ETH/316 Version 1
July 4, 2011
Wal-Mart’s international operations were a major struggle for the company, collimating in its demise of Wal-Mart in Germany and South Korea. Because Wal-Mart executives did not understand, the cultural differenced between countries they foundered in many countries to the point that they could not rebound in the minds of the local population. When Wal-Mart moved into other countries, they did not take into consideration that the living space for families in these countries are smaller, so large volume products are not practical because of the smaller storage spaces. In addition, many shoppers do not drive, but use public transportation, which makes transporting large volumes of products impossible. To add to the cultural differences, many non-American shoppers prefer daily outings to a variety of local stores that specialize in groceries, drugs or household goods, rather than shopping once a week at Wal-Mart (Landler & Barbaro, 2006). However, these are just a few cultural differences ignored by Wal-Mart in its international operations. In the following paragraphs, additional problems Wal-Mart faced with the differences in German culture and Asian culture to American culture.
When Wal-Mart moved into Germany, they tried to run the operation the same as they do in the United States, not taking into consideration to the cultural differences between the United States and Germany. When Wal-Mart moved into Germany, it bought out two smaller store chains with different operations and in undesirable locations (Hancock, 2009). This caused problems for them because unlike, in the United States, were Wal-Marts are in prime location inside of towns, in Germany many of the stores were on the outskirts of towns causing transportation problems for many shoppers. Location was not the lonely problem; cultural differences were a major problem. Wal-Mart required its
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