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Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
I. Introduction

In Forbes magazine’s annual ranking of the richest Americans, the heirs of Sam Walton held spots five through nine in 1993 with $4.5 billion each. Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., died in April 1992 and left his fortune to his wife and four children. Wal-Mart was a phenomenal success with a 20-year average return on equity of 35 percent, compoundaverage sales growth of 34 percent, and compound earnings per share growth of 23 percent. Sales per square foot of nearly $300 at Wal-Mart Surpassed the industry average of $220, and at the end of 1993, Wal-Mart had a market value of $65 billion. Wal-Mart was one of the first retailers to invest heavily in information technology, and it was a widely held belief that Wal-Mart had revolutionized many aspects of retailing.

David Glass and Don Soderquist faced the challenge of following in Sam Walton’s footsteps. Glass and Soderquist, CEO and COO had been running the company since February 1988 when Sam, retaining the chairmanship, turned the job of CEO over to Glass. Their record spoke for itself the company went from sales of $16 billion in 1987 to $67 billion in 1993, with earnings more than tripling from $628 million to $2.4 Billion.

II. General Environment

A. Strength

* A focused strategy is in place for human resource management and development. People are key to Wal-Mart's business and it invests time and money in training people, and retaining a developing them. * Wal-Mart has grown substantially over recent years, and has experienced global expansion. * Wal-Mart is a powerful retail brand. It has a reputation for value for money, convenience and a wide range of products all in one store.

* The company has a core competence involving its use of information technology to support its international logistics system. For example, it can see how individual products are performing country-wide, store-by-store at a glance. IT also...
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