When Walmart needs to slash costs the Bentonvile Behemoth turns first to the serfs who till the fields vendors that supply product for the company's shelves. Why divert any of the stockholders' profits when others can be made to pay? Why indeed. In the ongoing struggle with Amazon for online parity, if not dominance, Walmart has an ask: develop, pay for and give us for free, web content about your products. Sounds like The Huffington Post. Robbie Neiswanger, reporting in Suppliers told by Wal-Mart: Get Web-wise for ArkansasOnline writes:
Eric Howerton has a good understanding of what Wal-Mart Stores Inc. wants to accomplish with its call for suppliers to provide data and website content on all items sold in its stores for use at Howerton, the chief executive officer of retail-marketing firm WhyteSpyder, is hopeful that suppliers for the Bentonville-based retailer can understand it as well. "Wal-Mart is tearing down the Berlin Wall---so to speak---between the store and dot-com," Howerton said. "This is serious business." It's a message Howerton tried to emphasize as his Fayetteville-based company hosted an April 27 conference in Bentonville, less than a week after Wal-Mart informed noncompliant suppliers that they had until the end of this month to provide the retailer with material like pictures, videos and product descriptions. The "Store Assortment Online" initiative is part of Wal-Mart's ongoing efforts to create a seamless shopping experience for customers and, according to Howerton and others, represents a big opportunity for suppliers as the retail landscape changes. No longer should they think of as a separate entity reflecting only a small percentage of their sales, according to Howerton.
Go back and reread that sentence. Did a shiver run down your back? That advice, along with the earlier create a seamless shopping experience for customers; seamless like the boundary between an amoeba and a bit of food, do have a certain someone just stepped on my grave quality, no? Make no mistake, becoming a supplier of Walmart can make a company successful. That success, however, comes with Faustian costs. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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