Trends in Population Growth and Diversity

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In an ever-increasing world of competition, organizations today must have strategies in place responding to trends in population growth and diversity that could have an impact on an organization's ability to plan, organize, lead, and control. Some factors to be considered include; vendor relationships, population growth, diversity, lawsuits, one stop shopping, and overcoming barriers to new cultures.

Wal-Mart is a huge corporation whose operations are heavily scrutinized by the media, the public, and Wal-Mart's employees. Due to this constant visibility, Wal-Mart's management practices must be sound, consistent, and adaptable to change. The first factor impacting one of Wal-Mart's management functions relates to diversity. Wal-Mart is an international corporation, in every aspect of the term. The company currently employs "1.6 million associates worldwide through more than 3,800 facilities in the United States and more than 2,400 units in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom" (Wal-Mart Facts: At a Glance). If one were to count all customers that visit the mega-store in one week, that count would surpass 138 million worldwide. How did the company grow from one store in 1962 to the mega-company that exists today? "We have always stayed true to the Three Basic Beliefs Mr. Sam established in 1962: 1) Respect for the Individual 2) Service to Our Customers and 3) Strive for Excellence" says Lee Scott, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Five years later, the Walton brothers (Sam and Bud) had reported $12.6 million in sales and had plans to open 24 more stores across the states of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. The company continued its rapid growth, and in 1991 opened the first international store in Mexico. Eight years later, Wal-Mart expanded to Great Britain with the acquisition of ASDA. "ASDA, Britain's best value food and clothing superstore, became part of the Wal-Mart family on July 26, 1999," (Wal-Mart Facts: At a Glance). In 1996, Wal-Mart made its debut in China. However, the superstore had to focus its variety around the lifestyle of the Chinese people. Unlike Americans, Chinese shop for their food on a daily basis, as home refrigeration is well below the average in the United States. In addition, there are food stores in the region that are the same size as any convenience store found in the United States. "Assortment is key, and as of opening day, about 85% to 90% of the mix will be domestically sourced, with the remainder imported" (Andreoli, 1996). Millard Barron, Senior VP and COO of Wal-Mart International, recruited vendor partners earlier in the year, at the National Housewares Manufacturers Association, this annual committee, based in Rosemont, Illinois, had just over 100 attendees. However, only 23 were going to global markets with Wal-Mart. "Although the financing needed to go international may intimidate the smaller vendors, or those that don't have the information or savvy of Procter & Gamble, Nestle or Lever Bros., Barron warned that most vendors can't afford not to develop international relations"(Andreoli, 1996). Barron believes that if the current import trends continue, American brands will struggle to retain shelf space against international vendors, "unless U.S. makers develop global relationships now" (Andreoli, 1996). These vendor relationships are crucial in maintaining a good business rapport, which overall will retain the attraction for American products. "Anything American has a lot of attraction. Consumers there are intrigued with U.S. branded products," says Caroline Lober. Lober is the Newell International sales manager for Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, and South Saharan markets. 1.Cultural Norms (Tony)

a.Providing a comfortable one stop-shopping atmosphere for all customers. b.Over coming barriers in new cultures.
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