Wal*Mart: Ever More Influence

National Assoc. of Convenience Stores Magazine, August, 2004: "Because of its buying power, Wal*Mart can sell all of its products at retail for less than the price at which most of your wholesale distributors can buy the same product from the manufacturer ... It's scary to think small retailers might get better prices by purchasing directly from a Wal*Mart store than they can from buying from their own distributor/wholesaler."

What this means is that Wal*Mart has not only changed consumer buying behavior, they have changed the way distribution channels work. Many manufacturers know that much of their Wal*Mart volume, especially what they sell through Sam's Club, actually represents trade sales and not consumer sales. We've all heard about the impact Wal*Mart has on its retail competitors ... how big will this impact on trade channels be?