Wal-Mart is known today as the largest retailing discount store in the world. Wal-Mart was merely a vision to Sam Walton forty-five years ago as being a discount store that could sell products at the lowest price possible. Wal-Mart has grown tremendously over the past few decades by making several wise acquisitions as well as having an unbeatable pricing strategy. In this paper, we will discuss Wal-Mart's history, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, business level strategy, structure, as well as make recommendations about how the company can increase their profits in the future.
History, Growth and Development
Wal-Mart is the brainchild of Sam Walton. The first Wal-Mart opened in Rogers, Arkansas in 1962. There were 36 different departments in Wal-Mart, selling everything from tires to cosmetics. Wal-Mart's pricing is based on the philosophy that more units can be sold at a lower price; resulting in greater profits than if they charge a higher price. Other retailing stores were marking up their products as much as two hundred percent, but Wal-Mart was only marking theirs up an average of thirty percent. Consumers responded positively to Wal-Mart, and by 1970 Wal-Mart was a publicly traded company with nearly 40 stores in operation with sales over $44 million. During the 1970's and 1980's
Wal-Mart continued to grow tremendously, acquiring Mohr Value stores in 1977 and Kuhn's Big K stores in 1981. By 1988, Wal-Mart branched out into the grocery store business with the introduction of Wal-Mart Supercenters. These Supercenters carry everything that a Wal-Mart Discount Store would, in addition to a full-scale grocery store. Wal-Mart is now the ultimate one stop shopping center.
The 1990's brought Wal-Mart further success with the achievement of several major milestones. In 1990, Wal-Mart became the nation's number one retailer. Then in 1991, Wal-Mart began to expand internationally with their... [continues]
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