Big box bullies: Discount pricing squeezes small suppliers: Dianne Buckner
Selling to big chains like Target, Wal-Mart a mixed blessing when they demand a discount
By Dianne Buckner, CBC News Posted: Jul 25, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jul 25, 2014 5:00 AM ET
Nothing new here, folks…you can move on…
As a child, I was handed over to my father on weekends, like many others. One of the things that sometimes happened was that, on the way to his home, we would stop in at small machine shops that did contract work with the big aerospace companies where my father worked as a quality control engineer…I actually enjoyed being fussed over by all the men, sat on a high stool and fed cookies while my father spoke with the manager or inspected small shiny silver parts of machines that of course I had no knowledge of..
As I got older, my father told me about how many of those small shops got what he called ‘bushwhacked’ by companies like S**rs, that would contract them for vast amounts of goods, to the point that they were working exclusively for the large store, only to get told that they had to deep discount, or else…many of them, with no other contracts and entirely reliant on the big store with the big contract, went under…Others were forced to lay off workers who had been with them for many years.
And so it goes..my father’s point was that when I asked why he refused to shop at S**rs, was that their ruthless behaviour resulted in the loss of employment for many talented tradesmen, and that made him mad…he pointed out that ‘house’ brands of various companies were in fact made by small contractors, and that the resulting discount demands meant that not only was there a loss of jobs in the US, but that the products, now built overseas, were no longer worthy of the good reputation for dependability they once had…all this happened back in the 60’s….
And now? Nothing changes, does it?