Is Wal-Mart Good For America?

PBS Frontline asks what is the real cost of Wal-Mart's famous 'everyday low prices'.
November 16, 2004, 9am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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On Tuesday evening, November 16, PBS Frontline is scheduled to run a special report exploring the relationship between U.S. job losses and the American consumer's insatiable desire for bargains in "Is Wal-Mart Good for America?"

Through interviews with retail executives, product manufacturers, economists, and trade experts, correspondent Hedrick Smith examines the growing controversy over the Wal-Mart way of doing business and asks whether a single retail giant has changed the American economy.

To understand the secret of Wal-Mart's success, Smith travels from the company's headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, to their global procurement center in Shenzhen, China, where several hundred employees work to keep the company's import pipeline running smoothly. Of Wal-Mart's 6,000 global suppliers, experts estimate that as many as eighty percent are based in China.

From the promo: "Frontline offers two starkly contrasting images: one in Circleville, Ohio, where the local TV manufacturing plant has closed down; the other--a sea of high rises in the South China boomtown of Shenzhen. The connection between American job losses and soaring Chinese exports? Wal-Mart. For Wal-Mart, China has become the cheapest, most reliable production platform in the world, the source of up to $25 billion in annual imports that help the company deliver everyday low prices to 100 million customers a week."

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Tuesday, November 16, 2004 in PBS
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