Wal-Mart Company Strategy

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This essay will examine Wal-Mart's company strategy in several sections. Three elements of successful strategy formulation and a fourth element, which exemplifies the implementation process of company strategy, will be looked at. Followed by this, an analysis of key factors contributing to this strategy will be detailed. These include looking at Wal-Mart's competitive strategy, the CEO's leadership, and company strategy strengths and weakness assessment. The material used to analyze Wal-Mart strategy consists of the company's annual reports, its Fact Sheets and other information found on the company Internet site. Other information is obtained from outside sources such as Fortune Magazine, and from outside groups who are critical of the corporation. The focus of this analysis will be placed on identifying the resources of the firm, its weaknesses and strengths in terms of its competitive environment. The sections examined will highlight the leadership style of Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott, who inherited the corporate legacy of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. Other elements such as the culture, the corporate organization and values of the company come to play. 1. Strategic Goals This section looks at three successful elements of strategy formulation and a fourth element, where the strategy is implemented successfully. These are as follows: • Dominate the Retail Market wherever Wal-Mart has a presence. • Growth by expansion in the US and Internationally. • Create widespread name recognition and customer satisfaction with the Wal-Mart brand, and associate the retailer with the reputation of offering the best prices. • Branching out into new sectors of retailing such as pharmacies, automotive repair, and grocery sales. a. Dominate the Retail Market Everywhere A key strategy of Wal-Mart is to dominate the retail market. Company founder Sam Walton put in place a retail philosophy the company still follows. Wal-Mart is primarily a discount retailer because they sell their products at the lowest possible prices. By selling at the "lowest price." Walton outlines that the essence of successful discount retailing to cut the price on an item as much as possible, lowering the markup, and earn profit on the increased volume of sales. (Wal-Mart pricing philosophy document, www.walmart.com). Another subset of this strategy is the competitiveness of every unit. Each store is encouraged to ferociously compete against all other stores in its customer base until the Wal-Mart store gains dominance over its local competitors (Quinn, 2, 115). Wal-Mart is currently ranked as the world's number one retailer and the number one company in the world in terms of sales (over $200 billion) on the Fortune 500 list (www.

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