The nation’s largest retailer says it will buy more U.S.-made products.
Over the next 10 years, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) plans to increase its purchases of domestically produced goods by $50 billion. Wal-Mart has come under criticism for selling low-price products manufactured abroad, particularly from China, Reuters notes.
While Wal-Mart said the additional spending on U.S. goods was meant to help the struggling U.S. economy, critics noted that an extra $5 billion a year hardly amounted to economic stimulus in a $15 trillion economy.
According to Wal-Mart, two-thirds of the products sold in its U.S. stores are produced domestically. In 2012, 55% of the company’s sales were generated by food and beverage products, which are usually produced in the U.S. Clothing and accessories accounted for just 7% of the chain’s sales, but those items are mostly made overseas.
Other retailers indicated that it would be difficult for them to follow Wal-Mart’s lead. Macy’s (NYSE:M) CEO Terry Lundgren told Reuters that buying more American-made products would result in higher prices, which consumers were unwilling to pay.
Earlier this week, Wal-Mart announced that, starting on Memorial Day, it will offer a job to any honorably-discharged veteran who has been out of the service for less than one year.