World’s giant retailer and biggest employer Wal-Mart was founded in 1962, with 2 million workers worldwide. Famous for its low pricing and extensive variety of goods, Wal-Mart has become the acknowledged market leader of retailing. It is also considered a big name over its competitors when it comes to its sheer size and competitive edge in pricing. It has 7928 retail units worldwide, 4269 US retail units and 3659 international retail units. With an approximately 20% share of the retail grocery business.
Wal-Mart’s business is structured into three divisions: Wal-Mart Stores U. S. Sam’s Club, and Wal-Mart International. The company does business in nine different retail layouts: superstores, all purpose merchandise stores, bodegas, food and drug, cash and carry, membership depot clubs, apparel stores, restaurants and soft discount stores. Wal-Mart avail every opportunity to be a good neighbor by creating new jobs and providing economic benefits in different communities globally.
It has changed the entire impact of the retail industry by operating in such a way as to boost consumer benefits. Whether it’s lowering price phenomenon or raising the tax revenues(Spotts , 2005). With an approximate 20% market share of the retail business it also operates Sam’s Club a North American company. Walmart operates in UK as Asda, in Mexico as Walmex and as Seiyu in Japan. Moreover, it is adequately running operations in Brazil, Canada, Argentina and Puerto Rico. Wal-Mart’s operations outside North America have shown mixed results.
Its investments in South America and China are quite successful, where as it was compelled to pull out its business from South Korea and Germany when its ventures were continuously facing losses. Apart from continuous success and praise Wal-Mart has been criticized by a number of community groups. For instance, women rights groups, labor unions and grassroots organizations, majorly for its low rate of employee health insurance conscription, suspected bigotry, confrontation to union demonstration.
And management efforts to pressurize workers to vote for a particular party during public elections. On the contrary, some are of the view that Wal-Mart’s extensive growth and logistical competence has facilitated lower prices to consumer accompanied by more jobs and small size businesses to the communities in which it operates. Conversely, others point out that Wal-Mart’s rapid growth and logistical efficiency has enabled it to bring lower prices to consumers and more jobs and new small businesses to different communities in which it functions.
Every week, around 100 million customers, almost one-third of the U. S. population, visit Wal-Mart’s U. S. stores. The main attraction for Wal-Mart customers is low prices (the most important reason for shopping here), showing the “Low prices, always” advertising tagline that Wal-Mart used from 1962 until 2006 Wal-Mart customer’s earning is below the national average, and it has been recently estimated that more than one fifth of them do not possess the bank account. , and they are receptive to higher utility costs and fuel prices.
At present Wal-Mart is facing a gender discrimination lawsuit which claims that female workers were discriminated in issues such as promotions and pay. If this proceeding is verified then, it would be largest such court case in history, covering approximately 1. 5 million women according to the claimants. Despite these issues, Wal-Mart is still considered as the greatest retail giant providing its customers with considerable benefits no doubt.
Book Spotts, G. (2005). Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price. USA: DC.