Wal Mart Company Overview Essay

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"Basic History Overview"

Wal-Mart's history is one of innovation, leadership and success. It started with a single store in Rogers, Arkansas in 1962 and has grown to what is now the world's largest - and arguably, the most emulated - retailer. Some researchers refer to Wal-Mart as the industry trendsetter. Today, this retailing pioneer has annual revenues of over $100 billion, 3,000 stores and more than 750,000 employees worldwide. Wal-Mart operates each store, from the products it stocks, to the front-end equipment that helps speed checkout, with the same philosophy: provide everyday low prices and superior customer service. Lower prices also eliminate the expense of frequent sales promotions and sales are more predictable.
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What tactics has it used to become a major global retailer?

Wal-Mart's success is mainly based on its concentration of a single-business strategy. This strategy has achieved enviable success over the last three decades without relying upon diversification to sustain its growth and competitive advantages. In a sense, Wal-Mart's low prices, service, and smile are their leading marketing strategies. However, there is risk in this strategy, because concentration on a single-business strategy is similar to "putting all of a firm's eggs in one industry basket". On the business side, Wal-Mart is the country's most sophisticated retailer in terms of using information systems. Their cross-docking inventory and transportation services able them to have the goods needed by the consumer at all times. In order for Wal-Mart to become a major global retailer, they have closely examined and utilized tactics to profit from their many stores. One great tactic is starting free-trade-zone distribution centers, in turn, saving almost $500,000 annually. Another tactic includes their service from when you walk in the store to when you leave. Also, their bread and butter is again the technology they utilize. They can track how much of one item has been sold on any giving day, and if not a hot commodity at one store, they will ship it out to another where it is being sold much faster.
2. Can Wal-Mart sustain its competitive advantage in global retailing?
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