Wal-Mart: the Main Street Merchant of Doom
Topics: Small business, Social responsibility, Sam Walton, Business, Hypermarket / Pages: 7 (1580 words) / Published: Aug 29th, 2012

Wal-Mart: The Main Street Merchant of Doom

Synopsis The case “Wal-Mart: The Main Street Merchant of Doom” is a look at the origins of the company Wal-Mart. The case initially portrays Sam Walton as the “hired gun” to help small towns defeat the businesses that take advantage of the lack of purchasing options. Wal-Mart guaranteed their prices would always to low and fair. This was a new concept for the small towns, so they welcomed the company with open arms. The company was greatly successful and grew to an exponential level. Wal-Mart opened thousands of stores across the country and even tapped into other countries abroad. By adopting a real-time computer based inventory system, the company was able to cut overhead and limit employees needed to conduct inventories and track shipments. Wal-Mart reigned as the world’s largest retailer with $191 billion in sales in 2001, which jumped to $345 billion by 2007. This success did not come without opposition. The thrill of the new options Wal-Mart brought, soon wore off. The company was attacked my many groups, all of which wished to keep the retailer out of their community. The opposition claimed the store took jobs away from its citizens and forced small businesses to close. Wal-Mart chose to defend itself with campaigns such as the “Buy American” campaign which attempted to motivate more suppliers to make American products to sell in their stores. Although suppliers responded well, Wal-Mart inevitably began to sell foreign products again to ensure the prices were low for the customer. Other complaints about Wal-Mart were voiced as well. The complaints all seemed to be addressed for a short time by creating reactive efforts to silence the masses. Environmental awareness and social responsibility were also concepts that opposition felt the company overlooked. Wal-Mart began campaigns to show citizens that the company was making attempts to be environmentally friendly by using recycled paper for price tags,

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