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resetreset 09-20-2012 11:03 AM

Walmart in India
 
Hey LQ'ers,
I don't know if y'all know or not, but the Indian govt. just allowed foreign retail chains in India - it's sparked off a furore over here with everybody saying that it's going to put small stores out of business etc.
So... I'd like to ask Americans and other Westerners in general over here - if you have big supermarkets in your country, do you think that's a good thing? If you came across another country forumulating its policies (well, you have!), would you advocate it to them?

DavidMcCann 09-20-2012 12:23 PM

I think the Indian government's got it wrong. These firms do nothing for consumers, damage small businesses, and cheat suppliers. I don't know Wallmart (Asda in the UK) as it doesn't trade where I live, but I'd only use Tesco if it were a choice between that and starvation. Wikipedia has some information of the sins of both. Personally, I use independent shops or the Waitrose supermarket, which is a workers co÷perative.

gnashley 09-20-2012 01:22 PM

Walmart is right up there with the most evil of comapnies... It will squeze out every small and medium-sized competitor anywhere near them...

AnanthaP 09-20-2012 08:46 PM

Look, it affects only the top 5% in the top 5 cities of India for at least 5 years!

Walmart tried thru' Bharathi-walmart. I think it's wound up now.

Many state governments have declared that they will not allow single brand foreign retail in their states.

The small mom and pop shops already have competition from multi brand indian institutional retail and guess who is closing down stores (having being the victim of unverified statistics).

OK

frankbell 09-20-2012 10:16 PM

I have watched Walmart move in and destroy local businesses and downtowns in many cities. Their business model is based on squeezing suppliers and abusing employees.

At one of my past jobs, I knew managers who worked for Walmart suppliers and heard their tales of how Walmart, once it became a major source of sales for them, would extort them into lowering their wholesale price. They then would turn around and put the screws on their employees. If the suppliers protested that they couldn't meet Walmart's demands, Walmart would offer to teach them how to move their manufacturing off-shore.

This is as probably as objective a report as you will find.

http://www.pbs.org/itvs/storewars/stores3.html

Not so objective, but factual:

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/201...ned/?mobile=nc

Your qualms are justified.

resetreset 09-21-2012 02:02 AM

Well, since the conversation has taken the turn it has - Google did exactly the same thing with their "Get Indian Businesses online" campaign - it scared me to death because I thought that this would kill many small web design shops, which I hope to be one day :) - I don't know what the final result was though. I have tremendous RESPECT for Google, as they are made up of a VERY smart bunch of people, but that doesn't mean I want to get crowded out by them!!

So - if Google can do that to ME, I don't see why Walmart shouldn't do that to farmers! If they come here, at least we'll be able to buy our meat and fish from a clean, airconditioned supermarket - not where we do so now: have you people SEEN it? It's not fit for human beings!

Of course what I'd really like is for INDIAN supermarket chains to get big and set up shops everywhere, so that we get the benefits that come from that, but without any negative effects on farmers, but this doesn't look like it'll happen! :(

PrinceCruise 09-22-2012 01:25 PM

Deleted...never mind.

AnanthaP 09-22-2012 10:32 PM

Update.
WALMART has announced that in 18 months they hope to have a presence in India.

Quote:

Of course what I'd really like is for INDIAN supermarket chains to get big and set up shops everywhere, so that we get the benefits that come from that, but without any negative effects on farmers, but this doesn't look like it'll happen!
How touching.

Indian supermarket chains are no less rapacious compared to international supermarket chains. Their corporate governance is if anything worse than international chains since they got where (and wherever) they are by cronyism in every aspect.

Its really sentimental. Do you support an idealised mom and pop shop or an idealised supermarket.

jefro 09-23-2012 12:25 PM

I don't care for mom and pop places. I know they are the backbone of the local economy. They are simply a business model that can't survive. Many years ago it made sense. There just is more efficient use for the people managing and owning the local sari-sari stores. It is a wake up call for the local shops to improve their product, improve it's appeal to customers and hopefully improve support and worker benefits if they want to compete. Who thinks paying more for less is a good deal? Those shop owners better get some other trade. There are many ways they can convert their shops to a niche that big boxes can't touch. Adapt or die.

Although I don't care for walmart, I do respect it's ability to manage costs and maintain efficiency. Their record of worker benefits is really bad and their purchases from suspect sources is bad along with other companies. The record of worker benefits in local shops is even worse.

There is also a point of fair trade. After all, India didn't stop any Indian company from investing in foreign companies or even buying them. They ought to be fair and let others do.

resetreset 09-25-2012 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnanthaP (Post 4786872)
How touching.

Bro, why get sarcastic on my goodness of heart?
I don't follow the dealings of big business houses in India on a daily basis or something....?

I don't know what an "idealised" supermarket is, but what I want, as I said above, is a nice large, clean, cheap place to do my shopping where I know no evil has been done.

resetreset 09-25-2012 10:48 AM

Also, to add to the discussion, could E-commerce be the solution to the whole thing? Check this out: www.shopveg.in .
That would be absolutely THRILLING - I could use my Linux knowledge to take on Walmart! :)
(the govt. has specifically NOT allowed foreign investment in e-commerce - smart of them. Let's take advantage of that, I say! :) )

PrinceCruise 09-25-2012 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by resetreset (Post 4788903)
I don't follow the dealings of big business houses in India on a daily basis or something....?

Really, on daily basis?


Regards.

sundialsvcs 09-25-2012 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jefro (Post 4787242)
I don't care for mom and pop places. I know they are the backbone of the local economy. They are simply a business model that can't survive. Many years ago it made sense. There just is more efficient use for the people managing and owning the local sari-sari stores. It is a wake up call for the local shops to improve their product, improve it's appeal to customers and hopefully improve support and worker benefits if they want to compete. Who thinks paying more for less is a good deal? Those shop owners better get some other trade. There are many ways they can convert their shops to a niche that big boxes can't touch. Adapt or die.

The Wal-Mart strategy in the U. S. of A. is by no means "untouchable." In fact, their game-plan of building "mega centers" larger than an aircraft hangar, filled with "anything that someone might want" (even though a large percentage of them day-to-day don't) is actually weakening substantially in the US marketplace.

Contrast this, for example, with (say...) Dollar General Corporation, which puts small stores in the most gosh-darned out-of-the-way places but turns over just about every product in the place every 60 days. They are an immensely successful competitor to Wal-Mart, and actually older, which uses a small box. You don't have to travel many miles at all to get to one, and you can probably find something that will do.

A reseller doesn't really want to stock everything: they want constant turnover of what they do stock.

I personally think that Wal-Mart has an Achilles heel in their strategy: in order to successfully seed a store, they need a fairly advanced local economy to be present in that area. But, after a year or so, if theirs is the only significant influence within that local sphere, they have sucked it dry. In the "desert" that their swamp-everything business model tends to generate, people can only buy your stuff with the wages that you pay them. You see the problem. You really can't buy there just on the paltry wages you get if you work there.

I don't fear Wal-Mart. I sense trouble brewing in their future, and I see them as being wholly incompatible with India.

Cooper618 09-26-2012 02:20 AM

I think Indian government took a wrong decision.Most of the Indian says that this decision would go against the popularity of current government.

sundialsvcs 09-26-2012 08:47 AM

Any decision can be reversed. Wally's might be sticking their toes in the water, but I don't think they'll keep them there for long.


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