Last year, the world’s largest retailer, Walmart made a commitment to buy an additional $250 billion on made-in-USA products over the next 10 years. As part of that commitment, last week, Walmart held its first “Made In The USA” where over 500 American manufacturers attended. These companies met with senior Walmart executives and buyers and attended educational seminars on how to do business with Walmart, Sam’s Clubs, and on-line web properties.
Many skeptics think that this is more of a publicity stunt as American labour rates cannot compete with manufacturing in Asia. Others though, believe that it will not be long before retailers such as Walmart have product clearly labelled with stickers “Made In America” prominently displayed in their stores. Their on-line portals will have search arguments will have drop-down menus where consumers can select from products made in America.
For Canadians, where the economic downturn has been softer than the one felt south of the border, the “Made In Canada” initiative doesn’t appear to have any will power behind it. For convenience stores, many products sold are already made in Canada. Most tobacco, confectionery, beverage, and snack items are produced/bottled in Canada. Don’t expect “Made In Canada” stickers anytime soon on products sold in Canada.