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Sam Walton, a graduate fro University of Missouri in 1940, is the founder of Wal-Mart. Sam franchised his first retail store as a Ben Franklin affiliated store in Newport, Arkansas after he returned from World War II. As an ambitious businessOrganizational structure may be defined as the system of relations that subsist among a variety of positions and position holders. Formal structure is a blueprint of relations that has been knowingly deliberated and put into action. It includes a formal chain of command of power as well as policies and procedures and other premeditated attempts to control conduct.
Wal-Marts organizational structure consists of a divisional structure. A divisional structure has three different categories in which are product structure, market structure, and geographic structure. Wal-Mart falls under market structure. This is where groups function by types of customers so that each division contains the functions it needs to service a specific segment of the market (p.514, George, Jones). man, Sam not only satisfied with the present operation but also tried any possibilities to bring his business into another level, discount retailing. He eventually withdrew from Ben Franklin’s franchising and opened his own store incorporated with his new idea, Wal-Mart Discount City in Rogers, Arkansas, July 2 1962. Sam’s brilliant ideal and successful operation allows Wal-Mart expanded from one store to thirty-eight store cross-states within eight year. Wal-Mart went to public in 1970, and it became the first company to reach 1 billion within 9 years. Up to 2004 Wal-Mart has 4,906 store world-wild, and 9 billion in profit. Despite some of controversial issues about its operation approaches, Wal-Mart’s dramatic rapidly growth is phenomenal in business community, and its successful business model has been eulogized world-wild.

There are several key competitive edges that keep Wal-Mart successfully maintaining its leading position in the industry. First of all, Wal-Mart’ multiple store formats allows Wal-Mart to extend their customer base. Since Wal-Mart opened its first store in Rogers, Arkansas, July 2 1962, it has extended its store number from 9 stores to a total 4,906 throughout the four types of store: (Discount stores, Supercenters, Sam’s club, and neighborhood markets) Wal-Mart is able to embrace more customers to fulfill all kinds of demand such as live supplies, groceries, pharmaceuticals, and entertainments. As a result, Wal-Mart’s sales and profit increase significantly. Backward expansion strategy is another key for its success. Unlike other retail stores, Wal-Mart opens its stores in small town first before entering into metropolitan area. Also, all stores’ locations are usually within 200 miles away from its distribution center, and trucks from distribution center can be fully loaded and with an efficient deliver schedule.
Wal-Mart is well known as the world’s largest private employer and the nation’s largest retailer. Wal-Mart serves as a company resources and capabilities to form competencies that allow a firm to offer increased value to the marketplace. In addition to gathering and retaining employees with needed expertise including retailing, marketing, distribution, finance and human resources, Wal-Mart designs its operations to minimize costs. For example, its inventory management and distribution systems reduce costs by the placement of its regional distribution centers to locations that offered lower labor and transportation costs. Centralized locations are another attractiveness Wal-Mart has in their competitive advantage. Besides, by linking all operating units and corporate offices via the largest private satellite communication system in the U.S, it allowed Wal-Mart transferring data, voice and video communication among each other in different geographical location. Among its varied uses, this system speeds and streamlines inventory replenishment. Wal-Mart also builds its organizational