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Walmarts

 
 
Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2005 09:04 am
At first, Wal-Mart's expatriate managers suffered from a massive clash of cultures, which was not helped by their refusal to learn to speak German, a study from Bremen university found out more than a year ago.
The company has come to be seen as an unattractive one to work for, adds the study. In part this is because of relatively low pay and an ultra-frugal policy on managers' business expenses.


Besides that, there are really good and well-established rivals in Germany, many family owned and tthus not looking at the maximisation of shareholder value.
Labour laws, zoning regulations, and price controls, which prevent below-cost selling did the rest to make the Walmart German adventure a fiasco.
0 Replies
 
Tarah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Dec, 2005 07:17 pm
I'm in the States pretty often (my daughter lives in Florida) and go to Walmarts. I've never known any shop in England where the sales staff are so polite, friendly and helpful. They don't vaguely point out where I can find things but actually take me to the right shelf.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jul, 2006 09:48 am
Wal Mart sold today all of its 88 German shops and withdraws from here ... with more than 1 billion EUROs deficit from 8 years of business.
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gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jul, 2006 07:56 pm
If you'd told me they refused to learn Chinese or Vietnamese I could understand it, but German is about as simple as languages get; anybody who can't deal with German has no business trying to do business in Germany.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jul, 2006 10:00 pm
That had little to nothing to do with language: analysists think, they totally misunderstood the German supermarket business, which is very compatative here, especially with two very big "discounters" (Aldi, Lidl) dominating the market with low prices.
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 03:20 am
It's kinda funny that Walmart dominates in the US and Aldi in Germany. Aldi has some small stores here in the states, but is not seen as a threat to anyone. I find that reasuring in an age when homogenization threatens to make all places the same.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 05:02 am
'Farmer Joe's' is owned by the two Albrecht brothers (the owners of Aldi) as well.
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 08:05 am
I'm not familiar with Farmer Joe's, Walter.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 08:08 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Wal Mart sold today all of its 88 German shops and withdraws from here ... with more than 1 billion EUROs deficit from 8 years of business.


I'm thrilled to hear that WalMart finally found a market it couldn't lick. Someone earlier on this thread indicated Americans not liking the high number of products that are made in China and not shopping there because of it. I don't know anyone who doesn't shop at WalMart for that reason, but I do know a number of people, myself included, who avoid it because their marketing practices drive local shops out of business.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 08:09 am
Walter's reference is to Trader Joe's...
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 08:14 am
ossobuco wrote:
Walter's reference is to Trader Joe's...


I thought that might be the case. I've never been to a Trader Joe's. They are only in big market towns. I know they are competitive with Whole Foods. Organic foods is still a niche market in this country. Walmart, coincidentally, is getting into the organic foods market in a big way. I haven't decided if this is a goood thing or a bad thing for organic farming.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 08:50 am
It's not good for the (at least here) smaller farmers (smaller, even in relation to our generally small farms [therefor our farmers still call themselves and are called peasants]: the big chains dictate the price.

(E.g. Aldi buys nearly everything from one organc cooperation - when they can't hold the price .... )
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 01:37 pm
At least for me, it seems important in the grand scheme to buy local even if it's not organic. Locally produced organic is the ideal. Walmart, with its focus on cost will buy from large organic conglomerates to force the prices down. I don't want to buy organic if it means it's beeen shipped from halfway around the world.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 01:40 pm
That's okay - with the exception of (additionally fair traded) organic coffee :wink:
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 02:05 pm
Swimpy wrote:
At least for me, it seems important in the grand scheme to buy local even if it's not organic. Locally produced organic is the ideal. Walmart, with its focus on cost will buy from large organic conglomerates to force the prices down. I don't want to buy organic if it means it's beeen shipped from halfway around the world.


I agree.
0 Replies
 
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 02:06 pm
Organic coffee, yes. We must make an exceoption for that and chocolate, too.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 02:21 pm
J_B wrote:
I'm thrilled to hear that WalMart finally found a market it couldn't lick. Someone earlier on this thread indicated Americans not liking the high number of products that are made in China and not shopping there because of it.

If that's the reason you're thrilled, I must disappoint you. Aldi, Lidl, and Metro, the companies Walter mentioned, had already out-Wal-Mart-ed Wal-Mart before it arrived in Germany, and that's why it couldn't get a competitive advantage over the incumbents. In other words, the Wal-Mart phenomenon had existed in Germany long before Wal-Mart the company arrived, and will stay with us long after the company is gone.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 02:25 pm
That's disappointing, Thomas. And, just to be clear, my sentiment had nothing to do with goods coming from China.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Aug, 2006 03:49 am
The New York Times has an insightful and interesting article on WalMart's failure in Germany.

The New York Times wrote:

Full Article
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