Walmart Takes on the World

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Walmart Takes on the World

Walmart is the world largest retailer. It has more than 6,500 stores worldwide, employs 1.8 million people and has annual sales of $316 billion. The next-largest global retailer Carrefour (a French discount retailer), has sales of $94.5 billion, and Wal-Mart’s nearest U.S. competitor in the general merchandise category, Target, has only $52.6 billion in sales. More than 70 percent of Wal-Mart’s merchandise comes from China. If Wal-Mart were a country, it would be china’s eighth-largest trading partner, ahead of Russia and Great Britian.

Although the bulk of Wal-Mart’s sales come from the United States, its international division is currently growing at over 11 percent annually. Roughly one-third of its stores are located in 14 markets outside of the United States and account for 20 percent of sales. In order to appeal to consumers of differing levels of affluence and sophistication in various countries, one might expect that Wal-Mart would have to change its strategy. But that is not the case. The giant retailer’s strategy is the same everywhere in the world-Everyday Low Prices (EDLP) and Everyday Low Costs (EDLC). It carries this strategy out tom near perfection through its own version of global sourcing and distribution that has other distributors clamouring to mimic.


Wal-Mart operates in north and South America, Europe and Asia and has used multiple entry strategies in various countries.

North and South America

Canada- Wal-Marts first international venture was Canada-a market similar to the United States. Wal-Mart bought 122 Canadian Woolco Stores, and by 2000 it had more than 200Canadian stores.

Mexico- In Mexico, Wal-mart used an acquisition strategy (buying Suburbia stores that sell clothing to young women, VIPS restaurants, Superama supermarkets, and 62 percent of Cifra, Mexico’s largest retailer). It also established its own Wal-mart stores and Sam’s Clubs. Mexico...
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