Thursday, February 5, 2009

Introduction


Wal-Mart's history is one of innovation, leadership and success. Wal-Mart was founded by Sam Walton in 1962, it was incorporated on October 31, 1969, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. 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. Wal-Mart has invested heavily in its unique cross-docking inventory system. Cross docking has enabled Wal-Mart to achieve economies of scale which reduce its costs of sales. With this system, goods are continuously delivered to stores within 48 hours and often without having to stock them. This allows Wal-Mart to replenish the shelves 4 times faster than its competition. Wal-Mart's ability to replenish theirs shelves four times faster than its competition is just another advantage they have over competition. Wal-Mart leverages its buying power through purchasing in bulks and distributing the goods on it' own. Wal-Mart guarantees everyday low prices and considers them the one stop shop.
Wal-Mart operates in Mexico as Walmex, in the UK as ASDA, and in Japan as Seiyu. It has wholly owned operations in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and Puertorico. Wal-Mart's investments outside North America have had mixed results: its operations in South America and China are highly successful, while it was forced to pull out of Germany and South Korea when ventures there were unsuccessful. Consumers can also shop Wal-Mart through their easily accessable website on the internet by visiting http://www.walmart.com

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