Wal-mart was founded in 1962 and since that date has been a household name and has continued to grow from strength to strength through the last four and a half decades. Today the name Wal-mart is not common only in the households throughout the United States of America but also throughout the world. Today there is hardly any part of the world that the store has not penetrated. From the North to South and East to West, Wal-mart is known throughout every nook and cranny of the world. The organisation has been able to penetrate every continent throughout the world and is in existence in India, China, Vietnam, Korea and many South American countries that have contributed to its success in many different ways. Wal-mart has been known for its bargain pricing of the products and services that it sells. Further, it has also been known for a selling and giving access to a wide range of products and services to the consumers from clothing and accessories to household and garden equipment; some of the services provided by the organisation are pharmacy services and even photography services. In this manner Wal-mart has been able to put down solid roots in many different countries, cities, towns, villages and communities and become a household name. Further its motto throughout the years has been to save money for the consumer and help the consumer to lead a cheaper but better and higher living standard. These are the reasons that the organisation has seen phenomenal growth in the last few years.
Wal-mart, throughout the last few years has made immense use of the comparative advantage and moved its manufacturing plants and even its supplier’s manufacturing plants to the east and countries where it could ensure lower production costs. Today most of the products that are sold in the Wal-mart store around the world are from China, a country that has an almost unlimited supply of cheap labour that gives the organisation the advantage of lower costs, that results in lower pricing. Another success factor of Wal-mart has been its ability to buy in bulk, sell huge volumes and survive on very low or reduced profit margins. This has enabled the organisation to pass on the cost benefit to the consumer and give the consumer more value for money, which has been an important element of its success in this highly competitive business era.
However the organisation has been facing much litigation in the past few years in the United States, due to some of its inefficient handling of human resources related issues. In the recent years the organisation has been accused of unfair treatment of its female workforce – while the litigation is now well behind the organisation it has cast a cloud on the employment prospects of employees with the organisation and could thus cause a detrimental effect on the organisation’s ability to attract, recruit and retain talented and high potential employees in the future. The only manner the organisation will be able to avoid such a threat is to manage its communication with the public and to clean up its image as a potential employer.
Source: ChinaStones - http://china-stones.info/guides/case-studies/wal-mart-case-study.php