Los Angeles Times

The Wal-Mart Effect

The Times' 2003 series on Wal-Mart

  • An Empire Built on Bargains Remakes the Working World

    Wal-Mart is so powerful that it moves the economies of entire countries, bringing profit and pain. The prices can’t be beat, but the wages can.

  • Scouring the Globe to Give Shoppers an $8.63 Polo Shirt

    Wal-Mart, once a believer in buying American, extracts ever lower prices from 10,000 suppliers worldwide. Workers struggle to keep pace.

  • Seams Start to Unravel

    Sewing contractor Rob Reed shut down his Commerce factory this summer after 17 years, laying off 100 workers and adding his name to a long list of bankrupt U.S. manufacturers. He isn't shy about assigning blame for what happened. "We've been forced out of business, No. 1, because of the likes of...

  • Audit Stance Generates Controversy

    Safe working conditions. Reasonable hours. No child labor. These are among the rules that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other retailers imposed on their foreign contractors after a series of scandals in the 1990s. Yet just how well Wal-Mart's contractors abide by its standards is something of a mystery...

  • Grocery Unions Battle to Stop Invasion of the Giant Stores

    Wal-Mart plans to open 40 of its nonunion Supercenters in California. Labor is fighting the expected onslaught, but the big retailer rarely concedes defeat.

1 2w