03/15/2012 02:50:00 PMCoral Beach
"Spezzano said the chain’s switch from vendor/distribution center category management to regional buying offices, such as the office in Wenatchee, Wash., which handles onion and apple purchases for Wal-Mart, has allowed the retailer to cut some costs." While Mr Spezzano is very knowledgeable about produce, he really does not know about Walmart. He is completely off the mark in the above statement. The move to regional buying offies moved buying focus to growers and away from brokers - this has allowed for more consistent supply, better quality and improved costing... GFS Buyers are not seeking the lowest costs, but reasonable costs that ensure supply. As diffucult for others to believe, Walmart works on lower retail margins than most retailers and traditionally have lowered costs for promotions by investing in margin.
It is easy to believe Walmart works on lower retail margins because of volume. But they will increasingly squeeze the local producer so Walmart can offer their shoppers the lowest prices. When that model collapses, as it will, with producers going out of business, Wamart will revert to brokers or find another model - more imports from China.