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Reuters reports that consumer packaged goods manufacturers are complaining that while Wal-Mart is largely responsible for the stability of American supermarket prices, the Arkansas retailer also bears some blame for declining manufacturer margins.

At a conference in Arizona, Reuters reports, manufacturer after manufacturer said that Wal-Mart had too much power in the retail sector, forcing manufacturer to hold the line on the prices they charge even as costs go up.

Among the CPG companies echoing this complaint: Campbell Soup, Del Monte, and General Mills.
KC's View:
Now wait a minute.

We bow to nobody in the "Wal-Mart has too much power" debate.

But some of these companies appear to have made their own beds. Del Monte, for example, told Reuters that it signed contracts with Wal-Mart before it even knew what the harvest would be. Meaning that it was committing to prices before it even knew costs. Which doesn’t seem like the smartest business move.

It is a bow to Wal-Mart's dominance, and it isn’t up to Wal-Mart to deal with that issue. It is up to suppliers to stand up to the Bentonville Behemoth, just as some toy manufacturers seem to be doing in that segment because they are concerned about Wal-Mart's growing dominance.

Sometimes, people and companies choose to accept intimidation as a fact of life. But that's their choice, and not the only one.