Personally, I’m not trying to sell Walmart. I buy some stuff there. I buy stuff other places. Usually the haters come back to ‘benefits’ and ‘hourly wages,’ but in my area a Walmart job is something to be proud of. Discount chains watch the pennies. Don’t like it…. don’t work there. People line up for Walmart jobs around here.
“…..By Jessica Wohl
NEW YORK | Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:28pm EST
(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc will buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made goods over the next decade in areas like sporting goods and high-end appliances in what the world's largest retailer called a bid to help boost the U.S. economy.
Wal-Mart, the largest private employer in the United States and the world's largest retailer, also said on Tuesday it plans to hire 100,000 newly discharged veterans over the next five years, at a time when the U.S. unemployment rate is at 7.8 percent.
The moves come as the U.S. economy continues to grow slowly 3-1/2 years after the end of a severe recession. An average of $5 billion a year in spending is a drop in the bucket for the $15 trillion U.S. economy, and the question is how many other retailers could do the same.
Terry Lundgren, chief executive of Macy's Inc and until this month the chairman of the National Retail Federation, told Reuters that Wal-Mart's plans to buy American were good but that cost would still be an issue.
"We would all love to do that, the customer will not pay more," Lundgren told Reuters on the sidelines of an NRF event where Wal-Mart presented its plans.
The moves received a cool reception from critics who claimed Wal-Mart does not pay its workers enough and slammed the retailer for selling too many goods made in lower-cost countries like China. The company is also under pressure over its sourcing practices, particularly after a deadly fire at a Bangladesh factory that made Wal-Mart clothes.
But Walmart's U.S. unit says about two-thirds of the goods it buys for its stores are made, sourced from or grown in the United States
, citing data from its suppliers. It has previously run "Made in America" campaigns, and in the early 1990s it was criticized for promoting foreign goods as domestically made.
Last year, 55 percent of Walmart U.S. sales came from groceries like food and drinks as well as other products that are typically sourced locally. Only 7 percent of Walmart U.S. sales were of apparel, jewelry and accessories, which retailers typically get from lower-cost countries.
To the extent Wal-Mart buys more U.S.-made goods the company would have otherwise imported, it would reflect the recent shift in the U.S. commercial relationship with the rest of the world….."