Sunday, November 18, 2012

Buying clothes at the supermarket


There are more and more people who buy clothes at the supermarket. These clothes are cheaper and you can buy them while filling your shopping cart with groceries. Convenience and low prices are key to turn discount retailers into an outlet of clothes and shoes. In 2005, giant retailers sold 54,000 million euros in clothes and shoes, which represents 6% of global sales. And these figures increase every year. 
At present, the largest corporation is a department store: Walmart, from the US, is largest retailer in the world. Every week, 175 million people buy there. The second and third top supermarkets are the English Tesco (with 30 million customers every week) and the French Carrefour (with 25 million customers). The fourth and fifth positions are for German discount retailers Lidl and Aldi. All these retailers offer such low prices that they are becoming more and more popular (thanks to the financial crisis too) and in 2012 they represented 20% of the market share.
Clothes sold in such department stores are of poor quality, like most other products. But it is so cheap that customers find it convenient and when it wears out, people throw it away and buy new clothes. However, such low prices hide a secret. The Clean Clothes Campaign, launched by many NGOs, unions and consumer’s associations worldwide, advocates to improve the work conditions in the garment industry and minimize the environmental impact of clothes manufacturing. This campaign includes a report about clothes sold by giant retailers. The conclusions of this report are clear: working conditions in the garment industry are very precarious because supermarkets and retailers push suppliers into selling at very low prices. Under such pressure, manufacturers (working always in poor countries with inadequate or inexistent work regulations) pay miserable salaries, offer no safety to their employees and dump chemical products into the environment.
Just to set an example: in 2006, the number of garment companies supplying clothes to Walmart with a “medium-risk” or “high-risk” violation of work standards represented 91%. And bear in mind that these working standards are very low: most clothes manufacturers set a minimum wage of just 50% of the living wage. In Bangalore (India), for instance, an average family needs 80 euros to cover their basic needs, but most workers in this area just earn 42 euros. In Sri Lanka, only 43.9% of workers earn a salary equal to or greater than the minimum living wage established by law in this country. Moreover, most of these companies do not allow unions, and work contracts are for the short-term and very precarious.
Not only clothes manufacturers have a hard time: shop assistants and store clerks also have poor work conditions. Walmart employs 2 million people for distribution and sales (not including product manufacturers) with the following work conditions: a maximum of 72 hours/week, no minimum wage and worse conditions every day. Therefore, it is easy to understand how such discount retailers can offer really low prices. But it is worth buying these products?
Two more data to better understand the consequences of buying cheap clothes. As these clothes are imported from very far-away countries, every department store releases three times more CO2 emissions than any local shop. And, as average, having a giant retailer involves loosing 276 job posts and closing local shops within a 12-km radius.

Sources:
  1. Clean Clothes Campaign: http://www.cleanclothes.org/
  2. The data of this post is taken from the report Cashing In: Giant retailers, purchasing practice and working conditions in the garment industry drawn by the Clean Clothes Campaign (available in several languages): https://www.cleanclothes.org/resources/ccc/working-conditions/cashing-in


     
    
 

6 comments:

  1. Winter is so cold, only moncler jackets can keep warm , we provide you warm monclers for people all ages and cheap price.

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  2. The best advantage to go to supermarket is that we can purchase generic brands instead of name brands is saving money. We can also purchase it in Top article low price.

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  3. The competition of supermarkets is very good for customer. But despite these advantages the supermarket has also got few disadvantages. A lot of products are not fresh. They lie on the shelfs and wait for a customer. Sometimes they can wait very, very long... Short-term products like bread or milk have to be in refrigerator but sometimes they are much too long there and past the sell-by date.garment.co.uk

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  4. Thanks for letting us know about buying clothes at supermarket issue. Whatever information you did here really sound wonderful and I hope through reading out this wonderful allocation everyone will come to know about all the sides of buying clothes from supermarket. Thanks :)

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  5. You can get pretty much anything at the shops these days. If it exists, then it's on the net or in the supermarket. Just nip down to your local supermarket and you can kit out your house with furnishings, carpets and paint.grocery convenience

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  6. Shopping has gone completely online these days. You can shop everything from household appliances to office supplies sitting in home. You can even import goods from abroad using Internet. Online shopping not only makes shopping easy but also save a lot of times.
    Online Supermarket in Chennai | Online Grocery Shopping in Chennai

    ReplyDelete