Whoa. I don’t even have anything in particular to say about this right now, but it seems that the tectonic plates have shifted beneath us, and I thought I’d bring it to y’all’s attention:
Wal-Mart Era Wanes…
By GARY MCWILLIAMS
October 3, 2007; Page A1
The Wal-Mart Era, the retailer’s time of overwhelming business and social influence in America, is drawing to a close.
Using a combination of low prices and relentless expansion, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. emerged from rural Arkansas in the 1970s to reshape the world’s largest economy. Its co-founder, Sam Walton, taught Americans to demand ever-lower prices and instructed businesses on running a lean company. His company helped boost America’s overall productivity, lowered the inflation rate, and strengthened the buying power for millions of people. Over time, it also accelerated the drive to manufacture products in Asia, drove countless small shops out of business, and sped the decline of Main Street. Those changes are permanent.
Today, though, Wal-Mart’s influence over the retail universe is slipping….
Rival retailers lured Americans away from Wal-Mart’s low-price promise by offering greater convenience, more selection, higher quality, or better service….
… American shoppers are increasingly looking for qualities that Wal-Mart has trouble providing. "For the first time in a long time, quality has a chance to gain on price," says Lee Peterson, a vice president at Dublin, Ohio-based brand consulting firm WD Partners Inc….
Quality? What kind of gimmick will these ad wizards come up with next?
Be sure to check out the short video showing graphically how Wal-Mart took over the country. It’s cool.