Walmart is in a period of unprecedented investment
Walmart, leading American multinational retailing corporation signs a deal with Renfro Corporation, one of the world's largest producer of socks, that anticipates creating about 440 jobs at Renfro's manufacturing facility in Fort Payne, Alabama, as part of Walmart's January 2013 US Manufacturing Commitment to buy an additional $250 billion of US products supporting American jobs over 10 years. Renfro Corporation is a long-time manufacturer of socks for Walmart under brands such as Fruit of the Loom, Russell, Dr Scholl's, Faded Glory, among others. With changes in energy costs and labour costs overseas, it is increasingly cost-effective and efficient to manufacture closest to the point of consumption, helping Walmart respond to trends and customer demand. Subir Ghosh spoke to senior officials from Walmart about the significance of the deal, especially keeping global trends and processes in mind.
The new Walmart-Renfro deal is expected to create 442 new jobs. How significant is this, considering that the number 442 is far too small to be of much economic significance. And, apart from the one with Renfro, which are the deals with other manufacturers that will create new jobs in the US?
What percentage of products retailed by Walmart in the US are in fact manufactured in that country? How do you expect to maintain a balance?
In January this year, six research and academic institutions were awarded nearly $3 million in grants by the Fund for their work focused on innovations in textile manufacturing. Could you elaborate on Walmart's plans and ideas w.r.t textile innovations?
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.