The Wal-Mart Effect: How an Out-of-town Superstore Became a Superpower

The Wal-Mart Effect: How an Out-of-town Superstore Became a Superpower

by Charles Fishman (Author)

Synopsis

It's coming to a town near you. Wal-Mart is the biggest company on earth, ever. Each year 7.2 billion people shop there that's more than one visit for every person on the planet. It's expanding across the globe from Brazil to Eastern Europe to the UK in the form of Asda. Everyone loves its low prices. But what's the real cost of getting a bargain? "The Wal-Mart Effect" takes us up the shopping aisles and into the amazing and alarming world of the most successful superstore in history. Charles Fishman has gained unprecedented access to this notoriously secretive business to expose the shocking extent of its influence on what we buy and how we live. Interviewing high-level ex-executives, traveling among suppliers (from purveyors of toothpaste to pickled gherkins) and uncovering the places where its influence is felt on fields and forests, he brings us the hidden voices from Planet Wal-Mart. Exploring every aspect of this consumer monolith, he shows that its silent power is now so great it can determine everything from the design of deodorant available in the US to what the lives of farm-raised chickens will be like and the hours Chinese bicycle-makers must work. Now Wal-Mart is almost incapable of being challenged, what will the long-term impact of these vast concrete stores be on our towns and cities, on wages and working conditions, on smaller shops, the idea of choice and on our world?

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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
Publisher: Allen Lane
Published: 04 May 2006

ISBN 10: 0713998253
ISBN 13: 9780713998252

Author Bio
Charles Fishman is a senior editor at Fast Company. In 2005 he was awarded the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award, the highest award in business journalism, and he had been a finalist for the Loeb in three of the last four years. In 2004 his story about Wal-Mart was given the New York Press Club's award for the best magazine story about business. He has appeared regularly on NPR, CNN and Fox News.