Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CNBC Tonight: "The New Age of Walmart"

CNBC will air a 90 minute special tonight about Walmart that I will definitely be watching.

Five years ago or so, CNBC aired a prior special on Walmart, also hosted by David Faber (who is perhaps my favorite CNBC on-air personality). I thought that was an absolutely fascinating look behind the scenes at the unique corporate culture and world- famous logistics chain behind the biggest retailer in the world. (Who knew that Walmart executives shared hotel rooms when traveling on business?) But that was several years ago now, in what seems like another world. Walmart was then besieged by what seemed like unrelentingly bad press about, among other things, the treatment of its non-union employees and how their stores ruthlessly squeezed out small businesses, destroying the local culture.

Several years later now, the Great Recession is on. Some of those concerns have faded as the economy has faltered. (Perhaps they seem like unaffordable luxuries today.) Walmart's sales are bigger than ever, while its biggest competitor, Target, is having trouble. And Walmart now even advocates for health care reform that would provide some sort of health insurance coverage for its employees.

David Faber has apparently gone back to Walmart to see what's changed. I hope that this new special is half as good as the first one. Embedded below is a 2 minute trailer for tonight's show, if you're interested:

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