Marre de Wal-Mart ?

Voulez-vous savoir quel vidéo-clip fera bientôt trembler les décideurs du monde entier ? L'économiste Thomas Holmes, suivant un scénario qui ressemble de façon troublante à la diffusion d'une épidémie mondiale, a préparé une simulation cartographique dynamique montrant l'expansion des magasins Wal-Mart aux États-Unis. En commençant par l'épicentre à Bentonville, dans l'Arkansas, où Sam Walton ouvrit son premier magasin en 1962, les big-box stores [magasins-boîtes] géants Wal-Mart se sont maintenant multipliés au point que l'Américain moyen vit désormais à moins de sept kilomètres d'une de ces boutiques.

Il est intéressant de noter que les magasins évoluent à la manière des pétales d'une fleur qui s'épaississent et s'étendent. Plutôt que de sauter directement jusqu'aux côtes, puisque 80% des Américains vivent dans un rayon de 80 km de l'Atlantique ou du Pacifique, Wal-Mart s'est étendu de façon organique par le biais d'une chaîne de fournisseurs en constante expansion. Même si chaque nouvelle boutique vole une partie de la clientèle des magasins Wal-Mart établis dans les environs, l'efficacité des approvisionnements en constante amélioration contribue à maintenir la croissance globale de la chaîne.

Qu'on l'adore ou qu'on le déteste, Wal-Mart est indéniablement l'exemple parfait des coûts et des bénéfices de la mondialisation moderne. Les consommateurs y dépensent considérablement moins que dans des magasins traditionnels. Par exemple, les économistes considèrent que l'alimentation chez Wal-Mart coûte 25% moins cher que dans une chaîne de supermarchés ordinaire. La différence de prix pour de nombreux autres produits de consommation est encore plus grande.

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