Wal-Mart Stores, Inc: Growth of the world's largest retailer
Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world. The company has retail stores worldwide, with 10,773 stores recorded across 27 countries at the end of January 2013. Despite the dominant position the company now holds, Wal-Mart was initially established as a single family-owned store in 1962.
Features and benefits
- This case study gives a detailed insight into the growth of Wal-Mart and the strategies used to become the number one global company.
- This report provides a comparison of Wal-Mart to its nearest competitors in the US market.
- This case study details possible future problems that the company may face.
In 2002, Wal-Mart topped the Fortune 500 list and was named the largest company in the US ranked by total sales. Furthermore, in 2004 the company topped the Fortune Global 500 list, being ranked as the largest company in the world. The company has remained highly ranked in these lists ever since.
The huge success of Wal-Mart can largely be attributed to five main strategies: advanced technology, company cost control, low prices, expanding into new retail sectors, and international expansion.
A key Wal-Mart strategy has been to dominate the retail market. This has effectively been achieved in the US with the company generating over three times more in retail sales than its nearest competitor in FY2013. However, as the US business begins to mature the company may need to look at other ways to expand or find more dramatic cost savings.
Your key questions answered
- How big is Wal-Mart in terms of retail sales and store numbers?
- What have been the main drivers of growth for the company?
- How big is Wal-Mart compared to its competitors?
- What problems may the company face going forwards?
Table of contents
WAL-MART HAS GROWN INTO THE LARGEST GLOBAL RETAILER
The death of Sam Walton in 1992 did not hamper the growth of the company
Wal-Mart topped the Fortune 500 list for the first time in 2002
Wal-Mart has continued to grow in recent years
GROWTH HAS BEEN DRIVEN BY A VARIETY OF STRATEGIES
Wal-Mart’s utilization of information systems has contributed to growth
Company cost controls have been a driver of growth
The company has been successful at keeping prices low
Wal-Mart has branched out into new retail sectors
Wal-Mart has grown through expansion in the US and internationally
WAL-MART MAY FACE PROBLEMS AS ITS US BUSINESS MATURES
Same-store sales have seen some decline
Wal-Mart’s sheer size and scale may prevent it from failing
Wal-Mart has faced much controversy over the years
The company looks set to continue to grow
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