There’s been plenty of coverage describing Wal-Mart’s new procurement strategy to avoid middlemen and cut $12 billion in spend in recent weeks. Surely, savings is a significant motivation behind this recent action, as it is with anything Wal-Mart does. As Procurement Leaders opined, “The establishment of four global merchandising centres [as part of this initiative] certainly has significant implications for the company’s ability to reach local producers and integrate direct and indirect procurement processes to reduce costs.” But I can’t help but think there’s more to it than this. Consider, for example, Wal-Mart’s continued challenges with recalled products, not to mention the product risks to which it exposes itself as it expands even deeper into food and related areas.
Just this week, it came out that Wal-Mart was one of the retailers selling children’s jewelry that contained cadmium. According to the Washington Post, “U.S. product safety authorities say they are launching an investigation into the presence of the toxic metal cadmium in children’s jewelry imported from China ..
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