Wal-Mart Copies Best Buy With A House Brand For Electronics

from the partners,-competitors...-what's-the-difference? dept

In 2002, we were surprised to find out that Best Buy was going to compete with its own partners by selling Best Buy "VPR Matrix" branded computers. It appears that Best Buy's suppliers felt the same way and put enough pressure on the company to halt the program -- despite many considering it a success. In fact, folks within Best Buy obviously considered it successful enough that they ignored that partner pressure earlier this year and went back to competing with its partners. It appears that this did not go unnoticed by the folks over at Wal-Mart who make quite a living upsetting partners and suppliers in order to force them into giving lower and lower prices. So, now, it appears that Wal-Mart is selling its own, cheap, electronics under the iLo brand. Apparently, the company has actually been offering the brand in select locations since May of this year, but never made an official announcement, probably to avoid the inevitable questions about competing with its partners.

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  • identicon
    dorpus, 15 Dec 2004 @ 10:04am

    Is Wal-Mart successful?

    Here in Michigan, I never would have known that Wal-Mart is a successful chain. The local retail landscape is dominated by Meijer supercenters, with their 24-hour supermarket + general merchandise. The only Wal-Mart here is in an undesirable location far away from town, the store is small and dirty, and only poor people with unpleasant attitudes shop there. Meijers has self-service cashier stations, but Wal-Mart does not. Locally at least, Meijers beats Wal-Mart at their own game.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Steve Mueller, 15 Dec 2004 @ 3:33pm

    Michigan WalMart

    I also grew up in Michigan and lived there until I moved to California in 1983. I don't remember ever seeing a WalMart in Michigan. To me, the chain seemed to come out of nowhere.

    Maybe one reason we didn't have many WalMarts in Michigan is because K-Mart was headquarted there. Or maybe WalMart just got huge after 1983.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 15 Dec 2004 @ 4:05pm

      Re: Michigan WalMart

      WalMart appears to be big in certain places. Where I grew up in NY there were no WalMarts. Where I went to college there were no WalMarts. Where I live now in California, there are no WalMarts. So, honestly, I think I've only been in a WalMart 3 or 4 times in my life. However, there are huge parts of the country where WalMart is about the only place people shop. I was recently in Florida, and discovered that there was a WalMart every half-mile or so in one area where I stayed. I asked someone where a WalMart/Target/KMart was in order to buy something, and got a list of about 6 different WalMarts I could choose from, in every single direction.

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      • identicon
        dorpus, 15 Dec 2004 @ 5:19pm

        Re: Michigan WalMart

        Walmart is bigger in the South, that is my understanding. Sam Walton commands a mythological status in the South as an honest hillbilly who worked his way up from a small country store with a pickup truck. (In reality, he is an ex-navy officer with an MBA.) Walmart's culture of treating workers and suppliers harshly can be considered an artifact of the South's anti-union culture. It has some parallels to Silicon Valley's mythologies of guys who started computer companies in their garages, and its anti-union attitudes. In reality, silicon valley's successes were possible only because of massive investment in basic R&D by governments and large corporations.


        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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