According to the New York Times, complaints have been pouring into Kmart headquarters in Troy, Mich., urging the company to stop buying fishing rods, T-shirts, shoes, electronics and other products from China. Concerns are rising because many customers are annoyed that so many products have "made in China" labels when Beijing held 24 American service members for 11 days.
"Our customers are telling us to quit doing business in China, that they're not going to buy things made there anymore," said Dale Apley, K mart's vice president of public policy.
"These are just people taking time out of their schedule to contact us. How many other people are thinking the same thing?"
Apley added that Kmart had no plans to pull Chinese goods off the shelves and would like to keep doing business with Chinese factories, but it warned Chinese business contacts that the company would have no choice but to "diversify its suppliers" unless the Americans were freed quickly.
Before China's promise Wednesday to release the Americans, several retailers had warned Chinese diplomats that they would seek new suppliers unless the crew members were returned promptly.
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