At the end of May it was announced that Massmart, a local South African retailer, has approved a $2.4 billion (R16.5 billion) merger with Wal-Mart. For Wal-Mart this is obviously a great step into their further expansion and domination. Now that they have a foothold in
Just to warn you, I am approaching this topic with a slight bias against Wal-Mart and everything that it stands for. My discussion about the topic of Wal-Mart taking over
In speaking of the upcoming merger, Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon promised to provide “previously underserved customers and communities with better prices and increased access to the products they want and need.” But I have one question for McMillon—how do you know that the customers and communities of
The conditions with which the merger occurred are also of interest. Massmart only agreed to the merger if Wal-Mart would abide by certain regulations, like recognizing the SA Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu). Wal-Mart did agree, but only for three years after the merger. As soon as I arrived in
And of course, I am also fearful of how the promised low prices of Wal-Mart will affect the current diversity and uniqueness of the local shops. Many small businesses will inevitably be unable to compete, and will thus be forced out of business. Losing the small tuck shops and local spazas will take a lot of the flavor and culture out of the streets of
I also hope that Wal-Mart revaluates the size of its parking lots for South Africa, if not I am fearful that we will wind up with acres of paved over land serving no purpose but to add to the issues of global warming and run-off. More people in
And with that I will stop my rantings. The globalization of American companies is a multifaceted issue which has positives and negatives depending how you look at it. Yes, this is a great move for Wal-Mart which promises a lot of future success down the road, but at what expense? I for one am not in favor of this particular instance of globalization.
~Heather Anne Nelson