Industry Analysis of Walmart

Essay by robertdUniversity, Master'sB+, February 2007

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Michael Porter's framework for industry analysis keys in on five forces that shape the competitive environment. The five forces are: 1. Rivalry among existing firms. 2. Threat of new entrants. 3. Bargaining power of buyers. 4. Bargaining power of suppliers. 5. Threat of substitutes. This model can be used by business managers to develop an edge over rival firms. Use of this model will allow the manager to better understand the context of the industry in which his/her firm operates in.

To demonstrate Michael Porter's model on industry analysis, I have chosen Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The proceeding paper will give a brief overview of the Wal-Mart enterprise followed by Porter's five forces on the Wal-Mart organization.


Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is a global enterprise that is the largest national retailer in the United States. (1. Fortune magazine lists Wal-Mart's 2005 revenues as $288,189 (in millions) which dwarves its nearest competitor Target ($49,934--in millions) Wal-Mart operates on an "Every Day Low Price" philosophy because they are able to maintain their low price structure through complete expense control.

With this philosophy, they have proven to be extremely profitable domestically. Their primary task is buying from suppliers at a low cost and reselling the goods to customers at a low price. Thus, the company philosophy of low prices and great customer service is achieved.


Rivalry among Competition

Due to Wal-Mart's size, domination in the retail industry lacks any real rival intensity among its main competitors at this time. While Wal-Mart excels in the retail industry, much of the competition nationally is struggling to stay in business let alone compete. Two retailers that fit this description would be K-MART and Sears. It appears the nearest rival companies at this time would be Target...