Walmart finally got itself some recent good press by announcing plans to purchase $50 billion worth of American-made goods, including apparel, over the next 10 years. The decision was apparently at the forefront of discussion at the recent Texworld USA and Première Vision Preview, in New York, a trade fair showcasing fabrics and textiles.
With a Made In the USA revival already underway, Walmart’s latest big decision could have major impact across the retail industry. Smaller retail operations are cropping up that showcase an all-American product range, like the new online department store Shop and Buy American Made. (What its name lacks in subtlety its stock makes up for in entirely U.S.-produced offerings.) With retailers big and small now embracing homegrown production, what might have been a fad could become the new norm.
Interestingly, one concern voiced by textile producers at the aforementioned trade show is whether enough domestic production currently exists to meet Walmart’s demand and beyond. But production costs are rising in Asia and there’s a growing consumer willingness, here at home, to pay more for American-made goods. As long as production actually follows the increased demand, a major manufacturing shift could soon be underway — and a slew of new jobs would be created along with it.