short video and 10 questions

“IS WAL-MART GOOD FOR AMERICA?”

 

To watch the show again:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/view/

I. Review the following terms prior to watching the documentary:

  • Outsourcing is when a business obtains services or products used in manufacturing, such as parts for a television set, from an outside (often overseas) supplier or manufacturer in order to cut costs.
  • Offshore Companies conduct most of their business outside of the country in which they are incorporated. These companies are also known as non-resident companies. 
  • Push Production is when manufacturers of products decide what to produce, how much to produce and the price of the product.
  • Pull Production is when retailers determine what the manufacturer will produce, how much to produce and the price of the product.

 Answer the following questions – 

  1. What did you notice at the Wal-Mart shareholders meeting? Do you think this is different from other shareholders’ meetings? If yes, in what ways?
  2. How is Wal-Mart able to keep track of its inventory? Why is this important? List the effects this has on producers.
  3. Trace the decline of Rubbermaid from 1994 to 2004. What factors most contributed to this decline?
  4. What is an opening price point? How does it influence sales?
  5. In 1994, President Clinton said that new trade agreements would create a market for American products in China. What happened to the United States companies after opening trade with China?
  6. Compare the situation at Five Rivers Electronics and the Thomson Plant. What caused problems and what was the result for each?

 7.   What most surprised you about the film?

 8.  Do you think the strategies that Wal-Mart is using are fair? Why or why not?

 9.  Has the documentary influenced how or where you will shop? Explain

 10.  How should Wal-Mart balance the needs for worker benefits, low prices for consumers and high profits for shareholders?

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