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  • Sunday, November 12, 2006

    A Shopping Visit to Trust-Mart

    Today I continued my exploration of the northeastern section of central (i.e. within the boundaries of the Fu and Nan Rivers) Chengdu. On my way to locate the Wenshu Temple and the surrounding restored commercial area, I came across a Trust-Mart hypermarket.

    Trust-Mart is the 100-hypermarket chain in China that last month was reported sold by its owner Winston Wong of Taiwan to Wal-Mart for about one billion dollars. Hypermarkets are large department stores that sell everything from food to electronics. Forbes.com reported that "the acquisition would give Wal-Mart the critical mass needed to challenge Carrefour in a fast-expanding market where it is lagging both in the number of stores and in profitability. It also marks the second-most-important strategic move taken this year by Wal-Mart in China, after it broke with its anti-union tradition to allow China's officials and sole labor organization to set up branches in all its 66 Chinese outlets earlier this month. Chinese union officials lauded the company, not known for its love of organized labor, as 'a model for the promotion of a harmonial society.' ... "By purchasing an entire chain rather than opening new stores, Wal-Mart will be able to bypass cumbersome Chinese red tape: each city has its own requirements for new stores. As well, by purchasing existing stores, Wal-Mart avoids the complexities of land acquisition." Wal-Mart did open a new store near Southwest Traffic University in Chengdu last month, but I have not had an opportunity to visit it.


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