Wal-Mart’s mission statement is “Save people money, so they can live better”. I believe their mission statement really speaks to the company’s main focus and that is people, whether that is their external customer, internal customer or their employees. It is clear that they understand that one of; if not their most precious resource is people. Because this is a retail oriented business, their success is directly related to their level of sales. Sales can equal profits and profits usually spell growth for a company.
There are several aspects that drive the sales of any company but a company is only as good as the employees that help run the organization. If the employees are not dedicated to working towards the goals and the mission of the organization, the sales of the company are sure to reflect that.
A company’s management team projects an important reflection onto the company in the public eye as well as on its internal employees and largely determines how well a company is run and how much success it will achieve. Wal-Mart’s management team is very diverse and come from various backgrounds which combined brings a very wide range of experience to the company. They also seem to believe in looking for talent from within the company, something I believe is an excellent idea, whenever it is possible. Many of the members of the top management team have been long standing employees and have been promoted from within. The longevity of the careers of many members of the management team says a lot about the company and how much they value their human resources. Even in the midst of the economic downturn Wal-Mart’s 2011 fiscal year saw very healthy gains in 2 of their 3 divisions: Wal-Mart International and Sam’s Club. Although Wal-Mart US did not see a gain, its net sales exceeded $260 billion. The company faces a unique issue with the US division in that with the addition of more US stores, the existing stores comparable sales are being affected. The company believes that the openings of new stores are taking away from the sales of existing stores. With this in mind the company decided to slow the new store growth as to avoid impacting the comparable store sales ("Annual report", 2010). The company has also developed a four point strategy for improving sales in the US stores. The first strategy involves returning to the traditional EDLP promise the company has built its reputation on. It has also expanded on this effort by marketing a price matching message that guarantees that they will price match any competitor.
The second strategy involves offering a wider range of products with more relevance to its customers. In recent years Wal-Mart faced a backlash for removing popular albeit less profitable products from its shelves and are now working towards ensuring that they offer the products that customers have become accustomed to purchasing for the store.
The third strategy involves remodeling and improving the layout of their stores. The company’s goal is to ensure that the square footage of each store is being used efficiently and that the aesthetics of the stores are pleasing to customers in the hope that the customer has a pleasant experience and will continue to frequent the store.
And lastly the fourth strategy is to provide many channels with which the customer can shop. In addition to shopping in the actual store customers have a choice of shopping online as well as a pick up today option that was recently implemented and works in conjunction with the online store. Customers have an option to order online and pick up from the store on the same day making the shopping experience fast and convenient. In light of its continued success the company will continue to open more Super Centers and in an effort to reach more urban areas, Wal-Mart will be opening smaller, neighborhood convenience stores called...