The Wal-Mart Effect

Charles Fishman’s The Wal-Mart Effect is a superb book about the effect that Wal-Mart has on the economy and on its suppliers. Fishman interviewed suppliers, former employees, and researched Wal-Mart, putting together an interesting book on the Wal-Mart phenomenon.

Wal-Mart’s insistence on Always low prices when coupled with the buying power of Wal-Mart, means that suppliers, whether big or small, are in a tight squeeze when it comes to dealing with Wal-Mart. The company’s poor track record when it comes to its own employees and its secretive ways do not help its cause.

Do we care enough about how the everyday low prices are achieved? The impact on communities, on people, and on the environment (in some cases)? These are questions that Fishman ponders in his book.

I feel that the policy makers in India would do well to read this book because it underscores potential problems that we might face in India, if Wal Mart comes in. Already the retail space has seen a whole lot of change and you don’t want more change coming at the cost of people’s livelihoods, communities, or the environment.


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