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Strategic Planning

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1. Introduction and executive summary of WAL-MART stores:
Wal-Mart was started the year in 1962, with the opening of the first Wal-Mart discount store in Rogers, Ark. The company incorporated as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., on 31/10/1969. Between 1945 and 1961, Sam Walton and his brother, bud, developed a chain of 15 Ben Franklin franchised variety stores across rural Arkansas. Experiencing increasing price competition from newly established discount retailers with large format stores offering a broad range of products, Sam and Bud began developing their own discount store concept. The company's shares began trading on OTC markets in 1970 and were listed on the New York Stock Exchange two years later. The company grew to 276 stores in 11 states by the end of the decade. Walton built his first distribution center, and in the same year took the company public in order to finance the heavy investment involved. Replicating this structure of large distribution hubs serving up to 100 discount stores formed the basis for Wal-Mart’s expansion strategy. By 1980, Wal-Mart has 330 stores across the South and into the Midwest. By 1995, Wal-Mart was in all 50 states. Geographical expansion was incremental. In developing a new area, Wal-Mart built a few stores that were served initially by extending distribution from a nearby cluster. When a critical mass of stores had been established, Wal-Mart would build a new distribution center. As Wal-Mart became a national retail chain, so it entered more developed retailing areas, including larger cities, where it met stronger competition from other discount chains. In 1983, the company opened its first Sam’s Club membership warehouse and in 1988 opened the first supercenter – now the company’s dominant format – featuring a complete grocery in addition to general merchandise. Wal-Mart became an international company in 1991 when it opened its first Sam's Club near Mexico City (information from the Wal-Mart website:...