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Wal-Mart, a US public corporation that ran large discount department stores, was by revenue the biggest public corporation in the world.The company was established in 1962 by Sam Walton. On 31 October 1969, it was incorporated and, by 1972, it had obtained listing on the New York Stock Exchange .In the financial year ending in 2007, the global Fortune 500 list ranked Wal-Mart at the top of the list, with revenues of US$351 billion.

Wal-Mart constantly emphasized its corporate philosophy of strengthening its relationships with employees, suppliers and customers. Building its own transportation systems had allowed Wal-Mart to enjoy transportation cost savings and had helped Wal-Mart to deliver products to its various stores within 48 hours. Taking advantage of its wholly owned transportation capabilities, Wal-Mart was four times faster than its competitors in replenishing its merchandise. The pricing of its products was economical and prices were allowed to vary daily.

On the procurement side, owing to the huge volume of its purchases, the company enjoyed strong bargaining power. Reliably low prices of Wal-Mart ensured that sales volumes were consistently elevated. Wal-Mart's retailing activities were operated by three primary subsidiaries: Wal-Mart International, Sam's Club and Wal-Mart Stores Division US. In addition, Wal-Mart had nine different retail formats for its businesses: restaurants, cash-and-carry stores, membership warehouse clubs, apparel stores, soft discount stores, bodegas (small markets), supercenters, food and drug stores, and general merchandise stores.

Global Strategy, Local Focus

With the opening of a Sam's Club near Mexico City in 1991, Wal-Mart turned into an international company. Within two years, perceiving the growing number of opportunities in the global market, Wal-Mart International was established to manage its worldwide operations. Over time, Wal-Mart expanded outside the US through different ventures with mixed results. It was extremely successful in North and...