I was having a discussion recently about Wal-Mart, or as I prefer to call it, China-Mart. The topic was trying to find a product in Wal-Mart that wasn’t made or assembled in China. My friend made a comment that Sam Walton is probably turning over in his grave because he always had products “made in America.” A somewhat terse discussion ensued after I told her that wasn’t really true. I explained that Sam Walton was the one that finally tipped the scales for big-store retailers and manufacturers to start doing whole-scale business with China.
Based on this discussion, I think it obligatory to share some apparently little-known information about Sam Walton, Wal-Mart, and China. My friend was obviously remembering Wal-Mart’s “Buy American” campaign in the late 1980’s, which falsely built their persona as a “good old all-American company”. Because while they were promoting their “Buy American” campaign, they were already buying more and more of their products from China. Hmmm. Me thinks Sam Walton spoke with forked tongue, Kemosabe!!
A Dateline NBC expose in 1992 burst that “good old all-American company” persona bubble! Of course, it only got worse from there.
The following re-post from PBS FRONTLINE: Wal-Mart & China: A Joint Venture, by Sam Hornblower, will provide you with the whole Wal-Mart/China story.
After reading the article, I truly want to hear your comments and/or thoughts about Wal-Mart (China-Mart)!