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Walmart today is a global retail giant. According to Carbonara (2018) in the recommended resource Walmart, Amazon Top World’s Largest Retail Companies (Links to an external site.) article, Walmart is the world’s largest retail company with continued plans for global growth. There are many competitors, one of which is Amazon. How will Walmart continue to be a global giant in the years to come? To maintain the market leader position Walmart will be required to continually look for ways to outgrow its global competitors (Carbonara, 2018).
To understand Walmart and where it is today and what tomorrow holds, it is important to understand the company’s foundation. “Sam Walton opened his first five-and-dime in 1950. His vision was to keep prices as low as possible” (Wilbert, 2018, para. 1). Walton opened the first Walmart in the early 1960s in Rogers, AK (Wilbert, 2018, para. 2). One thing that has and will always remain a key component for all Walmart stores is to keep expenses low. There has always been a mentality behind the vision of Walton to demand that employees always keep costs to a bare minimum (Wilbert, 2018, para. 3). On average, “Walmart saves a typical American family of four about $2500 a year. That’s about what a family of four gets from the government in food stamps. That makes Walmart a major antipoverty force in the United States” (Kestenbaum, 2017, para. 3). Another factor to consider when thinking about Walmart is that “since 1990, the global rate of poverty has been cut by two-thirds. That’s the sharpest decline in human poverty in all of history, more than one billion people have been lifted out of poverty during that period and Walmart is a major force in that effect” (Kestenbaum, 2017, para. 3).
Today, Walmart has grown considerably and continues to expand. Just to get an idea of how large this retail giant is, consider the following:
Walmart employs 1.6 million people.
Walmart has 6,200 retail outlets. In contrast, Home Depot has 2,040. (Wilbert, 2018, para. 4)
One might question, “What does Walmart do to continue to be successful and keep costs to a minimum?” There are several things that this retail giant has incorporated into the operations. First, “Walmart became the first major retailer to demand manufacturers use radio frequency identification technology (RFID). The technology uses radio frequencies to transmit data stored on small tags attached to pallets or individual products. As explained in the recommended resource How Wal-Mart Works (Links to an external site.), RFID tags hold significantly more data than bar codes” (Wilbert, 2018, para. 6). For information on how RFIDs and radio waves work, you may like to review the articles How RFID Works (Links to an external site.) and How Radio Works (Links to an external site.). You may also be interested in reviewing the Is Walmart Good or Bad for America? The Question May Be Outdated (Links to an external site.) article which explains another interesting fact, which is that “Walmart is the single most important pipeline distributing wealth from rich countries to poor countries” (Kestenbaum, 2017, para. 3).
One concern pertaining to Walmart is how employees are treated. It is well known that Walmart not only pays low wages, but their practices have impacted how their suppliers manage production costs while sacrificing the safety of their labor force (Kestenbaum, 2017). Walmart tends to hire mostly part-time workers (Kestenbaum, 2017). Some may even say that Walmart “pays their workers poverty wages” (Kestenbaum, 2017, para. 4). There have long been ethical concerns about how Walmart operates and manages its employees.
Case Study Assignment
Throughout your MBA program you will cover various subjects as they relate to business. You will initially have an opportunity in BUS621 Leadership and Teamwork to create and build your own Walmart in a new global location. Your choices for location include Peru, New Zealand, Philippines, Egypt, Czech Republic, and United Arab Emirates. As you progress through each course in the program you will build upon your case study of Walmart.
- The purpose of this Walmart Case Study is to give you an opportunity to apply the subject matter from each course in the MBA program to an ongoing strategic development. The knowledge gained from the case study in each course will be cumulative. The knowledge will assist you in demonstrating your ability to conduct critical analysis and decision making across a wide range of subjects throughout the MBA program.
The case study is based upon past and current information about Walmart and the country of destination. You will select a country to develop your case and will use the same country in each course of the MBA program.
You will be responsible for gathering as much information as needed that will help you with determining the course of action that Walmart should pursue in the company’s quest to growth and to meeting the needs of international markets.
Part A: Read Case 12.1: Can Walmart Crack the Retail Code in India? and answer the following questions:
Summarize some of the elements in India’s political, economic, and cultural environments that can impact the market opportunity.
Explain some of the obstacles facing Walmart and other foreign retailers in India.
Review Figure 12-4. Explain which quadrant of the matrix applies most directly to India. Provide your rationale.
Part B: In your BUS621: Leadership and Teamwork course, you selected a country for Walmart to expand to, and you also analyzed the nine dimensions of the culture and the leadership models and skills that would apply to your selected country. In this assignment, you will work and build on your previous Walmart work, and develop some place strategies as Walmart expands on its global marketing activities to the country of your choice. Address the following points for the selected country:
Summarize some of the elements in your selected country’s political, economic, and cultural environments that can impact the market opportunity for Walmart expansion.
Based on your environmental review and referring to Figure 12-4, discuss what market expansion strategy you would suggest for Walmart in your selected country.
You learned that channels create utility for customers (place utility, form utility, time utility, and information utility) that can be leverages as a source of competitive advantage. Analyze each of these utilities that Walmart may be creating in the country of your choice, and explain which one can potentially work as a competitive advantage for Walmart considering its target market and their needs, wants, and preferences in your selected country.
Considering the growth of global online retailers like Amazon.com, Aliexpress.com, Target.com, and eBay.com as competitors of Walmart.com, and based on the factors you evaluated in Part A, formulate a SWOT analysis for Walmart.com in your selected country.