Despite rhetoric demonizing big retailers like Wal-Mart for what they pay their employees, the megastore is still a great driver of lower consumer product costs. Take for example a recent story from The Wall Street Journal detailing Wal-Mart’s plan to further reduce prices:
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is cutting prices on thousands of products in an aggressive campaign to reinforce its reputation as a discount leader, as the company seeks to reverse months of slowing U.S. sales.
The world’s largest retailer was a rare beneficiary of the economic downturn, as large numbers of bargain-hungry Americans, including many middle-class families, flocked to its supercenters from supermarkets and specialty clothing stores.
Wal-Mart’s low prices not only attract bargain hunters, but they also aid those with lower to moderate incomes seeking to more wisely spend the money they take in. As the lede to the report notes, it is in Wal-Mart’s interest to cater to its customers. As a result, consumers reap the benefits and Wal-Mart makes a profit.
The company’s intent to make a profit, in a relatively free-market system, acts in way to also benefit individuals and families looking for products at a cheaper price. Wal-Mart may not intend to help out those with lower incomes, but by seeking a greater profit, it nonetheless does help them.