A recent poll taken among American consumers came up with this contradictory result: Walmart is cited as the company that is the MOST responsible socially and environmentally, AND AT THE SAME TIME the LEAST responsible! This apparent contradiction is masterfully analysed in "Triple Pundit": click here to read this excellent paper.
It brings up three essential points:
- We live in a period of transition – where new challenges are forged (such as social and environmental accountability), and where the effort required of brands and retailers to deal with these issues is considerable: Rome was not built in one day ...
- Walmart understood (since 2005 - see my notes of 2008 on the subject) that these issues are in the process of restructuring the 21st century and that it is their responsibility to drive this force: that is where the true force of a real visionary retailer resides.
- Walmart shows the way for others (I should say, "the action taken by Walmart will oblige all retailers and brands to follow the same path"), whether they are its competitors or suppliers (brands), each of them will have to implement real and consistent policies for comprehensive environmental and social accountability.