The 800 pound retailer

Interesting discussion at RetailWire, debating the premise that large retailers’ sway over their suppliers is exaggerated. I was one of several panelists who questioned the source (and objectivity) of the research:

I think it’s worth considering the source of these findings: The Sam Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. There is some validity to the idea that supply chain efficiency benefits the supplier as well as the retailer, but it’s disingenuous to suggest that big box stores have less leverage than their vendors. It’s well known that Walmart, in particular, has pushed its vendors hard to take costs out of the product and the “process” for many years. Nothing wrong with that, but let’s be realistic about who is driving the cost savings.


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