April 15, 2010

Wal Mart bends to the consumer's wishes

I frequently have heard people speak disparagingly of Wal-Mart as a greedy conglomerate that drives small stores out of business and takes advantage of their workers. I know people who won't shop there because they think it is gauche or low class. Recently, though, I read an article that makes me think that regardless of wages, size, or lobbying power, Wal-Mart is still subject to the will of the consumers.
Last year, Wal-Mart decided to eliminate many national brands from their shelves and increase the quantity and supposed quality of their own "Great Value" brand. Some of the brands eliminated included Arm and Hammer, many Kraft products and Kellogs. The idea was to attempt to make the Great Value brand a national brand and in so doing beat out the competition.
It didn't work. After numerous consecutive climbing quarters in profits, Wal Mart suffered profit declines between 1.5% and 2.0 % each quarter and many consumers deserted Wal Mart altogether. As a result, Wal Mart has decided to put back Chips Ahoy cookies, Arm and Hammer laundry detergent, and about 300 other name brands that had disappeared from shelves. I guess that even massive giants can't crush the voices of the little consumers.

No comments: