Description from the publisher: An award-winning journalist breaks through the wall of secrecy to reveal the many astonishing ways Wal-Mart's power affects our lives and reaches all around the world. The Wal-Mart Effect: The overwhelming impact of the world's largest company--due to its relentless pursuit of low prices--on retailers and manufacturers, wages and jobs, the culture of shopping, the shape of our communities, and the environment; a global force of unprecedented nature. Wal-Mart is not only the world's largest company; it is also the largest company in the history of the world.
Americans spend $26 million every hour at Wal-Mart, twenty-four hours of every day, every day of the year. Is the company a good thing or a bad thing? On the one hand, market guru Warren Buffett estimates that the company's low prices save American consumers $10 billion a year. On the other, the behemoth is the #1 employer in thirty-seven of the fifty states yet has never let a union in the door. Though 70 percent of Americans now live within a fifteen-minute drive of a Wal-Mart store, we have not even begun to understand the true power of the company and the many ways it is shaping American life. We know about the lawsuits and the labor protests, but what we don't know is how profoundly the "Wal-Mart effect" is shaping our lives.
About the author: Charles Fishman is a senior editor at Fast Company. In 2005 he was awarded the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award, the highest award in business journalism, and he had been a finalist for the Loeb in three of the last four years.
In 2004 his story about Wal-Mart was given the New York Press Club's award for the best magazine story about business. He has appeared regularly on NPR, CNN, and Fox News.