful tool for economic prosperity and development in the United States due to the employment of market power that makes suppliers become more effective and meeting consumers’ needs in terms of the beneficial pricing strategy. In particular, the pricing strategy is the key to building an efficient strategy on the part of consumers because they create new values for the consumers and social welfare. What is more important is that “lower prices for the kinds of basic goods on sale at Wal-Mart superstores, like food and clothes, are of the greatest benefit to the less affluent” (Lohr n. p.). In terms of pricing opportunities, the online retailing network has a positive impact for low-income consumers.
It should be stressed that Wal-Mart is among the largest and the most influential American corporations with regard to sales, gaining over $ 245 billion revenues annually. It is currently the largest country’s grocer, furniture retailer and toy seller. Over 30 % of disposable diapers bought in the United States are sold in these stores. Currently, Wal-Mart controls about 3,000 stores in the country and expects to increase their number to 1,000 within the next 5 years. Additionally, the company participates in the events that occur abroad. For instance, the famous retailed takes part in Formula events and is currently considered to be the greatest employer in Mexico.
In the context of the international marketing strategy, Chinese labor market has turned out to be the most effective for Wal-Mart because it allows the producers to receive the cheapest labor force and reduce costs spent on the manufacturing. The availability of cheap labor deprives the American citizens to be employed in Wal-Mart. Even if the employment is possible, the competition at the labor market does not allow American families to receive a high-paid job in this company. Therefore, the employment opportunities have been transferred to China. Wal-Mart located in China seeks to compensate the gap that has occurred between Chinese and American consumers. In fact, the American origin of the online retails creates significant benefits for the producers. Specifically, Wal-Mart managers in China take advantage of the American products because the majority of clients are extremely interested in learning more about American culture and style. Hence, although the majority of products sold at Wal-Mart are made in China, their orientation is still American.
There is an assumption that Chinese clients visit retail shops as they advertise American products and encourage the spread of American culture. In fact, Timmerman explains, “As more and more Chinese move from peasantry in the villages to consumerism in the city, Tony, Walmart and countless other Tonys and Walmarts will be here to show them the way” (186). In other words, for an average Chinese citizen, the job offered by Wal-Mart is a great opportunity due to the decent salary and conditions, as compared to other average jobs. Hence, the American company can increase employment rates in the country. As a proof, it has also been suggested that about 400 million people have been drawn from poverty by the constantly growing economy in the United States. Hence, freedom from the previous economic system and increased openness to foreign investment has made it possible for the Chinese economy to develop.
It is a fact that the Chinese economy has benefited greatly from the working places provided to clients. However, from the American perspectives, Wal-Mart can still have detrimental effect on the potential American employers. Specifically, due to the fact that the salary offered to Chinese workers are much lower than in America, the American labor market becomes less competitive as compared to other markets. American consumers can definitely benefits from the range of products provided by Wal-Mart at a moderate price (Fishman 46). However, for American workers who strive to cooperate with the company, there are few benefits due to the working conditions the company offers. Hence, it has been reported that the working hours for Wal-Mart employees do not correspond the norms. There are also many lawsuits reported against the company as a result of the problems it creates for the employees. The quality of the organizational activities and overall atmosphere in Wal-Mart must be reconsidered to define whether its economic impact for the American society is beneficial.
Apart from economic investigations, it should be stressed that the effect of Wal-Mart can also relate to the debates related to family, community, transparency and equality. The analysis of Wal-Mart opportunities for employees also refers to the claims and concern on the part of the individuals working with the retailers. In particular, it has been reported that “examining the changing content of claims over time shows that speakers quoted in newspapers devoted a slightly increased portion of their claims to concerns about Wal-Mart’s public image, although civic groups did this more often than did Wal-Mart’s own spokespersons” (Massengill 159). Therefore, civic group claims that the public image of the retail company could be enhanced as soon as it introduces higher quality of the working conditions. Despite the fact that Wal-Mart offers new jobs to low-income Americans, the latter are reluctant to be employed and, as a result, other workers from other countries are more likely to apply for the position. Due to the fact that their needs and preferences are below the accepted needs in the United States, the American workers suffer from the increasing unemployment rates.
In the context of the economic stability, the moral perspective of conducting business with Wal-Mart should also be considered due to the new debates undermining the adherence of the managers to the basic ethical and legal norms of dealing with the company’s employees. In particular, Massengill explains that the moral dimension demonstrated in the case is associated with the economic policy. In particular, individualism and community alongside with other moral issues show that the economic welfare is closely correlated with the political landscape, in which American people live. As the above-presented moral values come to the fore when dealing with Wal-Mart, such issues should also be considered in more detail. Specifically, Massengill assumes, “groups like Wal-Mart Watch face a tougher challenge in convincing onlookers that they should care about where they buy paper towels or laundry detergents” (p. 47). The analysis of the issues also provides a deeper insight into the social environment in which the company operates. As a result, the question about corporate social responsibility should be prioritized to understand how employees can become more motivated to work in a more effective way.
In conclusion, it should be stressed that Wal-Mart creates both negative and positive aspects to the American economy. On the one hand, the retailers offer moderate prices for low-income consumers and create working places for employees. On the other hand, the low-level of salaries is not acceptable for American workers, whereas ethnic minorities and employees abroad agree to work in such environment. As a result of this inconsistency, the company fails to meet the regulations of the U.S. labor law.