Imagine for a minute that you are a retailer and you own 10 sleep shops in your home state. A new guy moves down the road from you and opens a store carrying products that you carry, but these guys are selling them at prices below what you can even buy them for. To compete you start to slash your own prices, and sell more services to compensate for lost revenue, but in the end you have to close your store because you can’t compete anymore. Is that fair? What if you found out that the guy that ran you out of business was ILLEGALLY dumping products below your cost because the Chinese government was propping him up with subsidies? Would that get your blood pressure up a little?
That is pretty much what is going on with Leggett and Platt as reported by USA Today. Not to be too much of a homer here, but I have to support L&P on this. When I first started working at Leggett and Platt, I watched as we made very tough decisions to shut down factories because of the Chinese imports that were being sold below market prices. That means that we had to let go of thousands of Leggett partners because of illegal trade. I would imagine that many went on unemployment and some families probably lost their homes as a result of people breaking the law.
I don’t care what political party you are with or even if you like Leggett and Platt, just set all of that aside for a minute. If we don’t protect the American way of life from foreign countries that mean to do us harm, then we are the fools. We all like to bring prices down and offer better and cheaper solutions to the consumer, but at what price?
I hope that nobody in this industry has to face this kind of unfair and illegal competition that threatens your business. And if you do, I hope that the industry supports you doing what you have to do to protect what you have built and the people that helped you build it.
So what do you think, is Leggett and Platt handling this the right way? Share you thoughts in the comments section.