Company Analysis - Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores is an American giant retail store that runs a chain of warehouse stores and large discount departments in the U.S. and many other nations in the world. This According to the Fortune 500, Wal-Mart is ranked as number one. It is also considered as an unavoidable and unstoppable force to reckon with in the retail industry. In fact, this retail store is the largest retailer in the world with a size larger than Europe’s Tesco, Metro AG, and Carrefour combined. Wal-Mart is headquartered at Bentonville, Arkansas, with Robson Scott as its President and Lee Scot as its C.E.O. According to the Forbes Global, Wal-Mart was the world’s biggest public corporation in terms of revenue. Not only is Wal-Mart the largest retailer, but also the largest private employer in the United States.
Wal-Mart operates through three segments namely; the International segments, Sam’s club, and Wal-Mart stores. The Wal-Mart stores segment is comprised of neighbourhood, supercentres, and discount stores in the America. As of January 31, 2007, the firm operated 2,256 supercenters, 1,075 discount stores, 579 Sam’s clubs, and 112 neighbourhood markets (Fishman 79). Note that 60 percent of these stores are located in different parts in the United States. Apart from North America, where it is the number one retailer in Mexico and Canada, the company has operations in eleven other countries all over the world. Although it prides of the biggest market share in the United States, Wal-Mart faces very stiff completion from Target Corporation with yearly sales of $63 billion and Costco Wholesale with yearly sales of $68 billion (Millsap 1).
The core task of Wal-Mart stores is to provide the lowest prices for it products and services to customers. In fact, its mission statement “We save people money so they can live better,” is a clear indicator of the company’s commitment to its customers. As the Sam Watson (founder of Wal-Mart) once said “if people work together, the cost of living for everyone will lower.” As a result, people will be given the opportunity to discover how it feels when they save and have a better life thereafter. Since the prices of goods and services are important to the customers, this company offers the highest quality products, but at a lower price. This means that when people save money by buying necessary products, they will have some extra money to spend on other products (Fishman 123). Therefore, Wal-Mart’s operations are organized towards this central goal. Some of these operations include; developing their own products and brands, development of information systems for supply chain visibility, providing a wide range of low cost merchandise around the globe, and developing a sophisticated and efficient logistical backbone.
The main objectives of Wal-Mart are to provide customers with the best products and services at the best prices and increase shareholder value by increasing profits through the decrease of costs and the increase of revenues (Basker 180). Note that these objectives go hand-in-hand because when the store reduces the prices of its products and services, customers will purchase in big numbers and in bulk As a result, share holder value will increase because of the customer’s purchasing power. Wal-Mart’s objective as stipulated in the mission statement is to provide all customers with the best products and services, and at the same time guarantee consumer satisfaction under one roof. Wal-Mart strives to meet this objective by providing a wide array of products such as groceries, electronics, ladies, gents, and children’s apparel, jewellery, and hard goods at a reasonable price. Wal-Mart customers have been conveniently provided not only with the concept of one-stop-shopping, but also with the option of conducting online shopping. The company’s team has been and will always be devoted to everything that the company has accomplished as a universal competitor.
The management of Wal-Mart is not only concerned with the welfare of its customers, but also with the welfare of its employees. The company is dedicated to retaining and rewarding employees of good moral standing. In fact, every employee in this company is viewed as a share holder, rather than an employee. The company has always ensured that its employees have been provided with a clean working environment, benefits for excellent performance and equal opportunity for all employees (Lichtenstein 12). Wall-Mart continues to offer scholarships to excellent and deserving high school graduates with the hopes of sustaining and developing a well-deserved education. By achieving the above objectives, Wal-Mart will have succeeded in upholding its vision of being the best and worldwide leader in retailing.
Not only did Sam Walton establish this company, but also established the three core beliefs for the company, namely, strive for excellence, respect for individual, and service to customers. By striving for excellence, Walton meant that one can be proud of his or her accomplishment and that of the company but never be satisfied. By having respect for individuals, Walton meant that employees had the right to express their ideas and thoughts as long as they are treated with respect. The belief that the company should always provide excellent services to customers meant that since the customer’s keep Wal-Mart in business, they ought to be treated well. It is imperative to understand that these beliefs have been the driving force behind the huge success of this company since it inception (Lichtenstein 46). Currently, Wal-Mart has a ten point code of ethics that are promoted globally by its Global Ethics Office. Note that this code of ethics puts much emphasis on propriety and fairness. Fairness is a codified rule as well as a doctrine against manipulation, discrimination, cooperation with possible investigation and misinterpretation. On the other hand, propriety is founded on its the basis of following the law, refusing to act unethically even under duress or order, avoidance of conflict, and the duty to report ethics violation.
Soderquist (102) argues that just like any other organization, Wal-Mart has its organizational strengths and weaknesses. Its organizational strengths include its dedication to mission and its economy scale. On the other hand, Wal-Mart’s main weakness is the frequency of public criticism regarding its business practices. Despite the fact that Wal-Mart’s profits keep on rising, Wall Street is not contended with the trend. This, in part, is attributed to the fact that this company has yet to attract more affluent customers. Analysts have failed to understand why the profits fell short of the $99.5 billion that was expected, although a 9.8% increase in profits was recorded (Soderquist 79).
In conclusion, Retail experts assert that a majority of American families do their shopping at Wal-Mart at least once a week. This is because these customers associate Wal-Mart with superior products and services. However, research should be carried out to establish which products should be withdrawn and which products should be introduced. Recently, Wal-Mart started to offer high end products in an attempt to attract and maintain high end customers. Wal-Mart is destined for greater things as it strives to explore other markets globally
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