After years of severe setbacks, plans gone awry, limited backdoor entry, millions of dollars spent lobbying and a truculent audience, Wal-Mart finally gets a green signal for the Indian market. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced lifting of restrictions on foreign investment in India's retail and aviation sectors as an economic boost. Many are sceptical. The truculence remains. What happens next?
"Like a lot of locals, he says that one of his big fears is Costa serving notice that Totnes is ready to be colonised, and sparking the arrival of Caffe Nero, Subway and all the rest." A town declares war on Costa Coffee.
In a story broken by the New York Times, unsold clothes were found in trash bags outside of H&M and Wal-Mart, apparently cut up so as to be unwearable, in a city with 16,000 homeless people currently in the midst of a recession and a very cold winter. [more inside]
Game over for Toys "R" Us? A sale of their global toy business is being considered. FAO Schwarz and KB Toys have declared bankruptcy in the past year as discounters such as Wal-Mart have put the toy industry in turmoil. [full NY Times article; req.req]
Big Box Juggernauts are taking control of the landscape across North America. How does it impact how we live, and where we live? [Flash]
WalmartFilter: "Wal-Mart controls a large and rapidly increasing share of the business done by most every major U.S. consumer-products company: 28% of Dial total sales, 24% of Del Monte Foods, 23% of Clorox, 23% of Revlon... Wal-Mart plans to open 1,000 more supercenters in the U.S. alone over the next five years.. giving it control over 35% of U.S. food sales and 25% of drugstore sales...The $12 billion worth of Chinese goods Wal-Mart bought in 2002 represented 10% of all U.S. imports from China." Setting aside questions of monopoly, isn't this a potentially dangerous monoculture?
A New Milestone for Video Games? "Three of the nation's top retailers, including Wal Mart, on Monday said they had refused to carry a new video game billed as the first major release to feature full-action nudity and with prostitutes and pimps as major characters." I enjoyed their "banned ads" myself.