A while back, I read an interesting Fast Company article about how the manufacturer of Snapper power lawn equipment turned down Wal-Mart as a retail outlet. This interesting piece shows the muscle that Wal-Mart–and in this case, I think, the big home improvement outlets–can exert over their suppliers. Or not, in this case.
Today, there’s an article about the influence that Wal-Mart holds over video game developers:
Publisher sales reps inform Wal-Mart buyers of games in development; the games’ subjects, titles, artwork and packaging are vetted and sometimes vetoed by Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart tells a top-end publisher it won’t carry a certain game, the publisher kills that game. In short, every triple-A game sold at retail in North America is managed start to finish, top to bottom, with the publisher’s gaze fixed squarely on Wal-Mart, and no other.