The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works--and HowIt's Transforming the American Economy

The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works--and HowIt's Transforming the American Economy

by Charles Fishman
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The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works--and HowIt's Transforming the American Economy by Charles Fishman

Wal-Mart isn’t just the world’s biggest company, it is probably the world’s most written-about. But no book until this one has managed to penetrate its wall of silence or go beyond the usual polemics to analyze its actual effects on its customers, workers, and suppliers. Drawing on unprecedented interviews with former Wal-Mart executives and a wealth of staggering data (e.g., Americans spend $36 million an hour at Wal-Mart stores, and in 2004 its growth alone was bigger than the total revenue of 469 of the Fortune 500), The Wal-Mart Effect is an intimate look at a business that is dramatically reshaping our lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143038788
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/26/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 330,886
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 - 17 Years

About the Author

Charles Fishman has been a senior editor at the Orlando Sentinel and the News & Observer and is now a senior editor at Fast Company. In 2005 he won the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism.

Table of Contents

The Wal-Mart EffectOne. Who Knew Shopping Was So Important?
Two. Sam Walton's Ten-Pound Bass
Three. Makin Bacon, A Wal-Mart Fairy Tale
Four. The Squeeze
Five. The Man Who Said No to Wal-Mart
Six. What Do We Actually Know About Wal-Mart?
Seven. Salmon, Shirts, and the Meaning of Low Prices
Eight. The Power of Pennies
Nine. Wal-Mart and the Decent Society
Epilogue. Peoria, September 2005

Source Notes

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

The best Wal-Mart expose yet . . . as measured by depth and breadth of research, writing style, and evenhanded treatment. (The Denver Post)

Highly readable, incisive, precise, and even elegant. (San Francisco Chronicle)

The Wal-Mart Effect is an interesting look at how big corporations affect our planet in positive and negative ways. The strength . . . is in the stories about the lives that Wal-Mart has touched, set against the backdrop of an astounding array of data. (USA Today)

Insightful. (BusinessWeek)

The Wal-Mart Effect saunters through the influential economic ‘ecosystem’ that the discount chain represents with clarity, compelling nuance, and refreshing objectivity. (The Christian Science Monitor)

A must-read if one is even to begin understanding the global dominance of Wal-Mart. (The Washington Post)

Customer Reviews

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The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works--and How It's Transforming the American Economy 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Wal- Mart Effect By: Charles Fishman From the beginning of Wal ¿ Mart to present day, Charles Fishman will take you on a tour of Wal- marts growing effect on the economy. It¿s how Wal ¿ Mart effects the companies they buy from, their employees, and even you. This book has insider stories, as well as well researched graphs and studies to show the modern family what it really means to have low prices. This book was well written, full of information, and very insightful. 9 out of 10. Zach
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charles Fishman does a good job summarizing the 'effects' of the world's largest retailer - all the way down the value chain: end user prices, supplier costs, worker conditions at home and abroad, and social/environmental impacts. In the end, he proposes a solution to deal with such mega-corporations: a change in securities law that requires more transparency. A previous reviewer stated his concerns over increased governmental regulation -- likening it to 'wolves to handle your stray dog problem.' However, I tend to agree with the author that we do not have adequate rules to deal with the relatively new phenomena of mega-corporations -- ones that have attained monopsony control over the market. We have strict laws to deal with monopolies - situations where one 'seller' has significant control over the market. It is not unreasonable to propose greater oversight in situations where one 'buyer' has significant control, either.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Should be required reading for any business person, student or consumer. Our business environment is changing and it is not just happening in the electronic/computer arena.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was not an insight of the inner workings of Walmart, but a view of how Walmart has changed the world and how we do business. This book is enlightening to the global impact of business today -- the advantages, the consequences of the world economy and the importance of corporate responsibility and accountability.
WorldReader1111 More than 1 year ago
An outstanding book, in my opinion. 'The Wal-Mart Effect' is, first, very well-written, with good formatting and a clear, coherent narrative. Furthermore, the author demonstrates a strong intellect that is tempered with humanity, perceptiveness, and transparency. Add to that a consistently fair and conservative faculty of judgment (and some witty humor, too), and the text was, for me, very easy to read -- smart but avoiding lofty, as to be accessible. Also, the book is comprehensively researched, being comprised predominantly of firsthand interviews and other original fieldwork on the author's part, rather than being sourced from less-substantial material; and, the content arrives from multiple perspectives and viewpoints, lending to a well-rounded account. Finally, 'Effect' delivers on its stated aim of demystifying Wal-Mart somewhat, by presenting a factual and meaningful overview of the corporation and its unprecedented global impact; I was also impressed with the author's conclusions and suggestions, which were, I thought, reasonable, logical, and well-argued. Thus, the book is, in my view, a success right from the outset, without even considering the finer points contained therein. And, indeed, it is ripe with such secondary substance, as to be far more than a business book -- or, really, even an academic one. Instead, 'Effect' is, in the end, something larger in scope, as to involve the lore of the world at large. That is to say, there is so much to learn from Wal-Mart's example, for so many of the subjects touched on in the text are as relevant and applicable on a human level as much as an economic or metaphorical one (and, likewise, as much individually as universally). So many lessons reside within Wal-Mart's history and behavior, and so many of them translate directly to us and our daily lives: in psychology and sociology, providing perspective on our actions, thoughts, and relationships (especially in regards to power and control); in the inseparability of all things, where the choices and actions of the part are never without bearing on the whole; in the deceptive nature of appearances, vividly illustrating how a bright, friendly exterior can conceal dark, negative motives; in the endlessly complicated reality of the world, where a seemingly good outcome can come at great expense, and for reasons not easily known or understood ("low prices aren't worth the cost"). Etcetera, etcetera. However, what I found most compelling about the book, and what made me rate it five stars, was the final chapter, in which we are treated to an interview with several individuals put out of work by the Wal-Mart Effect. This chapter is, for me, the book's capstone, for it takes the entire preceding discussion and condenses it into living terms, by providing a glimpse into the real-life, ground-level repercussions of the distant, impersonal forces referenced throughout the book. I can think of no more fitting conclusion, and it left me in an odd (yet appropriate) state of satisfaction, enlightenment, and unease. My sincere thanks goes out to this book's author, subjects, and publisher. Truly, I have benefited from your work. * * * Some notable quotes from 'The Wal-Mart Effect': "[...] there is a big difference between proving something and presuming something." -- p.141 "All those problems are manageable; it's just that managing them costs money, and if there is no reason to spend that money, no incentive, then no one does." -- p.178
DoranneLongPTMS More than 1 year ago
Wal-Mart affects our world, and how we think about world, whether we shop at Wal-Mart or not. Good examples are provided about Wall-Mart's effectiveness and efficiency. For example, deodorant no longer comes in its own cardboard box, which was immediately discarded upon opening; this is saving time, money, trees, shipping costs, and land fills. However, Wal-Mart can also negatively impact the world, and those of us living on it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a great read for anyone that ever wanted to de-mystify the WalMart Empire. It is factual and unbiased. I leared a great deal about WalMart and the global impacts this retailer has on the world economy.
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Lots of people love and shop at wally world.I am happy we live in a free country.I don't have to shop there
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Contiune please.