Global Discount Retailer moves from Brink and Mortar to Click and Mortar
Since San Walton opened his first store in 1962, Wal-Mart has grown into a global retailer with more than 4,000 store in the United States and more than 6,000 internationally.1 Wal-Mart’s mission statement “We save people money so they can live better”, does not elude to where its strategic focus areas are, but it does sound good for the average customer who has a limited budget.
According to Wal-Mart CEO, Mike Duke, Wal-Mart’s strategic focus areas are
•Making sure the company has the best retail talent at every level of the organization by recruiting, developing and retaining the best associates;
•Delivering on the productivity loop that enables Walmart to operate for less so the company can drive prices even lower for its customers
•Being even more disciplined about operating expenses and capital spending;
•Investing to serve more customers globally and accelerating the vision of anytime, anywhere access by bringing together best-in-class online, mobile and social capabilities and our more than 10,700 stores; and
•Benefiting our communities and having a world class compliance organization. 2
Walmart has been the giant of brick and mortar retailers having topped the Fortune 500 list on more than one occasion. Although doing financially well, several business news agencies have noted that Wal-Mart is stumbling into E-Commerce market as it attempts to adapt its click and mortar business strategies to its E-Business. It appears that Wal-Mart is attempting to take on Amazon, the king of online businesses, in its niche of E-Business. This means that Wal-Mart.com, which was started in 2000, is playing catch up, but it is only in the last few years that Wal-Mart has invested heavily in its E-Business. Wal-Mart E-Business is run as a distinct business, with its own headquarters, CEO and buyers who buy items specifically for its website.
Although Wal-Mart is known as pioneering the supply chain, it has not been to successfully imitate Amazon’s supply chain management. Wal-Mart has tried to leverage the same supply chain as its retail stores in addition to third party warehouses which has placed additional costs for its delivery. Amazon’s supply chain which uses robotic assistants to help fill orders along with its warehouses which are dedicated to filling orders has permitted Amazon to rule E-Business with ability to deliver products to home for less.
Other strategies that Wal-Mart is investing in are lockers which were initially introduced by Bufferbox.3 Wal-Mart is not alone in adapting this strategy. Amazon is also using this in order to get orders into the hands of its customers more quickly, however Wal-Mart will be able to leverage the over 10,000 stores globally to place lockers which are close to customers.
According to CNN Money, Wal-Mart plans to become an online juggernaut, but its online business numbers have been disappointing.4 According to Business Insider, Walmart’s E-Business has come up with a plan to