Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

A few weeks ago we reported that Wal-Mart made headlines for claiming that most of the products it sells are American-made goods. In order to test this claim, we sent our field staff to Wal-Marts around the country to gather firsthand accounts of the types and quantity of American-made products they found on Wal-Mart’s shelves.

Though the American-made inventory varied from store to store, we noticed a few overarching trends:

  • We didn’t find a single store that stocked a “majority” of goods that were made in the USA.
  • Most of the food items we found at Wal-Mart were produced domestically, which, as CNN Money reported, demonstrates that Wal-Mart’s claim is based more on consumer sales choices instead of overall inventory: more shoppers are buying basic items like groceries while forgoing big-ticket, foreign-made items like electronics. 
  • Speaking of electronics, none of our field staff were able to find flat screen TVs, computers, etc. that were made in the USA.
  • Clothing inventory was mixed, although it seems that majority of the clothing sold at Wal-Mart is made in China and other countries. It took a lot of digging to uncover American-made items.

So there you have it:  A firsthand look at the type of products that Wal-Marts are really stocking their shelves with…and how few of these products are made in the USA.

Now we need your help. Since most Americans do at least some of their shopping at large chain discounters like Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target, we want to know which of these stores offers the largest selection of American-made goods.

Next time you are in Kmart or Target, keep track of which items on your shopping list are Made in the USA, and let us know what you find! If you email the name and location of the store and what American-made goods you were able to find to info@aamgfg.org, we’ll publish your report right here on ManufactureThis.

Also feel free to send us any photos you take during your shopping trips. Together we can help Americans make more informed shopping choices, put pressure on these stores to stock more American goods, and Keep it Made in America!