A close friend recommended this book to me as one that was fairly balanced on the good and the bad parts of Wal-Mart. The idea intrigued me instantly because I worked there for a while after high school and I have a few family members who work there as well. Not to mention that I shop there because of the limited choices in my area, and of course due to the savings they provide.
The author does a great job of detailing so much about Walmart that is usually not made apparent to consumers for one reason or the other. He details how the company began and how it evolved into the huge world power that it is now.
What Fishman does so well is take one case study and examine it from all angles to show how the impact is both good and bad. Early on in the book he uses the tiny company Makin Bacon to show how Walmart could take a small company and make a huge impact. The owner of the company explains how Walmart makes it possible for it to even exist. Not only did Walmart help the company start but even though the item is sold in other companies without Walmart’s business Makin Bacon would literally have to close its doors.
On the flip side the author goes into detail about Walmart’s negative perception. Part of the issue stems from their unwillingness to do almost any press or even allow their vendors to talk to the media, whether good or bad. Fishman goes into greater detail about how Walmart affects the communities and local businesses in the area.
I found the descriptions of the vendor relations and how Walmart keeps their low prices truly low extremely fascinating. I thought this book did a great job of showing positives and negatives. I generally enjoy nonfiction books only if the author can prove the subject interesting enough. This one did not disappoint.