American Apparel is a clothing company with the assurance of “sweatshop-free” clothing. It was started by a young entrepreneur Dov Charney with the hopes of attracting a market base of young, hip urbanites with a mind towards labor rights and ethical business practices. American Apparel now has stores in L.A., New York, and Chicago, among other locations, with 4,500 employees that receive living wages and benefits.
Consumerism & Commercialism
Studies have shown that modern culture - with its emphasis on acquisition of material things - has actually made us less happy than we were in times of far less abundance. Now corporations are slipping their consumption-heavy messages into every aspect of life, even textbooks in public schools. The result is a childhood obesity crisis, skyrocketing consumer debt, and the privatization of nearly every aspect of public life.
Burger King, based in Miami, Florida, USA, is the world's second largest hamburger chain (behind McDonald's). It has restaurants in about 65 countries. Founded in 1954, Burger King is owned in part by the investment firms TPG Capital, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs, which each own about 25% of the company.
Nike is the world's leading supplier of athletic shoes, apparel and sports equipment with revenue in excess of $16 billion USD in 2007. Operating in more than 160 countries around the globe Nike and is subsidiaries can be found in most shoe retailing stores. In addition to manufacturing their products Nike also runs a chain of retail stores known as Niketown. The company was heavily criticized in the late 1990s for egregious labor conditions, human rights abuses and environmental damage
Office Depot is the second largest office supply and products retailer (behind Staples). The company has over 1,600 locations globally and opened its first Florida store in 1986. Multiple states have investigated or canceled contracts with Office Depot for various questionable pricing schemes.
The Kroger Co. operates retail food and drug stores, multi-department stores, jewelry stores and convenience stores throughout the United States. The Company also manufactures and processes some of the food for sale in its supermarkets. It reported over US$60 billion in sales during its most recent fiscal year and is the top grocery retailer in the country and third-place general retailer in the country, behind Wal-Mart and The Home Depot.
Tesco plc is a UK-based international grocery and general merchandising retail chain. It is the largest British retailer by both global sales and domestic market share, and is the world's third-largest retailer, behind Wal-Mart of the United States and Carrefour of France.
Tesco now controls just over 30% of the grocery market in the UK, approximate to the combined market share of its closest rivals, Asda and Sainsbury's.
Sony Corporation is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation and one of the world's largest media conglomerates with revenue based in Minato, Tokyo. Sony is one of the leading manufacturers of electronics, video, communications, video games and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets.
Sony Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony Group, which is engaged in business through its five operating segments — electronics, games, entertainment, financial services and other.
Sears Holdings Corporation is the fourth largest retailer in the United States, behind Wal-Mart, The Home Depot, and Kroger. It was formed in 2005 with the purchase of Sears, Roebuck and Company of Hoffman Estates, Illinois by Kmart Holdings Corporation of Troy, Michigan.
The company operates 3,800 retail locations under the mastheads of Sears, Sears Grand, Sears Essentials, Sears Hardware, Kmart, Big Kmart, Super Kmart, The Great Indoors, Orchard Supply Hardware, and Lands' End stores.
The Walt Disney Company was founded by brothers Walt and Roy Disney on October 16, 1923 as a small animation studio and grew into an empire. It currently has active interests in studio entertainment, parks and resorts, consumer products, and media networks.
Delphi primarily makes various automobile parts. The company's technology is also sold for computing, communications, consumer electronics, energy and medical applications. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005 and soon thereafter began operating as "debtors-in-possession" under court supervision, with the expectation of emerging from bankruptcy sometime in 2008. The company is a former division of General Motors (GM), separated in 1999.