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Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

We've all heard the claims from Wal-Mart-- that they're selling more Made-in-America items.  Unfortunately, that seems not to be the case, based on our various in-store inspections throughout the nation.

We didn't want to just focus on Wal-Mart, though.  We're curious: What about K-Mart, Target, and other chain retailers?  Are they selling Made-in-USA?  Or, do they import much/most of their merchandise.

So, here we go-- our first look at a K-Mart Store.  This report comes from Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Field Coordinator Dan Lawson, who visited a K-Mart in Bangor, Maine.  Here's what Dan found:

Route 66 Brand (sounds all American right?) Men’s shorts and shirts, all made in Nicaragua and Bangladesh.  Levi’s Jeans, all made in Nicaragua.  Polo shirt and Golf shirts, all made in India.  Woman’s clothing, I could not find one item made here in the USA, but there was sure plenty from China, Indonesia, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Vietnam.  

The same held true for Children’s apparel.  I did find some interesting things in the infant department; Onesies were found to be made in Cambodia.  Infant formula had no country of origin on them.  Nursing pads were from Thailand. Pamper’s thick core wipes were made in the USA.  The baby bibs I looked at were all made in China.  Even Big Bird has gotten the outsource bug, Sesame Street Tender Vibe Bouncer Infant Bouncer Chair is Made in China.  

Evenflo playpens are made in China along with all the cribs and wooden changing tables, could not find one made here in the USA.

Shoes/Boots:  I found 18 different work boots, all different brands and styles, the one thing they had in common, you got it all Made in China.  Thom McAn Shoes 10 different styles, all made in China.  Tennis/sneakers 6 different brands, Made in China.

Now let’s talk about America’s past time, Baseball!  What could be more American than Baseball? I headed to the sporting goods department.  Diamond Baseballs, official size and weight, Made in China.  Easton aluminum Little League Bat, Made in China.   Rawlings Wooden Little League Bat, it was made in the USA.  Easton Little League batting helmet, product of Thailand.  Wilson Child Batting Glove, Made in Vietnam.  Easton Pro Style Baseball Pants, Made in Thailand.  Easton Baseball glove, Vietnam.  Wilson Fielder’s glove, China.  Wilson Pro Glove, Vietnam.  Rawling’s  Fielder’s glove, made in Vietnam.   Spaulding Fielder’s glove,  Made in China.

Golf Balls: I found 12 different manufacturers of golf balls with 20 different styles. Taylor-made, Calloway, Nike, Juice, Wilson, Bridgestone, Percept, Cobalt, Nitro, Pinnacle, Noodle, and Topflight. I found only one of the twenty I were made here in the USA , Topflight XL 7000.     

Cleaning Supplies:  Mr. Clean Magic eraser wipes are made in Germany, K-mart Brand Smart Sense eraser made in China.  Libman’s  Corn Broom made in the U.S.  Tide detergent did not have where it was made on the package.  Downy liquid fabric softener was made in Mexico, Snuggles and the K-mart brands were both made in the USA.  K-mart Brand compactor bags are made in the USA.  Women’s kitchen gloves such as Playtex and other brands all made in Malaysia.   Swiffer wet mopping pads, made in Canada.  K-mart brand is made in the USA. 

Assorted area rugs:  they were priced by size, all 3x5 were one price, all 5x7 were the same price.  In each size there were some made in USA and others made in Thailand.   

As I was leaving the store I saw a display of Kool-aid, memories flooded into my head remembering when I was a kid on a hot summer day, I picked up a package and saw Made in Mexico, Oh Yeah!