Term Paper

Submitted By munchkinz83
Words: 2020
Pages: 9

Understanding a Global Giant:
The Market Plan of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Understanding a Global Giant:
The Market Plan of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Executive Summary
More than fifty years after opening the first Wal-Mart store, in Rogers, Arkansas, Sam Walton’s iconic retail vision has become a global phenomenon. The retail giant spans 27 countries, mainly the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and employs over 2.2 million people. The iconic trademark, promoting lower prices, is synonymous with Wal-Mart’s concept. Its mission statement is perhaps one of the most recognizable in the retail industry, Wal-Mart (2013) “Saving people money so they can live better”. The Walton family controls approximately 48% of the company. Two Walton siblings are current members on the board of directors, including Robson Walton who is Chairman of the Board. Cheng (2012) reported Wal-Mart’s strategy is to focus on smaller-format stores, as well as online operations, which accounted for nearly sixty percent of sales in 2011. In addition, Wal-Mart will promote programs through advertising and social media outlets. Wal-Mart is the number one retailer in the world with projected sales of $466 billion this year. The company ranks number two on the Fortune 500 list. During his acceptance speech, of the Presidential Medal of Freedom award, Sam Walton stated: “If we work together we’ll lower the cost of living for everyone…we’ll give the world an opportunity to see what it’s like to save and have a better life.” Throughout the past fifty years, successful marketing strategies have led to global domination in the retail industry.
Marketing Plan Objective
The purpose of this study is to explore objectives and strategies which have led to the company’s status as a market leader in the retail industry.
Situation Analysis
Wal-Mart has provides consumers with six distinct units. Hoover (2013) indicated these units include: grocery, entertainment, health, wellness, apparel, and home. This provides consumers with a “one-stop” shopping experience. Saporito (2013) reported the entire organization offers millions of products to consumers.
SWOT Analysis
Pricing: Wal-Mart is known for providing lower prices when compared to its competitors. In addition, the company will price match any product against a competitor’s advertised price; closing potential pricing gaps.
Location: With over 10,000 retail stores worldwide, Wal-Mart provides quick and easy access for its consumers.
Technology: In 1987, the company installed the largest communication satellite, which linked its entire operation via voice, data, and video. The company has subsequently integrated innovative technological systems, allowing for accurate inventory and distribution processes.
Employee relations: Wal-Mart has been thrown into the media spotlight on numerous occasions for improper treatment of employees. Hoover (2013) provided details regarding labor law violations, including child labor in foreign countries.
Sustainability: Kroll (2012) stated Wal-Mart has vowed to incorporate green products into their store designs, as well as improving the sustainability of its global supply chain.
International growth: Hoover (2013) reported Wal-Mart will continue expansive growth into other global industries, accounting for over half of all stores.
E-commerce: Wal-Mart has the potential to reach 1 billion consumers per week through growth and further development of e-commerce.
Shrinking profit margins: Several competitors, such as Target, are matching or lowering prices below Wal-Mart. By continuing to provide consumers with the lowest prices, the company’s profit margins have declined.
Legalities: Wal-Mart is constantly tangled in a wide range of legal battles. The company has been the number one retailer in Mexico for several years; however, their growth is now being threatened by a web of illegal activities within the