What He Said

You know you’re important when a major research firm churns out an entire report analyzing your comments. In a first-ever occurrence for Wal-Mart, president and CEO H. Lee Scott Jr. spoke at the National Retail Federation’s convention in January. Following this historic event, Forrester Research Inc. has devoted nearly three pages to discussing Scott’s pearls of wisdom. We hear that nothing can slow Wal-Mart as it gobbles up U.S. commercial real estate and advances into China, India, Mexico, and Russia (Scott: “We just keep growing”). RFID, of course, is “very important.” We’re also given Scott’s list of challenges for retailers: global trade, health care (huh?), and legal issues. But here’s the scary part — Forrester’s contention that “since it’s an election year, more than a few local elections will be decided partly on the basis of how candidates address the Wal-Mart effect on their communities.”

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