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Baines, Joseph
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This paper offers an analysis of Walmart's contested expansion in the retail business. It draws on, and develops, some aspects of the capital as power framework so as to provide the first quantitative explication of the company's power trajectory to date. After rapid growth in the first four decades of its existence, the power of Walmart appears to be flat-lining relative to dominant capital as a whole. The major problems for Walmart lie in the fact that its green-field growth is running into barriers, while its cost cutting measures seem to be approaching a floor. The paper contends that these problems are in part born out of resistance that Walmart is experiencing at multiple social scales. This resistance helps to explain why Walmart is nearing what appears to be an 'asymptote' – a distributional limit that the company might not be able to pass. Walmart’s power trajectory may give us clues about the future limits on the power of dominant capital as a whole.
corporate power
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