Walmart In 2003

11485 Words Oct 10th, 2013 46 Pages
9-704-430
REV. JANUARY 30, 2004

PANKAJ GHEMAWAT
STEPHEN BRADLEY
KEN MARK

Wal-Mart Stores in 2003
For the fiscal year ending January 31, 2003, Wal-Mart Stores, a retailer, posted net income of $8 billion on sales of $245 billion, up 21% and 12% respectively from the previous year. Wal-Mart had become the world’s largest company and, with 1.4 million employees, the world’s largest private employer. Twenty million shoppers visited its stores each day and 82% of U.S. households had made at least one purchase at Wal-Mart during the previous year.1 In March 2003, Fortune ranked it—for the first time—as America’s most admired as well as largest company. And people began to discuss whether Wal-Mart could rack up $1 trillion in sales within 10
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After decades of increases, the total number of retail establishments in the United
States fell by 20% after the ban.6
By 1981, discount retailing generated $66 billion in sales in the United States, or virtually the same amount, in real terms, as in the late 1960s. Kmart had become the largest discount retailer and WalMart the second largest (up from about number 25 in the early 1970s). Growth resumed in the 1980s, but at a more modest rate than in the 1960s, and was driven to a significant extent by innovations such as denser displays, point-of-sale systems, and UPC scanning.
The 1980s also saw the first experiments in the United States with hypermarkets, a giant European format that combined general merchandise and grocery items. While hypermarkets never took off in the United States, experiments with them led Wal-Mart and others, including Kmart and Target, to evolve a somewhat smaller format, dubbed the supercenter, which was rolled out in the 1990s. (WalMart reportedly tried out 14 different variants on the concept.)
Supercenters grew to account for more than $100 billion in sales by 2001 and blurred the traditional boundaries between discount retailers and supermarkets. Sales of traditional discount stores, in contrast, grew in the

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