As December is winding down and the new year is almost here, Leading Edge Industrial reflects on current events and how they affect the industry. One such event concerns the largest retailer in America (also known as the “Retail King”) – Walmart.
What’s the Scoop?
Recently, Walmart has gone public with their Made in the USA Program. What is this? Essentially, Walmart has committed to purchasing an added $250 billion in products that will support American jobs by the year 2023. In addition, it is implementing a policy roadmap to confront and solve issues that prevent companies from manufacturing products in the U.S. The reasoning behind this? Walmart wants to purchase American sourced products to increase manufacturing jobs and open more positions in the United States, which should be highly lucrative for domestic business. The idea is to build and maintain a robust economy in America by choosing to source more American-made products.
“Our customers have told us that second to price, where products are made influences their purchase decisions,” Walmart vice president of U.S. manufacturing, Cindi Marsiglio said. This drive from their consumers has largely motivated Walmart in their commitment to helping the U.S. manufacturing industry thrive.
So, how much of an impact will this decision have on our economy and everyday consumers? Well, 37 million people currently shop at the retail monopoly daily. This averages a profit of 1.8 million dollars every HOUR. In fact, 90% of Americans live within 15 minutes of a Walmart! This means the decision to purchase an additional $250 billion in domestic products should spike significant growth for businesses providing products to Walmart. To read the commitment directly from Walmart, visit: http://bit.ly/2AWz4YQ
Olive Branch Toy Factory
One example of a company who is strongly benefiting from Walmart’s Made in the USA Program is a small Olive Branch toy factory that has recently increased its workforce by 50 percent in order to meet Walmart’s “appetite for toys,” brought on by the new program. Because of this, nearly 100 local jobs have been filled!
John Gessert, president of American Plastic Toys, said, “The commitment has helped American Plastic Toys keep jobs in the U.S. It has helped us to expand our workforce and our product offering. It’s having an effect. It definitely is.”
Companies all over the U.S. are experiencing similar changes and growth because of this program.
There have been several encouraging responses coupled with Walmart’s declaration. One of these responses was from our favorite Dirty Jobs Host, Mike Row, who received a lot of backlash for supporting the “Evil Empire” known as Walmart. However, we think his response (posted on his personal Facebook page) was pretty epic.
“It’s a hell of a thing when someone you really don’t like suddenly does something that you actually agree with. At base, I think that’s what’s happening here,” Mike said. “A lot of people who have fallen in love with hating Walmart are now wrestling with what the shrinks call ‘cognitive dissonance.’ Regarding a 250 billion dollar investment in American manufacturing, the choices are simple – a) continue to condemn them for whatever you like to condemn them for, b) offer support and encouragement, or, c) shoot the messenger. I’m not a spokesman for Walmart. I narrated a very specific commercial because I’m a fan of what Walmart is trying to accomplish with this particular initiative. In the interest of full disclosure though, I really do shop there. In fact, for nearly ten years, Walmart was my first stop whenever Dirty Jobs came to town.”
It’s clear that there is a wide amount of discussion (both positive and negative) towards Walmart and their past and present actions. As Mike stated, Walmart has previously been labeled the “Evil Empire” for accusations of unfair wages, putting local stores out of business, and more. However, with the “Made in the USA Program,” it’s clear to us that Walmart is massive steps to grow our U.S. Economy through their commitment. While the future is never set in stone, the team at Leading Edge Industrial is eager to see the effect of this commitment, and you can be sure that we’ll be watching the “Made in the USA” program closely over the next few years.