November 15, 2004

Mullins Textile Offer Rejected

Reader Chaim Karczag sends along a story about Mullins, SC: Chaim's synopsis:

This is the story of an old South textile town that approached Wal-Mart with a business deal. Wal-Mart reviewed the proposition and declined. Town leaders are predictably disappointed; Wal-Mart says that they couldn't justify it on the basis of their bottom line and
their customers' needs.
Former textile workers offered WM a chance to purchase shirts from an American made company, under a multi-year contract. They knew the shirts would cost more, but they were hoping that WM would invest in a "goodwill" benefit of keeping American manufacturing jobs. WM did not agree that a higher cost and consumer end-price was worth the goodwill:
FLORENCE � Wal-Mart has refused a partnership with a closed textile mill that former workers hoped would restore jobs in Mullins.... the company was not interested in signing a multiyear deal to buy clothing from the Anvil Knitwear plant.

Vice president Claire Watts indicated a five-year commitment was too long...

Wal-Mart spent a lot of time looking at the proposal but found the deal would mean higher prices for customers, spokeswoman Karen Burk said Thursday...

Supporters of the idea said Wal-Mart could create goodwill by the move. Wal-Mart has been in a courtroom battle with residents over its plans to locate a Supercenter in neighboring Florence County.

The town and Anvil�s proposal to Wal-Mart executives said their research showed South Carolina Wal-Mart shoppers would pay more for a T-shirt made in America. A shirt manufactured at Anvil in Mullins would cost about 75 cents more than a shirt made outside the United States, according to the research.

Wal-Mart �gave absolutely no credence to the validity of our �buy American� research,� Florence attorney Marguerite Willis said.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Burk said the company regularly does business with domestic suppliers, but in this case, the company�s research indicated that customers would not be willing to pay more for products made in the United States.

�While most of our customers would probably agree with this philosophically, they just aren�t willing to pay more for domestically made merchandise,� she said.

Please pay attention to the bolded section

Posted by Kevin on November, 15 2004 at 02:12 PM