BUSINESS DECISION MAKING – WALMART STORES INC
22nd, February 2013
Background of the Company
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the biggest retailer and largest corporation in the world. The second retailer in the world is Carrefour SA, of France. Although these two compete fiercely, Wal-Mart makes thrice the profit of Carrefour in a year. The total number of employees employed by Wal-Mart in the United States alone is about 1.2 million. This therefore, makes Wal-Mart to be the largest nongovernmental employer in the US. This company is also big in size, considering it has 1,478 discount stores, which are found in all the 50 states of America. The 1,471 Wal-Mart supercenters include both grocery stores and discount outlets. Owing to this, Wall-Mart is the biggest retailer of food in the US. In addition, Wal-Mart also owns 538 Sam’s clubs and 64 neighborhood markets, which are smaller outlets for drugs and food, which also sell a variety of other products (Soderquist, 2005).
Wal-Mart ventured into the international market in the year 1991. There are Wal-Mart discount stores in Puerto Rico and Canada, supercenters in China, Argentina, Germany, Brazil, United Kingdom, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and South Korea. Wal-Mart’s Sam clubs are also located in Puerto Rico, Mexico, China, and Brazil. These, among others are the international ventures of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Today, Wal-Mart still has plans to expand further, both locally and internationally (Wal-Mart, 2012).
Sam Walton (1918-1992) founded Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in the year 1962. Upon his death in 1992, Sam Walton ranked among the wealthiest people in the United States. He attempted to make it in the retail business since the early 1950’s, when he opened a Ben Franklin variety store in Newport. When he lost his lease, he opened another store in Bentonville, Arkansas in 1950. Together with his brother, J.L. Walton, Sam Walton possessed a number of Ben Franklin stores, totaling to nine. Their effort to convince the owners of Ben Franklin franchise to lower product prices and allow them a bigger volume, did not yield fruit. This is what motivated the Walton brothers to do their own thing. Therefore, in 1962, they opened the first Wal-Mart discount store in Rogers, Arkansas. They opened more stores, with a strategy of low prices for their customers. Bigger stores were opened, and these offered products to customers at low prices, including twelve yearly promotions for customers. The period in the late 1960’s saw, the Walton brothers own 18 Wal-Mart stores, in addition to 15 Ben Franklin franchises in four states. In 1969, the Waltons decided to incorporate all their ventures, and named them Wal-Mart Stores Inc (Wal-Mart, 2012). Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was listed in the New York stock exchange in 1972. The Ben Franklin stores were later slashed off from Wal-Mart, to pave way for more expansion opportunity for Wal-Mart stores. Wal-Mart grew at an alarming rate, and by 1979, the company achieved a $ 1 billion mark, and ranked by Forbes as the fastest growing company (Soderquist, 2005).
Wal-Mart offers diverse products and services to its customers. This company sells everything. Its retail goods include different types of electronics, music downloads, jewelry, movies, books, baby stuff, grocery items, home furnishing, and sporting items. The company also offers photo services. Its financial services include money transfer, debit cards, store credit cards, check cashing, bill payment, and check printing. In addition, there is the wireless service, where customers enjoy unlimited voice calls and texts through the Wal-Mart Family Talk Wireless service provider. Finally, Wal-Mart is also involved in pharmacy. This is mainly through offering customer prescriptions.
An executive management and board of directors head Wal-Mart, comprising presidents and CEO’s of the various Wal-Mart outlets. Mike Duke is the overall president and CEO of all Wal-Mart stores. In the US, Bill Simon is the president and CEO of Wal-Mart stores in the country (Wal-Mart, 2012). Wal-Mart presently has its headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, in the United States. This company today exists in an era of success. The founder of this company used brilliant ideas, and put in efforts, which have seen Wal-Mart to be one of the organizations in the world, which are making a difference. Serving more than 176 million customers in the world, Wal-Mart has changed the lives of its customers, and its other shoppers. Wal-Mart ranks high in the contemporary market, as it makes an average income of $ 16 billion, beating most of its competitors (Soderquist, 2005).
Soderquist, D. (2005). The Wal-Mart Way: The Inside Story of the Success of the World’s Largest Company. New York: Thomas Nelson Inc.
Wal-Mart (2012). Executive Management. Retrieved from http://corporate.walmart.com/our-story/leadership/executive-management
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