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Walmart vs Neimans

I ran into the problem over the weekend - "I am a Walmart employee in a Neiman Marcus world".

It's not there is something wrong with Walmart, it is that the rules have changed. Where there was once a preponderance of line jobs, (show up, punch a time clock, put widgets in widget holder, etc), there are now a wealth of specialty jobs.

Walmart is cheap. The goods are bought in huge amounts and priced with little margin. The win is in the bulk buy. If enough people buy products, Bentonville makes a tidy profit.

However, if a product marketed at Walmart does not move, it is dumped.

Compare that with Neimans. Neimans carefully selects products which meet the discriminating tastes of it's shoppers. Products are unique and priced accordingly.

The idea behind Neiman Marcus is a customer will pay more for products which are above and beyond what one can purchase elsewhere.

Jobs are the same.

Once upon a time, US Steel and General Motors packed them deep. Hundreds of thousands employees across dozens of cities. Company towns. Mass production. Assembly lines.

When the product moved (and the market was closed) there was plenty of work. When the product ceased moving or became too expensive to produce, the Walmart jobs disappeared.

Today's job market is all about the Neiman Marcus concept. Employers will pay a premium price for key people who are unique and talented. Companies are smaller and as likely to be global as they are lean and nimble. And the people products are priced accordingly.

The decision for today is whether or not you are a Neiman's employee waiting for the offer, or a Walmart employee waiting for the callback.

Either way, make sure you are not in the returns line.


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