Walmart: A Case Study in Strategy Essay

3955 Words Sep 30th, 2014 16 Pages
Walmart: A Case Study in Strategy
Sean Karrels
Webster University
Management 5650 Management and Strategy 2014
Professor Mike Gibbs
September 20, 2014

Abstract
As I sat down several weeks ago to begin writing this case study, I struggled with how I wanted to lay the paper out, however, when I opened Lee Scott’s 21st century leadership speech that was part of the required reading, the following quote struck me as the essence of the whole case study, so I would like to share it with you. You know, we are in uncharted territory as a business. You won’t find any case studies at the Harvard Business School highlighting answers for companies of our size and scope. If we were a country, we would be the 20th largest in the world. If
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I would argue that this is the largest current threat facing the company with businesses such as Amazon and Costco in the same market knocking on their door. Walmart just recently hired another CEO, the 3rd such move that I could find in my research for this case study and while replacing a veteran executive with an up-and-coming high performer has all the makings of a strategic shift, early indications suggest that the retail giant will be staying the course with McMillon at the helm. McMillon's decades of employment, deep institutional knowledge, and company loyalty have been credited as key reasons he beat out Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., an executive seen as more of an outsider for the top job. (Pelletier, 2013) Being a friend of the Walton’s, with deep Arkansas roots, and decades of experience doing things the Walmart way is not the hallmark of an incoming CEO who is going to shake things up at the world's largest retailer and America's largest employer. But, given the many challenges the company faces, change might be exactly what is needed. (Pelletier, 2013) The article goes on to talk about a disappointing third quarter when its largest revenue generator, sales from U.S. stores, dropped 0.3%. The company also has forecasted flat earnings during the critically important holiday season. Walmart still expects to see modest sales growth in FY2015 through the opening of smaller, more targeted stores, and its longtime strategy

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