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The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business Hardcover – July 21, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
—The New York Times Book Review
—The Big Money
—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
—Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan
—Sanford M. Jacoby, author of The Embedded Corporation
—Jonathan Birchall, U.S. consumer correspondent, The Financial Times
—Ron Galloway, director of Why Wal-Mart Works
—Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect
Top Customer Reviews
Lichtenstein begins with Walton's early retailing experiences, including the frustrations at higher-ups that would not support his push for self-service and discount retailing. Confident in his thinking, and after observing early moves in that direction (eg. E.J. Korvette, etc.) Walton struck out on his own and opened his first store in 1962 using money from his wife's parents.
Other early innovations included phasing out jobbers, mandating use of bar-codes (faster checkouts, easier inventory tracking), satellite communications (faster communications with Bentonville, faster credit-card approvals), strict prohibitions against accepting gifts from vendors, going to electronic ordering.
Walton liked to recruit managers internally (76%), from the military, churches, college graduates who were members of "Free Enterprise" groups on campus. Demands were harsh - constant improvement, and even in the booming 1980s, 10-155 of all managers were demoted each year. (The goal was to increase staff by less than the increase in sales - not as hard as it might seem, given inflation.Read more ›
But this is not a crucifixion of the retailer. It shows how Walmart resisted unions in the US (but not so effectively in other countries), how it has resisted decent health care and wage increases (however, that's shifting as its growth decreases and it realizes that its own employees can't afford to shop at their stores). Walmart has an incredible amount of power in the retail market and has wielded to its employees detriment.
However, like the book Cheap, Lichtenstein emphasizes that customers want the low prices and employees like the apparent "family atmosphere" evoked in Walmart stores (at least initially, until they realize they'll never get a salary or full time job there). Unless people are willing to pay more (and thus have less), Walmart will reign supreme
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I book that could make you not want to shop at Wal-Mart ever again.Published 23 months ago by Frank
When will people learn that corporations exist and are required by law to maximize profit for their shareholders, not create jobs. Read morePublished on July 16, 2014 by Almost Medicare!
If you're fond of history this book provides plenty, but it's couched in pro-union verbosity and left-leaning blame mongering. Read morePublished on February 4, 2012 by Sally
This book, more than any other,has helped me to understand the retail industry. The book tells the story of retailing, with a focus on Wal-Mart. Read morePublished on September 12, 2010 by Leslie Levy
I am not a Wal-Mart employee nor do I even shop there but I think I will start today.
Given the title, I thought this book would elucidate on fundamental changes in the... Read more
Its a very nice book !!!
Can touch you about the global retail !!!
One of the oft forgotten realities of 20th century economics was how Keynesianism was created to answer the problem of chronic unemployment, regular recessions and potential... Read morePublished on September 16, 2009 by Marty
This book presents a shallow and unfocused review of Wal Mart and what Wal Mart does. Don't buy the book, instead go to a Wal Mart and you will learn more than you will from this... Read morePublished on August 24, 2009 by Amazon Customer