Wal-Mart to Discuss Social Responsibility With Suppliers

Wal-Mart Stores, Bentonville, Ark., will host a meeting on Oct. 22 in Beijing for approximately 1,000 of its suppliers "to talk about our commitment to socially responsible selling," Lee Scott, president and chief executive officer, said yesterday during a presentation at the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference.

NEW YORK — Wal-Mart Stores, Bentonville, Ark., will host a meeting on Oct. 22 in Beijing for approximately 1,000 of its suppliers "to talk about our commitment to socially responsible selling," Lee Scott, president and chief executive officer, said yesterday during a presentation at the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference here. The purpose of the meeting, he explained, will be to eliminate "people who cheat on overtime; who use forced labor or under-age labor; who dump chemicals into rivers; and who cheat on their taxes because there's no way that supplier won't cheat us in terms of quality of goods or ability to perform." Scott said Wal-Mart hopes to improve its relationships with customers worldwide "by improving the quality of the factories we work with and the products we import." He said he does not believe the improvements in supply sources will result in higher retail prices "because when you factor in all the business issues involved, we will be more competitive than ever."

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