Are supermarkets the new spooks?

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online

Yes, according to the November edition of Foreign Policy (FP) magazine, supermarkets are more savvy at capturing information about you than top spy agencies.

The FP section "5 Things You Didn't Know About..." focuses on supermarkets, specifically global hypermarkets like Walmart, Carrefour and Tesco.

Here are more things you might not know about the world's largest supermarket chain Walmart; apparently it is more efficient than most nations' governments. For instance, it has:

- sales greater than 2 percent of US GDP
- 8,416 stores from Shenzhen to Shreveport that employee 2.1 million workers - only China's army has more people on its payroll
- a database second only in capacity to the Pentagon's used to monitor consumer habits and maximize impulse purchases
- a pulse on America's "main street" economics for Wall Street retail analysis

Also it meets the specific needs of communities: for example, "in Beijing [Walmart stores] stock live tortoises for turtle soup and proudly tout moisturizer made with sheep placenta (a fabled wrinkle reducer)."

During the 1990s, "supermarkets expanded in the developing world" and "now they account for more than half of food retail sales in Latin America and China."

Epidemiologists view hypermarkets as part of the problem with malnutrition - not as an issue of poverty but with people buying and eating non-nutrient rich products, i.e., processed foods.

Plus mom and pop marts can't compete. For example "a box of Cheerios [cereal] can be 40 percent more expensive at the bodega or the dokkan than at the megastore."

The digital entertainment company JibJab made a social commentary cartoon in 2005 entitled Big Box Mart on the global implications of hypermarkets and their business practices. See it: http://sendables.jibjab.com/originals/big_box_mart

In other world dominating markets news:
 - Tesco will launch at-point-of-shopping "hand-held technology" to scan as you go in 2011. ( Computer Weekly)
 - Walmart launched aggressive green goals for 2015 worldwide on October 14. (Relaxnews via The Independent )
 - Walmart's chief executive Mike Duke said on October 26 that India's foreign direct investment on reform "in retail will create 3 million jobs in the next five years and help contain inflation by 50-70 basis points." ( India's The Economic Times)
 - And, Carrefour announced plans to expand its "Express" stores across Poland with 200 new convenience stores in 2011 on October 27. ( just-food)

Comments