Industry Overview Paper: Wal-Mart

Essay by M. KukoyiUniversity, Bachelor'sB-, July 2006

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In the 1960's, a man named Sam Walton opened a store called Wal-Mart. This first Wal-Mart was built in a small town named Rogers, Arkansas. Walton's idea behind the creation of his new store was that a small town could support a large store. Along with this concept, Walton also believed that selling his goods at a lower price than his competitors could be very advantageous for several reasons. Some of the goods that Wal-Mart currently sells are electronics, grocery, sporting goods, services, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, health and beauty supplies, toys, office supplies, one-hour photo, gasoline, jewelry, and shoes. Today, Wal-Mart is the world's number one retailer with more than 4,800 stores in the U.S alone. Wal-Mart's success has led to the opening of brother and sister corporations that are extremely successful in their own right. In 1984, they opened their first three SAM'S CLUBs. In 1988, they opened their first Wal-Mart Supercenter, which combined a supermarket or grocery styled store with their usual retail merchandise discount stores.

SWOTT Analysis


One of the most obvious but also quite controversial are Wal-marts cost reducing tactics and strategies, that many people feel give them an unfair advantage over its competitors. Wal-Mart does business directly with factories and does not go through sales representatives, which eliminates the commission cost which oftentimes causes their competitors to mark up their prices. Wal-Mart also spends approximately 15 billion dollars a year on Chinese manufactured products. Wal-Mart has a core competence involving its use of information technology to support its international logistics system. For example, it can see how individual products are performing country-wide, store-by-store at a glance. IT also supports Wal-Mart's efficient procurement. A focused strategy is in place for human resource management and development. People are key to Wal-Mart's business and it invests time...