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Wallmart Inc - the Rise to Low-Cost Leader

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  8,179 Words (33 Pages)  •  2,750 Views

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Wallmart, Inc – The Rise to Low-Cost Leader

Executive Summary

Dated back in 1962, Samuel Walton and his brother J.L. Walton opened their first Wal-Mart Discount City in Rogers, Arkansas. Its name quickly spread across many states and within only 7 years, 18 Wal-Mart stores emerged in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma; the Walton brothers officially incorporated these ventures as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Wal-Mart's stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972 (1). The giant corporation operated under the core philosophies of excellence in the workplace, outstanding customer service, and most importantly, the lowest possible prices. Strategic decisions are those that aim at differentiating an organization from its rivals in a way that is sustainable in the future, and Wal-Mart represents an outstanding example. Among other retail outlets such as Target, Kmart, etc. Wal-Mart was soon recognized nationally as the leader of the pack, selling everyday low-cost merchandise ranging from the simplest household items to the more sophisticated electronic devices.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths: Wal-Mart has strong retail brand's image, marketing, and human resource management. Wal-Mart has outstanding reputation for selling merchandise at the lowest prices comparable to others in the industry. Being a one-stop-shop, it offers convenience for busy individuals and families because middle class families and low-income earners are Wal-Mart's primary targets.

Weaknesses: Being the jack-of-all-trade retailer meaning Wal-Mart may not have the flexibility of some of its more focused competitors. For example, it may sell general electronic devices such as digital camera, SD memory, but may not list computer video cards, motherboard, CPUs, etc. In addition, despite its devotion to IT development, it is often very hard to ensure top operational efficiency due to its huge size. Although the company is global, its international operation still only presents in about 14 countries, thus missing out huge amount of market share.

Opportunities: As mentioned above, Wal-Mart has incredible potential to expand into many more countries if it really wants. That being said, a sound business plan and marketing strategy, as well as knowledge about local regulation and consumers' wants and needs, are still necessary to be successful. Wal-Mart can aggressively acquire, merge with, or form alliances with other global retailers. Two of the hottest new markets Wal-Mart should consider expanding into are China and India because both are among the fastest growing countries in the world. With the majority of population favor low price, Wal-Mart can acquire additional huge market shares.

Threats: Production and manufacturing costs have been lowering over the years due to outsourcing opportunities.

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