I wouldn't think there was anything to worry about unless there are similar reports from others around the country.
But it does raise an interesting discussion... as the cost of fuel increases and the costs of production too, how would a company like that manage?
They already pressure their suppliers down to the lowest price, which means there is even less wiggle room when economics go down the toilet.
If we imagine a farmer is already making little because Walmart pays them as little as they can get away with, when his costs go up, Walmart has to
pay more or go somewhere else. Even if they go somewhere else the costs are still going to be rising because all growers in the US are experiencing
the same thing. That means the price they charge has to go up to. Can people afford to pay more? If they can't, where do they go?
It used to be that a store would pay a "fair" price for their stock, and the farmer would be making a healthy living. He was the one with the power,
in which case he has to accept less money when the economy sinks, but that's okay because he's got his own buffer zone of savings. But now, companies
like Walmart have already driven the costs so far down, the farmer is one crop away from going bust.
In a kind of related way...
I don't think many people realize that the average store has only three days of normal sales when it comes to stock. And that doesn't take into
account perishables. In a chaos situation where panic buying and looting is happening, you can cut that three day supply level down to hours depending
on the population served by a specific store.
If this is happening elsewhere too (which I doubt, as there would probably have been more discussion about it) then it could be a sign that Walmart is
struggling to justify paying more to suppliers, and that's not a good sign. It means either farmers will be going out of business across the country,
or Walmart is going to be forced into dramatically increasing their prices - which a lot of people will not appreciate.
Edited to add - seeing the posts added while I was writing mine seems to suggest a few of us are thinking in the same direction. I'm glad I'm not the
only one who sees the precarious nature of supply and demand in our modern world of corporate dominance.
edit on 17-9-2012 by
detachedindividual because: (no reason given)