In a world where most retailers are categorized as having a monopolistic competition market structure, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. appears to have an oligopoly market structure. Nevertheless, because there are far too many retailers to deal with, then they also have a monopolistic competition market structure. Regardless, Wal-Mart would rather have it this way because it has not hurt them at all by having competition.
When Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opened its doors to their first discount store in 1962, Sam Walton had no idea his business would take off like it has to this day. The reason for Wal-Mart's success has been their ability to create a basic structure for their very own business ecosystem. Wal-Mart came to the conclusion that if they offered a variety of well-known brands and sold them about 15% cheaper than other retailers, then this would make them a powerful force in the retail business.
This business ecosystem may be similar to what other retailers may use, such as Kmart, but Wal-Mart did not follow the norm by opening stores in the suburbs where the money was.
Wal-Mart decided that it was in their best interest to stay put in rural and small-town markets. They felt that the people from the suburbs would come to them, which is exactly what ended up happening. Their simple strategy worked; one store would cater to several different towns.
In less than three decades of existence, Wal-Mart grew from a single small discount store in Rogers, Arkansas, to the largest retailer in the nation. This title was previously held by Sears Roebuck and Co., but during the early 1990's they were surpassed by Wal-Mart and Kmart. Sears has since regained the number two spot as the nation's leading retailers, but it appears that Wal-Mart may never be...