Frey Farms V's Wal-Mart Negotiations

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The Frey Family of Companies is a year-round supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables. They are a family of growers, packers, shippers and marketers specializing in watermelons, cantaloupes, pumpkins and fall ornamentals. The Frey Farms Produce headquarters is located in rural Wayne County northeast of Mt. Vernon, IL and is supported by strategic shipping locations in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Georgia, Florida and throughout the Midwest. The Frey family has been in the produce industry for several years serving large and small retailers alike. They service our customers by way of direct store delivery routes and shipments to major distribution centers. Frey Companies are leaders in innovation, research and technology. Their excellent staff is educated with the technical knowledge and personal skills needed to accomplish any and all business needs. Their customers appreciate the value of "Homegrown Freshness." (Frey Farms Produce Profile) Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, sold $315 billion worth of goods in 2006. With its single-minded focus on "EDLP" (everyday low prices) and the power to make or break; suppliers, a partnership with Wal-Mart is either the Holy Grail or the kiss of death, depending on one's perspective. There are numerous media accounts of the corporate pillar of rock riding its suppliers into the ground. But what about those who manage to survive, and thrive, while dealing with the classic hardball negotiator? In "Sarah Talley and Frey Farms Produce: Negotiating with Wal-Mart" HBS professor Jim Sebenius and Research Associate Ellen Knebel show an organizations doing just that. The case is part of a series that involve hard bargaining situations (Sarah Talley and Frey Farms Produce: Negotiating with Wal-Mart, 2006). "The concept of win-win bargaining is a good and powerful message," Sebenius says, "but a lot of our students and executives face counterparts who aren't interested in playing by those rules. So what happens when you encounter...
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