Saturday, July 7

Walmart Turns 50

Eitan at Walmart USA in April.

Having experienced the 200,000 SF mega-store at 7,000 feet next to Evergreen, Colorado (population 9,038), I was interested to learn a few facts : like Walmart employs 2.2 million people or third most in the world after the US Dept of Defence (3.2 million) and the Chinese army (2.3). Walmart crammed with useful stuff from coca-cola crates to deer rifles all priced to shift and the economies work : who can compete ? Local shops sure can't. For every two jobs made by Walmart, an estimated 2.8 jobs killed - I sure saw this in Montrose whose charming High Street slowly gutted.  But is this such a bad thing ? Walmart makes life cheaper , if less pretty. This is an American business success story.

No, the thing I find difficult about Walmart is that 67% of hourly wage-earners are women and less than 15% of Sr Managers are women. 4 of 16 board members are female.  In the 1980s State Farm Insurance, the largest insurance provider in the US, argued that women did not want the high-paying jobs : 97% of sales agents men while over 2/3 of the assistants and secretaries women. It took Guy Saperstein's civil class action to change that - now agents are 50-50 male: female with State Farm's CEO reporting the quarterly ratio to Saperstein and the overseeing judge for years after the judgement. Walmart needs the same kick in the can.

All datas and sources at