Wal-Mart Case Study
St Gregory’s University
Give a short account of the history of the company, and trace the evolution of its strategy. Try to determine whether the strategies evolution of your company is the product of intended strategies, emergent strategies, or some combination of the two. The Wal-Mart story began in 1962 when Sam Walton opened the first discount store in Rogers, AR. In 1970 Wal-Mart experienced significant growth and made huge advancements In1970 Wal-Mart opened its first distribution center and the Wal-Mart Home Office in Bentonville, AR. By 1970 Wal-Mart employed 1,500 associates and had 38 stores with sales of $44.2 million. In 1970 Wal-Mart also began selling shares over the counter as a publicly-held company. In 1971 Wal-Mart’s stock had is first 100 percent split. At that time Wal-Mart had stores operating in five states. By 1975 Wal-Mart employed more than 7,500 associates and had 125 stores. By 1977 Wal-Mart was operating in 10 states and opened Wal-Mart Pharmacy. Their growth continued into 1980, when Wal-Mart stock split 100 percent for the fourth time. That year Wal-Mart opened the largest distribution center in Palestine Texas. In the late 1990’s, Wal-Mart became the largest private employer in the world. They employed 1,140,000 employees. In 2000 Wal-Mart appointed H.Lee Scott as its CEO. That year Fortune magazine ranked the company fifth in its “global Most Admired All-Stars” list and named Wal-Mart the third most admired company in America. Wal-Mart made a commitment to bring environmental sustainability into its business in 2005. They opened a store in McKinney, Texas that saved energy and conserved natural resources, and reduced pollution. They were also active in conserving critical wildlife habitats. By 2005 Wal-Mart employed more than 1.6 million employees and had more than 6200 stores. By 2006, the number of employees grew to more than 176 million and 6779 locations. In February 2007 Wal-Mart helped launch Better Health Care Together, Later that year, Wal-Mart expanded its successful 4 dollar generic program. By 2007 Wal-Mart had save their customers more than $396 million on prescription drug costs. On February 1, 2007, Mike Duke took over as CEO. (Pereira, 2002) Sam Walton built Wal-Mart on Respect for the Individual, Service to the Customer, and he always strived for Excellence. He respected his employees and was committed to his customers. With commitment to his customers came low prices. Wal-Mart strategy is an intended strategy. It is clear and direct. It was put into place in the 1960's by Sam Walton, and refined over the decades. The company is proud of its strategy and even incorporates it within its moniker "Always Low prices, Always." (Pereira, 2002) Identify the mission and major goals of the company.
Saving people money was Sam Walton’s goal when he opened his first store 40 years ago. Wal-Mart still has the same goal today. Wal-Mart has expanded their savings to energy, prescription drugs and has partnered with suppliers and stakeholders to create a competitive advantage. Wal-Mart mission is to do well as a business but to also do good. (Walmart, 2009) Do a preliminary analysis of the internal strengths and weaknesses of the company and the opportunities and threats that it faces in its environment. On the basis of this analysis, identify the strategies that you think the company should pursue. Wal-Mart is the number one retailer in the United States. Wal-Mart has a reputation for low prices, convenience and a large selection of products. Wal-Mart has invested into technology and an international logistics system. Wal-Mart is global but has a presence in relatively few countries. Wal-Mart has invested in human resources and retention of their staff but still have extensive labor relation problems. Wal-Mart has been cited by labor groups for wage issues, shift scheduling, and...