Saturday, April 14, 2007

Wal-Mart to introduces local products at its stores in Ohio

Wal-Mart is focusing on its "buy-local" strategy in Ohio, which is the first Wal-Mart stores in the country to do so. The policy is also being followed in three other states. As part of its strategy, Wal-Mart is highlighting products made locally in the state or supplied by Ohio based companies at the Wal-Mart supercentres in Columbus, on Bethel Road and E. Main Street in Whitehall. The local products which range from known brands such as Procter and Gamble diapers, detergent, Smuckers jam and T. Marzetti salad dressing, and local brands such as chocolates from Bloomer Candy of Zanesville, brewed tea from Tradewinds and many more that are highlighted with a sign that states "Supplied by Ohio. Available at Wal-Mart".
Wal-Mart isn't the first retailer to showcase a state's goods. Many grocery stores, including the Andersons, Kroger, Meijer and independents, have been doing it for years. But Wal-Mart's size makes the effort noteworthy. So does the fact that Wal-Mart has been criticized for filling its stores with cheap foreign imports that have driven many American manufacturers out of business.

"This project is ironic and disingenuous considering all the manufacturing jobs Wal-Mart has forced out of Ohio," said Nu Wexler, spokesman for Wal-Mart Watch, an advocacy group backed by organized labor.

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