Can a Big Box Store Save the US Economy?

big box stores

The question we should ask first is: “Did our love for better, cheaper and faster put us in this situation?” Of course it did! Who wouldn’t want the same product but cheaper and in one convenient location? And because Americans did it the rest of the world wanted it as well. Big box stores like Walmart, Target and Home Depot made it happen.

The only problem was that we were not getting the same product cheaper anymore, we were getting lower quality products that were made in low cost labor countries like China. Then when the labor costs started to rise in China, production moved to even lower cost countries like Malaysia and Vietnam and Bangladesh. Products were being copied, mass produced and then sold in these new middle class markets. iPhone, Nike and Coach look-a-likes were everywhere but it wasn’t until the economy seriously crashed that Americans started to panic.

Everyone from the POTUS to CEOs to the assembly line workers on the Saturn line started to search for answers.  For some it was getting more or new education so enrollment at the universities, colleges and community colleges skyrocketed even after classes were cut and professors were laid off.  Student loans also sky rocketed but the number of jobs didn’t.

Logically the only thing that could have happen next was to bring jobs back to the US by bringing manufacturing back to the US! Companies like Starbucks, Caterpillar, Apple, GE and Master Lock have led the way but a statement still needed to be made.  Starbucks started reshoring by first bringing back ceramic mug manufacturing to the US and then donating $5 million to start the Create Jobs for the USA foundation.

Walmart also stepped up to the plate and helped 1888 Mills keep manufacturing here in the US by giving them a long term contract for towels made in the US. From there Walmart made an Investment in American Jobs in the tune of $250 million dollars in American products over the next ten years. They will accomplish this by working with suppliers to:

  • Increase what they already buy from U.S. manufacturers
  • Source “new to Walmart” U.S. manufactured goods
  • Re-shore the manufacturing of goods they currently buy by facilitating and accelerating efforts of our suppliers

Will Walmart make a significant impact in the fight to bring manufacturing back to the US? We think so.

Blue Silk Consulting will have a booth at Walmart’s 2014 Manufacturing Summit in Denver on Aug 14-15.  This summit will provide a forum for meetings between Suppliers and various State representatives & Economic Development Organizations.  There will also be an opportunity for meetings between Suppliers and Raw Material and Component providers as well as Investors and Financial Institutions.

We will be there to help connect the dots and help ensure that YOUR Reshoring project doesn’t fail. We will be offering a first look at our Reshoring DVD and Guidebook and answer any questions you have about Reshoring and Bringing Manufacturing Back!