Bruce Sterling on Mon, 24 Mar 2003 20:43:55 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Fwd: Wal-Mart Opens First 'All You Can Live' Township

*I believe in this one -- bruces

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "futurefeedforward" <>
> Date: Sun Mar 23, 2003  07:27:39 PM US/Central
> To:
> Subject: Wal-Mart Opens First 'All You Can Live' Township
> March 11, 2020
> Wal-Mart Opens First 'All You Can Live' Township
> WALTON, OH--Officials of the Wal-Mart Corporation
> announced Thursday the opening of Walton Township, a
> company designed and managed subdivision on the outskirts
> of Cleveland, Ohio.  Walton, the first of three Wal-Mart
> communities scheduled to open this year, introduces
> residents to the company's new 'all you can live' consumer
> goods subscription service.  "Beyond its quality
> environment and top-notch municipal services, Walton
> represents our first serious foray into flat-fee
> provision of consumer products," explains Michael
> Elmoere, Wal-Mart VP of Intra-Regional Logistics and
> First Regent of Walton Township.  "It's a 21st century
> horn-of-plenty, all for one no-fuss monthly fee."
> Taking advantage of the company's superior purchasing
> power and its much-vaunted just-in-time inventory
> management systems, Walton guarantees its residents a
> literally bottomless supply of the staple consumer goods
> with which Wal-Mart is commonly associated.  "As much
> Windex as you want," boasts Elmoere.  "As many Cheetos and
> Glad garbage bags.  Imagine, every need satisfied."  And the
> company is willing to stand behind its promises,
> integrating a '100% availability guarantee' covering
> more than 1,200 common household goods into Walton's town
> charter.  "If it's in the charter, and it's not available,
> we'll pay you the cost of a replacement good, plus 10%.
> Guaranteed."
> Walton Township's initial phase, designed by the Arkansas
> firm Furst + Femble-Grieg, includes 118 ranch-style
> single-family dwellings arranged on meandering,
> pedestrian-friendly avenues radiating from a central
> town hall and distribution center.  "The key to Walton is a
> literal superimposition of municipal and retail
> channels," notes Valerie Femble-Grieg, a principal of the
> firm.  "Our goal was to achieve a resonant harmony between
> the traditional idiom of the town center and the particular
> expertise of Wal-Mart in designing distribution
> networks.  The Walton town center is a great central hearth,
> a hearth of great bounty."
> In an effort to control 'leakage,' the export of flat-fee
> goods outside the Township by community subscribers,
> Wal-Mart plans to institute a pervasive inventory control
> system consisting of miniature radio-frequency tags
> broadcasting unique product and batch ID numbers.  "We
> accept that we cannot control leakage absolutely, but,
> frankly, our focus research indicates that it may be less of
> a problem than most expect," explains Elmoere.  "Most of the
> problem is solved by allocating 'guest-minutes' to each of
> the residents for friends and family.  The real goal is less
> total inventory awareness than designing a subscription
> service that satisfies people's real needs."
> Reaction to the Township in the retail community has been
> mixed.  "It is a daring concept," admits Loki Jonones,
> Merchandising Director at Federated Lifestyle
> Enterprises.  "But it doesn't make sense at all price
> points, at all levels in the value chain."
> Elmoere reports that the results of initial marketing
> efforts have surpassed the company's modest
> expectations.  "This is a radical new pricing structure for
> us," admits Elmoere.  "And, frankly, we expected initial
> response to be slow as consumers digested the
> possibilities.  But Walton is currently over-subscribed,
> and we've got 14 families scheduled for move-in this week."
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