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Asda and Wal-Mart should be the perfect merger, given that the former has deliberately set out to copy the US retailing giant`s style. But Asda is keenly aware of the pitfalls.
1. You could not hope to find a neater fit, said the commentators when Wal -Mart, the world's biggest retailer, agreed a 6.7bn takeover deal with Asda, the UK's number three supermarket group.
2. . It had long been known that the team which was brought in to rescue Asda from collapse in the mid-1980s had deliberately set out to copy virtually every aspect of the giant US discount group that could be replicated in the UK.
3. . So Asda stores have `colleagues` not employees. They have people in the parking lots to help drivers to park. They have old – age pensioners, wearing colourful name badges, standing at the door to say hello and ask customers if they need help. In the Leeds headquarter no one has an individual office, not even the chairman. Finally, store staff get actively involved in promoting individual product lines, and are rewarded when their efforts lead to tangible sales improvements.
4. Most of these ideas came straight from Bentonville, Arkansas, home to one of the world’s most unusual retailers. For Wal-Mart’s corporate culture has become a legend in retailing.
5. The company’s employees chant the Wal-Mart cheer before store meetings. They benefit from a share ownership scheme which is one of the most widespread in the industry. Top executives share rooms when on business trips, and pay for their coffee and tea form vending machines like the lowliest sales assistant.
6. Given the similarities, there are few who really believe putting Asda into the Wal-Mart network will result in anything but success. But, say Asda’s Chief Executive, Allan Leighton, this is no reason to be complacent. Failing to bring together corporate cultures, even those as similar as Asda’s and Wal-Mart’s, could lead to the downfall of the most logical mergers.
“ When acquiring or merging

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