Earlier this year, Wal-Mart Store Inc. announced its commitment to buy $250 billion “Made in the USA” products (including textiles and apparel) over the next 10 years ($50 billion annually) with the hope to “help spark a revitalization of U.S.-based manufacturing” and “create jobs in America”. According to the Hoover’s, Wal-Mart’s cost of goods (i.e. sourcing cost for merchandise sold) totaled $358 billion in fiscal year 2013, suggesting $50 billion will account for around 10-14% of its total sourcing portfolio.
Wal-Mart’s campaign has received positive feedback from the US textile and apparel industry. As reported by the WWD, the U.S. textile industry sees Wal-Mart’s movement an encouraging and “sincere commitment”. Bill Jasper, the outgoing chairman of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) and CEO of Unifi Inc believed that “manufacturing in general across the United States is in a more favorable position than we’ve seen for some time” and “this is an environment for growth in U.S. textile manufacturing”. As an example, Unifi Inc has spent millions of dollars upgrading its equipment and expanding the company’s US-based cloth mill. However, Bill also realizes the market risks involved in the investment decision, which may not happen without Wal-Mart’s “assurance” through the $250 billion program.
However, to fully take advantage of Wal-Mart’s program is not without obstacle. On top of them, Walmart requires qualified apparel for the program has to be “100 percent made in the United States”. However, the reality is there is more apparel being made in the Western Hemisphere by countries such as Mexico and those in the Caribbean Basin Regions than there is in the United States. As put by Bill, “We’re seeing more of a resurgence of ‘made in the region’ as opposed to Made in USA…If you at look the growth we see in apparel, much of that is in Central America and to a lesser extent Mexico. It does drive growth in yarn and fabrics here in the U.S., which are feed for those garments.”
It is also interesting to compare Wal-Mart’s $250 billion “Made in USA” program with its role in the “Crafted with Pride Campaign” launched in the 1980s (our case study 3). During that campaign, Wal-Mart initially pledged that “our entire management and merchandising staff is committed to Buy American program” and it did cut imports by 20% and purchased $197.3 million of merchandise from domestic suppliers in 1985 (Minchin, 2012). However, for the commercial reasons, later on Wal-Mart more and more relied on imports to support its global expansion and “everyday low price” business model. The “betrayal” of Wal-Mart largely contributed to the eventual failure of the campaign.
What will be the destiny of the 21st century version of the “Crafted with Pride Campaign”? Is Wal-Mart really committed to “Made in USA” or rather the more price competitive “Made in USA” today attracts the attention of Wal-Mart? If implementation of new free trade agreements such as TPP and TTIP switches the cost balance of domestic sourcing versus global sourcing again, will War-Mart repeat its record in history? Maybe only time will tell…
53 thoughts on “Is Wal-Mart’s $250 billion “Made in the USA” Program Another “Crafted with Pride Campaign”? (I)”
I feel as though that history is going to truly repeat itself of Walmart and the “Crafted with Pride Campaign.” Walmart originally jumped on board with that campaign and later backed out because they could not follow through. I think it will be the same situation with the “Made in USA” campaign. It seems like the campaign is more of a marketing strategy for Walmart since the idea of US manufacturing giving more jobs for Americans is popular among consumers. Although, how can Walmart do 100% US manufacturing without raising prices? If they do raise prices, how can they stay competitive? If they could not do this in the late 80s, how can they do it now? I am doubtful that the campaign will last.
agree… that’s why we need to learn history. I feel case study 3 is very timely now
Although I think it is a patriotic gesture by Wal-mart, I think this will be another failure for them. The sincere commitment along with the 10 year investment plan of Made in USA sounds promising now, but it will be interesting to see if they follow through with it. It seems to be easy to gain support when it comes to creating jobs in America, especially manufacturing jobs that were thought to be lost overseas. I see this as Wal-mart using this “Made in USA” promise as a publicity stunt. However, Wal-mart alone will not be able to revitalize the “Made in USA” manufacturing structure. Although recently there has been some growth in this area, I don’t see this as doing enough to expand it further. I still think consumers still do not care about the origin of the products, only the cost. I think Wal-mart will end up failing just as they did in the Crafted with Pride campaign commitment in the 1980’s.
good point. maybe some other products made in USA do have price competitive globally (such as food and farm produce–$250 billion can be anything made in USA). And this is what Wal-Mart really cares about.
I do not think it is realistic for Wal-Mart to join another campaign similar to the Crafted With Pride Campaign. I do not think shoppers at Wal-Mart would pay for the made in the USA clothing. The prices of the clothing would have to be higher than they usually are. People who shop at Wal-Mart are usually shopping there because of their low prices. They go there because Wal-Mart has the lowest prices around. If the clothing prices were higher than they normally are the customers would not buy them. I think it is a good concept to sell clothing that is made in the US but it simply will not be successful at a place like Wal-Mart.
good point. You remind me of the documentary we watched in class about globalization.
I’m not sure that this is going to realistically work out for Wal-Mart to join another “made in America” campaign. The reason Wal-Mart has the lowest prices is because of the idea that everything from the store is made in China. If we were to move production and have things made in America, I don’t think as many people would be buying it because the prices would have to go up, and Americans like the idea of Cheap. I think Wal-Mart is being very thoughtful in trying to bring back textile and apparel products that are made in America, but I do not think that this will be a success due to the sole fact that the prices would need to raise, and that is not what Wal-Mart is about.
maybe US national flag?
I think that Wal-Mart has good intentions but ultimately they will fail. They have barely started their campaign and already products are not being “made in America.” Similar to the “Crafted with Pride Campaign,” Wal-Mart will start out fully supportive and driven, but in the end they will rely on imports to meet their promise of low prices. Wal-Mart could really change the apparel industry if their excitement and motivation does not fizzle out. I predict history will repeat itself in this case.
Wal-mart’s intentions to buy American does not seem realistic. They are an extremely cheap store and if they wanted to buy American it would cost way too much to keep their prices as low as they are. Although Wal-mart is receiving positive feedback from the textile and apparel industry, they still face obstacles. Some major obstacles they will face are using “qualified apparel.” Qualified apparel means it was made 100% in the USA, not made in the region like most clothing made today. The Crafted with Pride campaign, in the 1980s, was supported by the management and merchandising staff allowing imports to be cut by 20%.
I do feel it Wal-mart can possibly create a line that is “made in America” but i do not think they can do as much as they want. It is too expensive to buy all American products and they will lose a lot of customers.
symbolic and PR
I think this is a good effort from Wal-Mart. Many people do not shop at Wal-Mart because they do not agree with how they only sell merchandise made by the cheapest labor. I think by trying to sell merchandise that is “Made in the U.S.A.” they are hoping to bring in more consumers. I do not think the campaign will work out, though, because Wal-Mart will realize how expensive it is, and their prices will need to rise again, and they are known for their low prices, so that will hurt them. Right now, they are just trying to improve their reputation by selling apparel 100% “Made in the U.S.A.”, but I do not think it will last long.
I agree with what Jess Boucher said. Walmart has always gotten a bad reputation when it came to labor. However, the reasoning why the Made in the USA failed years ago was because of the high costs. Walmart is known for their low prices so I don’t think this will work. In my opinion I think they should stick to outsourcing labor. However just not in an unethical form.
great to see the conversation going!!
Please check this news report today. I think this is the real reason why Wal-Mart is interested in Made in USA again. But now the question is whether more jobs will be created as results of “made in USA” or simply more machines will be used. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-us-factory-manufacturing-20140425,0,6792816.story#ixzz30C3FmdA6
I too agree that this is going to fail once again. Back in the 1980s Wal-Mart fully supported the “Crafted with Pride” campaign and then totally went against it. I agree with what Samantha said because I too believe that cost has made a major impact on if these plans ever work. Wal-Mart represents low cost goods, so if the prices were to be increased at all– the customers would be upset, and i think they would ultimately back out of the “Made in USA” plan again. I think it is a nice idea to try to focus on more USA made items, but completely unethical. Wal-Mart is thriving now while relying heavily on imports, why would they want to mess this up?
In my opinion I feel that Walmart is making a great effort to promote domestic jobs and bring more jobs back to the US. Being such a major company in the US, I think that if they do what they say they want to, they can make an impact. However, Walmart is known for their “everyday low prices” guarantee. If they start making their clothing solely “Made in the USA”, I am unsure of how this will effect their prices. They tried once before in the 80s to make a change and I agree with everyone else that they will ultimately fail. Walmart is so focused on low prices that I do not believe this campaign will be a permanent one.
I personally think this is mainly an act of Walmart to gain more acceptance and publicity in the US. I think many see how Walmart outsources and I think they want to change how they are seen by the public. I do not think this is very realistic for Walmart to be joining this campaign however the outcome will definitely be interesting. Personally, I see Walmart as a place to go to get what you need at the lowest possible cost. As far as the clientele, I do not think Wal-Mart shoppers would pay more just for the “Made in the USA” products. Unless the products are cheaper to be made in the US, the customers, will not buy as much. Walmart is notorious for having the lowest prices around, so if these “Made in the USA” products are still seemingly still at the lowest price around they will sell however I do not think this will be. I do think the concept is creative and positive from a public stand point but from a business standpoint I do not see it as a success. Just as you said, history does repeat itself and this campaign failed in the 80s. I am however, very curious as to how this campaign turns out, especially because times have changed!
It certainly does seem that only time will tell with the Walmart 21st century “Made in the USA” focus again. The US T & A market has been trying to make a real effort towards exportation domestically and globally, and with the help of Walmart stores, that goal could be met. But this is also what the thought was in 1985 when the “Crafted with Pride” campaign worked with the Walmart industry. As times have changed since 1985 and globalization has expanded maybe their will be a better way to make this agreement last and maybe even change the US manufacturing industry. But these changes will also change the Walmart way of pricing no matter what, unless Walmart, with the $50 billion annual US T & A purchasing, will involve the other countries who have Walmart stores to sell and buy “Made in the USA” products. It is very interesting to see where this new campaign will go and if it will be a success the second time around.
Many consumers are against the extremely low prices often presented by Wal-Mart, because they are aware of the sacrifices (such as labor) made to provide them. I see Mal-Mart using the “Made in USA” campaign as a way to gain back the attention of these potential customers. I do see it as a socially responsible method for luring these people in, yet I am not confident that Wal-Mart will succeed with this plan. So much time has passed with the company promising low prices that they have built loyalty with people who rely on that. Many of these people are unaware of the risks and dynamics involving the countries presented on the label. Those who are aware, do not care enough to stop paying less. With this being said, once “Made in USA” appears on Wal-Mart products, it is likely that their customers will just acknowledge the higher price, and disagree with it. I do not believe that Wal-Mart is ready to take that risk, and it could be possible that this will end up like the “Crafted with Pride” Campaign.
The intentions of “Made in USA” from Walmart are there but I don’t think they will last long. In our case study, the crafted with pride campaign in the 1980s was a great idea to promote to produce good domestically, then over the years we started to see people wanting better quality goods for reasonable prices. After awhile people did not really care where their shirt came from as long as it can last a good amount of years and for a good price. Again, it is possible that it can end up like that campaign. Walmart’s mission is to sell at low prices.
I believe this is a great way to try to bring back the great morals and obligations of the 1980s “Crafted With Pride” campaign. As we discussed in class, it would be difficult to completely bring the campaign back with globalization being as big as it is today, but it is a great start to bringing it back. I would like to see other apparel companies implementing this version of the campaign that can maybe carry it out better than Walmart can. Walmart is known for its everyday low prices; buying apparel from the US is going to cost more than what is produced over seas. I do not know how well this will go over at Walmart because the Walmart customer is looking for the cheapest price, not at the label to see where the garment is produced and manufactured. I believe that if other companies started to implement a “Made In USA” section, it would respond very well in the American consumer’s eyes and would be able to sell even at a slightly higher cost rate to support American made jobs.
Although this seems like a ‘heroic’ gesture and campaign for Walmart to pursue there are quite a few small details that may effect the delivery of this plan. The first is product. The average Walmart customer is looking for the lest expensive product on the market and typically the cost of domestically produced goods surpasses those imported. The solution to this could be marketing. Walmart needs to market this ‘Made in the USA’ campaign by really conveying to their customers the power of their domestic purchase. Like we saw in the video at the beginning of the semester-the woman who was laid off due to off-shoring; she was upset with her loss of job, the company she worked for and just the general state of the economy. However, she shopped at Walmart- and quite willingly. She is a perfect example of the vicious cycle many find themselves in when they are laid off. The income she has is scarce; most likely a government aided income, and Walmart provides her with the lowest costs possible, in turn she is feeding the little income she has into a company based mostly on overseas manufacturing-a paradox. She is the exact ‘person’ that Walmart needs to market this to. A major marketing campaign explaining the power of spending a few more dollars on a product would be successful. A campaign that lays out each individuals purchasing power and how it would collectively promote growth would speak to those frustrated by the state of the economy. The second detail that would be a major investment for Walmart is domestic capitol. Depending on what products Walmart will choose to sell they will need to invest in capitol in order for factories and its employees to handle larger volumes of manufacturing.
Wal-mart has the ability to impact the textile and apparel industry here in the United States. In creating this campaign, their goal is to bring manufacturing back in the US and create jobs for the American citizens. For this to be a successful transition, it would take more companies and corporations to participate in the “Made in USA” campaign. History will repeat itself and the end result will be the failure of Made in USA manufacturing. Wal-marts consumers enjoy the low prices and for 100% of US manufacturing their prices would have to go up. This could cause a backlash on Wal-mart and loosing consumers to other brands that offer lower prices. Wal-mart seems to be taking advantage of the public and the idea of creating American jobs.
I agree with Nina and Haily on their takes on Wal-Mart’s “Made in America”. I think that the ‘Made in America” campaign is a somewhat of a publicity stunt or marketing tool to reel in more customers to Wal-Mart while creating a better image for the company. Once they have reached this new market they will go back to their old methods of production, distributing, and retailing similar to what occurred in the Crafted with Pride Campaign. A problem I see happening however is maintaining their already loyal customers while trying to gain new customers. A change in supply, production, and distribution can result in a change of prices at the retail level. A huge part of Wal-Mart’s success stems from their extremely low prices compared to competitors. It will be interesting to see how the company will manage to maintain this customer loyalty as prices in their retail stores soon become affected by the company’s efforts in their Made in America campaign.
Good thought !
While Wal-Marts low prices attract a large target market, consumers who are aware of what it takes to achieve these low prices, such as low labor wages and poor working conditions, have often chosen to not make purchases at Wal-Mart. This looks like Wal-Marts attempt to target these comsumers who are aware of the low price sacrifices but what they do not realize is that a rise in prices may repel their current loyal and extensive consumer base so, it does not seem as though a Crafted with Pride in the USA campaign will be successful for Wal-Mart. During the original Crafted with Pride Campaign, Wal-Mart was in full support and eventually did not follow through with this support and turned in opposition. It seems to me that Wal-Mart may be using this Made in the USA program as a promotional strategy rather than executing the program with serious intent to benefit primarily off their 100% made in the USA sales. I believe that just as with the original campaign, commercial reasons, including their need to rely on imports to support global expansion and their everyday low prices, will cause Wal-Marts new program to backfire. I believe their sheer intention to draw attention using the Made in the USA program will not be enough to support their current consumer demands. As much as consumers would like to see products being Made in the USA and support it, just like the original campaign, when it comes down to it, consumers make purchases based on price and not the country of origin.
While I think that this would be a good gesture on Walmart’s part, I do not think it is realistic at all. If they were to follow through with selling things only made in the USA, then the prices of the products they sell would most definitely rise. Because Walmart is known and famous for their low prices, unfortunately I don’t think they would be successful any longer. If Walmart carried Made in the USA products, there would be more jobs created here, but prices would raise and unfortunately I think consumers would bring their business elsewhere for lower prices.
There are no questions asked about how history does repeat itself, and this is one of the many examples of that. The 1980’s campaign, “Crafted with Pride” meant no harm when they tried to bring full supporters on board, such as big box retailer Walmart. As that failed, this new “Made in America” program may motivate Walmart to begin with once again, and then crash and burn. The cycle is repetitive. Even though Walmart is known for racking up billions of dollars, it is not the best place to promote “made in the USA” strictly products, especially apparel. Consumers who are willing to be dedicated and supportive will not want to pay higher prices for apparel, especially at Walmart. As many of us have agreed, Walmart is better known for their every day low prices and remain out of strict competition with that motto. They are good when you want to buy in bulk for not a lot of money. With the new program, it can bring disappointment and hurt amongst the brand, whereas loyal customers may not become interested no longer. With how broad and generalized globalization has persisted, I cannot see “made in the USA” products become full blast, especially at Walmart.
Wal-Mart seems to struggle with its identity. They want to have the lowest, most competitive prices and at the same time they also want to represent American greatness. Having both of these things is nearly impossibles. History repeats itself and Wal-Mart will probably not keep up with making items 100% in the United States. The bottom line for a corporation as large as Wal-Mart is their profit margins. Wal-Mart had backed out of the “Crafted with Pride” campaign to increase their revenues, what will stop them from doing this again?
I agree with Nina and Hally as well! I personally think the whole “Made in America” is like one big publicity stunt. Yeah the idea is great on how it supports American made brand apparel but I think it should be focused on smaller stores! Walmart is to big of a chain too be getting involved with this campaign. The people who shop at Walmart are looks for deals and bargains. They will be looking a price rather than where it was made.
As we have seen throughout time, the saying “history repeats itself” is far too true. WWII was a repeat of WWI and the recession of 2008 nearly mimicked the behavior of the U.S. economy prior to the 1930s depression — more often than not we do not learn from our mistakes. As learned in the 3rd case study, Wal-Mart was a major supporter of the Crafted with Pride campaign, until they could no longer compete in the market due to overhead and labor costs in the US. While I agree with the aforementioned statements that it is an admirable aspiration, I hold the view that they will fall victim to the same problem as before. Wal-Mart is one of the largest retailers both domestically and across the globe. They have numerous amounts of merchandise to sell and they have historically targeted their products to consumers at the lowest possible prices. Additionally, while their Made in America campaign would bring jobs and profits to the US, they would be excluding other countries in which their stores are located, potentially excluding customers. We live in a global society and with that we need to have a global standpoint. While it would be beneficial to extend the US apparel market, it seems that a better use of resources would be opening up new markets for trade or building up the least developed countries.
Excellent and convincing argument !!
This article is extremely reminiscent of Case Study 3 and it is all too true that history does happen to repeat itself and is likely to do the same with this campaign. Like the Crafted with Pride campaign this campaign is expected to reach the same result ultimately failing for a number of reasons like Case Study 3, including lack of substantial legislative support, opposition from powerful retailers that relied heavily on imports, and difficulty in influencing consumer behavior. The fact of the matter is that as a price competitive company Walmart relies to heavily on foreign goods meaning it is extremely difficult for them to achieve this Made in America idea. Completely eliminating the influence of cost effective foreign markets will cause prices to skyrocket, therefore leading us to the issue of consumer behavior. In today’s marketplace people would be quick to say they support the campaign but I see them taking very little action or us seeing any real results. The harsh reality is that people in today’s marketplace are not as willing to pay the increase in prices if they were to only purchase American made textile and apparel products. The campaign today like the campaign back then would quickly lose steam because people are cheap especially in these difficult economic times. I agree with the above comments that Walmart is to big of a store chain to be involved with such a campaign. Those who shop at Walmart are focused on price rather than where the product was made. Simply they are looking to find the best deals. The campaign for Made in America products would probably find more success in a boutique like store where people are expecting to pay more for what they are getting and where the Made in America selling point will likely be more effective.
I definitely think that Wal-Mart is doing some back tracking. They were among the first group of major retailers to outsource production to foreign markets. I believe that they are concerned with profits first and foremost, and due to our increase in technology, some items will be more cost effective to produce domestically. However, I think that they have been under scrutiny for years due to their involvement in countries with loose regulations and overall flippant attitude toward child labor and mistreatment of workers.
In essense, they are trying to win the American public back ( their biggest consumer base), while still trying to offer the lowest prices. Since they are such a major company, they do offer much needed jobs in America. Because they are such a cash heavy company, I believe that they can revamp their production, to include more American manufacturing. It is just ironic how they are trying to incorporate these changes now, and not back in the 1980’s when they left the US and went overseas.
When it comes to larger companies such as Wal-Mart, I tend to understand why the “Made in America” products are lacking. Although this is a very controversial topic and others may disagree, Wal- Mart has such a large quantity of goods to import it would be extremely profit-impacting for them to produce such a large quantity of goods domestically for the price they pay in foreign markets. If Walmart decided to carry Made in the USA products, it would most certainly create more jobs for American workers,but prices would then raise and Wal-Mart would lose a lot of their consumers to other places with lower prices.
I think Wal-Mart is a company that does not have U.S manufacturing as their top priority. I believe they are interested in creating a better image for themselves and want to increase profits. When a consumer sees this they will think that Wal-Mart is a great company for supporting American jobs and therefore they will be more prone to buy from Wal-Mart versus other big box retailers such as Target, or CostCo. The efforts they put towards the “Crafted with Pride” campaign I find insulting. I know that they were trying to better their business but why would they get involved in the campaign if they did not 100% truly believe in U.S manufacturing and back it. I believe Wal-Mart showed its true colors when they got accused of producing shirts in Bangladesh and nothing will change with this campaign. Every business is free to do what they want which is the fantastic thing about America but WalMart has a reputation for doing bad business and nothing will change with this campaign.
It seems like Wal Mart has good intentions in making the “Made in the USA” products but that doesn’t mean it will be effective or even work as planned. Several cases we have studied tried the same method but it failed every time and I don’t see WalMart doing any differently. If their attempt doesn’t work I think it is time for companies to realize that sometimes it just isn’t the most efficient to produce things in America. When it comes to purchasing products people do not care about patriotism they care mainly about paying the cheapest price. With a different economy and different technology in this day in age, who knows this attempt may actually work it will just take some time to see results.
As we learned from Wal-Mart’s part in the Crafted With Pride Campaign in the 1980s, Wal-Mart is a company that mainly focuses on keeping their prices low and their customers happy. Wal-Mart’s commitment in 2013 is a really great step in the direction of promoting “Made in the USA”. However unless Wal-Mart decides to stop importing and only using American made goods this commitment seems to have only attracted Wal-Mart for the good publicity. Wal-Mart knows that globalization helps their company achieved the best profit possible therefore they do not want to give this up. They also know that customers are more prone to care about low prices then to notice where their clothes or good are produced. After looking at the past we should be skeptical about Wal-Mart’s new commitment to American based manufacturing.
I see walmart
I see Walmart as using this ‘made in the U.S.’ As a target market and a useful publicity more than putting their best foot forward to promote jobs, although it is honorable that they desire to sell only or mostly goods produced here, it seems a little too late, after the first trial with this in the 1980s they backed out, and if the U.S. Cannot keep up with low price or quantity demands, what is Walmart to do. Walmart is focused on low prices for their customers and they hope to make more money in the long run, made in U.S. May gain them more buys at first, however if prices go up too high they will loose customers.
I do not think this is realistic for Wal-Mart. I believe it is a good attempt to increase their exposure and for advertising reasons; however, I do not think it will bring in business for them. As seen in the past, they tried to be apart of the Crafted With Pride campaign, and later realized that it would not work for them and backed out. People go to Wal-Mart for their low prices; that is what they promote as well. If they only had “Made in USA” products, their prices would increase. People would turn away from Wal-Mart because they would not be able to find the low prices like usual. As this attempt has failed in the past, I believe it will fail again.
After doing case study three, I do not believe that Walmart is entirely part of the “Crafted with Pride” campaign. Although Walmart likes to represent America due to its large impact of sales through out the country, they do not entirely practice what they preach when it comes the the “made in U.S.A.” label. With the prices in which Walmart offers their goods and services for, it is impossible to only sell products made entirely made in the US. While this does not impact Walmart, because they will have loyal customers regardless where their products are from, they are preaching a campaign which is not entirely true to their company. Those who come to Walmart are not looking for 100% american brands, they are looking for the lowest price and best deals. While they may want to focus their attention on creating a “Crafted with Pride” persona, it will not impact them in a positive or negative way. This is more of a form of publicity, and are not true to the name.
Reading through this article after recently completing case study three, shows a different side of the Walmart and the crafted with pride campaign. I don’t think that the campaign can be reacted with this mentality that Made in the USA isn’t true anymore. I glanced at a tag on a blanket I own and noticed that it read in large letters Designed in New England but in small print said that it was made in china. This idea of designed in created in will not allow for the advancement of Made In the USA products.
I think Wal-Mart has great intentions for the “Made in USA” plan. While it is receiving positive feedback from the public, I still believe the flaw still contains many flaws. More apparel is being produced in countries such as Mexico and Caribbean Basin Regions than that of the United States. I agree with Bill when he said, “We’re seeing more of a resurgence of ‘made in the region’ as opposed to Made in USA…”. I believe apparel is still being produced in other countries for the simple fact, it is cheaper. Almost all consumer in the United States are on board with the idea of increasing USA made products, but I believe that consumers will always choose the cheaper product over a more expensive one, and if that means buying a product made in Mexico than so be it. It is clear that US made products will always be more expensive that products made in other countries such as Mexico because of the differences in production and labor costs. So ultimately i believe it is up to the consumer to support the Made in USA movement and agree to paying a little bit more for their products or disregard the plan all together and continue with buying products that are made overseas. I do not think this plan will ever become successful until everyone is in agreement.
I think that Walmart has already jumped on this train before with the “crafted in American” campaign, and was quick to abort it when they found that the same goods can come from a different country at a lower price. I think that although Walmart saying that they will do this again it is hard to say if they will really stick with it for ten years. I think that this could be bad for US manufactures who hire people knowing that the surge of money coming from Walmart will boost their sales, until of course Walmart pulls out and leaves the booming factories at a stand still. This will only allow for a temporary job surge in the market, and sooner or later, once again thousands of people will be left without jobs in the US.
I am also very skeptical about Wal-Mart’s promise to buy and sell American. However this initiative has a new obstacle that it didn’t have back during the Crafted with Pride campaign; today there is very little apparel production left in the states. Even if Wal-Mart stays true to their promise it will then be up to American companies to bring their businesses back to the US to grow the job sector. I think that Wal-Mart will eventually change their initiative to Made in NAFTA/CAFTA as a result of manufacturing jobs being more plentiful in Mexico and central America.
I feel as though WalMart is using this “Made in the USA” initiative to ultimately gain more of an audience, maybe a different target market, and is using this idea as a marketing tactic. Because they target their merchandise to individuals who look for the best bang for their buck, the likelihood of a person shopping at WalMart looking to purchase an american made product that is slightly more expensive is considerably low. Like stated in the post, most jeans in store that are carried cost relatively low ranging from $8 to $20 and the American made jeans that are now being carried cost slightly higher. Many would love to see an increase in the manufacturing domestically but many also just care about getting the best deal. Overall, I think this is a good step towards opening the consumers mind and putting the idea back out there of creating domestic goods as opposed to the Crafted with Pride initiative.
If the Crafted with Pride Campaign was launched again in today’s society, I think that it would be successful. In the 1980s, it was not as important to the consumer if a product was made in the United States as it is today. After seeing what has happened offshore with the apparel and textile industry, consumers in the United States are more compelled to buy things that are made here which then causes businesses to want to have their products made in the United States. This will cause those businesses to want to pledge to the Crafted with Pride Campaign and follow through with the rules, unlike what Walmart did in the 1980s.
Walmart will only be able to continue to do this if there are some companies who build fully automated clothing factories. The technology is ready now and also proven in smaller batches for the last few years, I believe within the next 5 years we will see fully automated clothing factories built in the US and Walmart will be in the front line to buy from them in order to continue it’s Made in the US commitment. Fully automated clothing factories have NEW US jobs created and those new workers will pay US taxes. This should also reduce the cost of making clothing. A company in the US is currently filling t-shirt orders in smaller batches, but wants to sign up fr larger production contracts. Other foreign companies also have created this technology.