Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Low Prices, Big Corporations: We All Lose

Wal-Mart announced it will match the lowest prices listed anywhere – at least for the holiday season home stretch.  This is a desperate move to match Amazon and it should concern all of us.

The way to compete can’t always come down to price.  It should be about the quality of service, variety in product offerings, and which company is the better corporate citizen (hiring/treatment of workers, tax deals, US-based, charity links). If all companies sell all the same things and all they do is promise to cut prices, how will anyone survive?

The independent stores can’t compete on price alone.  The bigger but specialized stores, like Best Buy, can’t compete with those that undercut it.  Now, Wal-Mart, the nation’s top retailer  and Amazon, the planet’s biggest e-tailer, are looking to challenge each other – and everyone – on price.  Do you support Wal-Mart, the country’s largest employer who doesn’t compensate workers well, or do you root for Amazon, publishing-killer and threat to all industries?

How about neither?

Buy local.  Buy independent.  Support small businesses.

Just like the Buy American campaign with autos back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, we need a buy-in-your-neighborhood campaign before those malls disappear and give way to nothing but one or two giant companies like Wal-Mart and Amazon.

The consumer is challenged.  In this sideways economy, consumers will always want the best deal.  He or she doesn’t fully think of the ramifications of their next purchase on society, their neighborhood, or the economy.  But with each purchase at Wal-Mart or Amazon, it’s a blow for the competitive balance that’s needed to get workers higher wages, to keep product diversity in the marketplace, and to keep neighborhood economies functional.

I don’t shop at either corporate giant.  You should rethink how you spend your money.  Don’t be a hypocrite -- speak with your wallet.  We let these huge corporations get big.  We can shrink them – and in the end – grow the economy.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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