The following article was originally posted on Huffington Post:
While many American retailers are just one lackluster back-to-school season away from disaster, the malingering recession has been very good to some retail manufacturers—especially in China.
American shoppers at Wal-Mart have made investors in Hong Kong very wealthy. By one estimate, in 2006 every Wal-Mart store in the United States caused the loss of about 77 American jobs due to Wal-Mart’s trade deficit with China. Without knowing it, millions of American consumers have been shopping at Fung-Mart.
A Chinese global conglomerate little known in this county has been ‘living better’ off of Wal-Mart’s sales. Li & Fung is not a household word in Kansas or Arizona—but it’s one of the main beneficiaries behind the Wal-Mart sales numbers. Described as the biggest supplier of clothes and toys to companies like Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl’s, Li & Fung has been one of the fireworks of the Hang Seng Index, and its stock has more than doubled this year.
Li & Fung describes itself as “one of the premier global consumer products export trading companies managing the supply chain for high-volume, time-sensitive consumer goods including garments, fashion accessories, toys, sporting goods, promotional merchandise, handicrafts, shoes, travel goods and household items.” Its products are sourced through a network of offices in nearly 40 countries for customers in the US, Europe, Asia and the Southern Hemisphere.”
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