As some of my readers know I have run a blog about this story before but I felt it is always important to keep reminding people of what some real dangers are in our country. How can a Giant Pickle Jar be dangerous you might ask yourself? It's not just the pickle jar, though it's a great symbol of the analogy, it's an industry that is blatantly trying to undermine American independent business owners. Folks it's not by accident that the retail giants are moving in to small and medium towns all over our country, it is deliberate. Several years ago I came across an article written by Charles Fishman for the on-line news organization "Fast Company" and was blown away by what it revealed.
"A gallon-sized jar of whole pickles is something to behold. The jar is the size of a small aquarium. The fat green pickles, floating in swampy juice, look reptilian, their shapes exaggerated by the glass. It weighs 12 pounds, too big to carry with one hand. The gallon jar of pickles is a display of abundance and excess; it is entrancing, and also vaguely unsettling. This is the product that Wal-Mart fell in love with: Vlasic’s gallon jar of pickles."
As the article continues to say "Wal-Mart priced it at $2.97–a year’s supply of pickles for less than $3! “They were using it as a ‘statement’ item,” says Pat Hunn, who calls himself the “mad scientist” of Vlasic’s gallon jar. “Wal-Mart was putting it before consumers, saying, This represents what Wal-Mart’s about. You can buy a stinkin’ gallon of pickles for $2.97. And it’s the nation’s number-one brand.”Therein lies the basic conundrum of doing business with the world’s largest retailer. By selling a gallon of kosher dills for less than most grocers sell a quart, Wal-Mart may have provided a service for its customers. But what did it do for Vlasic? The pickle maker had spent decades convincing customers that they should pay a premium for its brand. Now Wal-Mart was practically giving them away. And the fevered buying spree that resulted distorted every aspect of Vlasic’s operations, from farm field to factory to financial statement. "
The article continues to put on display many other American companies that either experienced financial ruin or simply had to go out of business due to the practices of Walmart. Walmart supplying their locations with cheap Chinese made goods isn't the complete problem here. They are obviously shoulder deep in demanding and, for lack of better words, strong arming American companies as well. Click on the Walmart graphic above for the complete story. It's a must read.
Here's the irony of this story...Amazon is challenging some market shares that were generally dominated by Walmart. Recently Amazon bought "Whole Foods" which certainly has Walmart paying attention. I read an article from "Investors Business Daily titled " Amazon Vs. Walmart: Locking Horns In A Battle For Retail's Future .
It states " Amazon's embrace of Whole Foods put Walmart on notice that it intends to take a bigger piece of Walmart's retail pie. Walmart gets more than half of its sales from the $700 billion U.S. grocery sector." Yet the article certainly made clear that
"Walmart has one advantage — it's much larger than Amazon by revenue. Walmart's 2017 sales surpassed $500 billion for the first time, making it almost three times bigger than Amazon. That size enables Walmart to put a much bigger price squeeze on suppliers than Amazon in online shopping, Tim Barrett, a retailing consultant at Euromonitor. says."
Whats the message of my blog today?... It's not just important to shop in your local communities and patronize independent business owners, its vital. If we let BIG BOX stores or online behemoth retail giants rule the retail industry we are doomed to be controlled by these giants. Controlled by what and how we buy our everyday things we need. I'm the first one to admit it's so easy to go on Amazon when buying gifts or just everyday items and just order and have it delivered with little effort. We pay a price for our convenience and low cost retail and that price is too big. Think about how much power these companies yield. Wonder if someday, which by the way has already arrived, they use their power in ways that go against our personal belief systems? No matter what your belief systems are these giants could sway political elections, religious norms, and how we basically live. It's not just Walmart and Amazon that could lead to societal unwanted change but other big giants weld even bigger power, such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.
How do we start repairing this? By trying to shop and eat at local businesses in your community. I know it's impossible not to use some of these big guys but if we all try to use them less I think it helps society as a whole. No industry should have this much power. They are un-elected monsters without much public accountability that need to be stopped. Local businesses re-invest in communities and are held accountable by local patrons. It's where we get our news about our neighborhoods and how we look after each other. Maybe it's time we take a trip back in time and go back to when life was about communities and neighbors. It's not too late.