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Is Wal-Mart Good for America? (full documentary)

06 Jul 2022
An inside look into the controversy over the Wal-Mart way of doing business, investigating whether the retail giant changed the American economy. (Aired 2004)

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In "Is Wal-Mart Good for America?," FRONTLINE offered two starkly contrasting images: one of empty storefronts in Circleville, Ohio, where the local TV manufacturing plant had closed down; the other, a sea of high rises in the South China boomtown of Shenzhen. The connection between American job losses and soaring Chinese exports? Wal-Mart. Through interviews with retail executives, product manufacturers, economists and trade experts, correspondent Hedrick Smith does a deep dive into the company’s business practices.

Explore additional reporting on "Is Wal-Mart Good for America?" on our website:

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FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Park Foundation; the Heising-Simons Foundation; and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation, and additional support from Koo and Patricia Yuen.

Prologue - 00:00
Wal-Mart’s Retail Power - 01:17
Muscling Manufacturers - 11:41
What’s Behind Wal-Mart’s Low Prices - 18:57
The Rise of “Made in China” - 28:26
Losing Jobs in U.S. Manufacturing - 40:11
Credits - 53:12
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