Ongoing operational changes at Wal-Mart could mean more costs for suppliers on top of recently added charges related to the retailer’s efforts to amend its vendor contracts. Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran said in Tuesday’s (Aug. 18) earnings release that several changes underway will have a direct impact with suppliers.
Somewhat buried in the release was a statement that involved product features and modular decisions, which are important to suppliers. Foran said Wal-Mart is shifting some of the decisions involving modulars and features back to store operators. Insiders within the local supplier community said there are implications for small and larger product vendors regarding the modular changes.
Large suppliers who in past years have downsized their merchandising staffs could be forced to shift budgets and once again reallocate more resources to the stores. Another alternative would be to outsource the work to one of several merchandising service firms across the country.