WalMart – China – Change

I’ve been saying this for some time…

Now, some employees say, a Walmart job does not pay enough to comfortably support a family, with wages hovering around minimum wage, or about $300 a month. While Walmart has led a high-profile campaign in the United States to raise pay, salaries in China have remained largely stagnant, workers said, barely keeping pace with inflation.

Walmart has struggled to keep up with the fast-changing tastes of Chinese consumers and tried to re-energize its business by making investments in online retailers. __NYTimes

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Walmart in China, photo credit Lam Yik Fei for the NY Times
A Walmart store in Shenzhen, China, where the company opened its first store in the country two decades ago. Some of Walmart’s workers in Shenzhen recently filed a lawsuit demanding back pay. Credit Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

There are cycles. When America began its industrial age, we didn’t look much different. As the Chinese start getting regular paychecks, seeing what they make for other countries, etc., the same cycles are bound to happen.

What does that mean? Well, I’m no economist or historian, but my guess is that as China changes, prices in America will change. Also, as more and more Chinese begin to have expendable income, their market will outpace ours. The fact that Walmart is trying to “re-energize its business” gives one pause to reflect.

Just thinking out loud. I believe that as we complain about WalMart and others, ‘cheap’ may become obsolete. Good or bad? We shall see.


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