沃尔玛是否横扫千军?

你是否知道哪一个录像片马上会令世界各地的决策者大惊失色?经济学家托马斯·赫尔姆斯准备了一个展示沃尔玛商店席卷美国的动画地图模拟片,这一景象令人惊讶,看似就像是一场全球性的传染病。1962年创始之初,山姆·沃顿在美国阿肯色州的本顿维尔老家开设了他的第一家店铺,现在,外表四四方方、巨大无比的沃尔玛商店已经翻倍增长,普通美国人的住家距离其中一家商店不到七公里。

有趣的是,录像片展示的是沃尔玛如何像花束一样扩张,不断变厚和扩大。80%的美国人口居住在太平洋或大西洋沿岸,沃尔玛并没有扑向美国的海岸线,而是通过不断扩张的供应链条有机地扩散。尽管每一家新店会抢走附近的沃尔玛店的生意,但是不断提高完善的供应效率帮助维持了连锁店的总体增长。

无论你喜欢还是仇视沃尔玛,无可否认的事实是,沃尔玛本质上是现代全球化成本和效益的范例。与传统商店相比,消费者节省大笔开支。例如,经济学家们估计,沃尔玛的食品部与典型的大型超市连锁店相比便宜25%。其他许多消费品的价格差异甚至更大。

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