Wal-Mart Case Study

1723 Words Nov 28th, 2010 7 Pages
1. To what extent is Wal-Mart’s performance attributable to industry attractiveness and to what extent to competitive advantage?
Wal-Mart is a company which operates in the service sector, more specifically in the “Discount, Variety Stores/Retail” industry. The company’s superior performance is demonstrated through the fact that it was America’s largest company (in terms of revenue) in 2002, and the reputation of the company is reflected in the opinion of “Fortune” who have identified Wal-Mart as one of the world’s most admired companies. In 2004 Wal-Mart had been hiring 1.4 million employees – making it the largest corporation in the world. Wal-Mart’s share prices have also been stable at time of stock market volatility. There are
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The store management is decentralized, allowing individual store managers more power in decision-making, as they were expected to come up with their own methods for cutting prices and increasing sales. This is done differently in the competitors’ stores, where policies are brought in regional offices. Superior personal customer service offered at the stores from 9am to 9pm six days a week, with shorter working hours on Sundays (Supercentres were open continuously) together with specialized employee training provided customers with an atmosphere in which they were happy to spend their time and money.
Marketing
Wal-Mart’s slogan “Everyday Low Prices” is the milestone of their communication with the public as well as their basic business principle. The corporation mainly used word-of-mouth advertising and spent a lot less on marketing than the industry competitors. A strong emphasis was put on patriotism and national causes, when it comes to the U.S. market.
Information Technology
Wal-Mart’s advanced data-mining tools allow them to fine tune and improve customer responsiveness, giving customers what and when they want in offer. It can be compared to
Human Resource Management
In Wal-Mart, employees are valued and empowered. All employees are called “associates” symbolizing their importance to the firm. The belief is also that the employees will work harder if treated well. Open doors and open books policy is enforced to make sure that, employees are empowered to

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