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Wal-mart’s products services ranges from a variety of items. Throughout Wal-marts
stores which includes: super-centers, neighborhood markets and Sam club’s in the Untied States
they offer over 50,000 different items. The product offered by Wal-mart can be grouped from
electronic, movies, music, books, toys, baby necessaries, jewelry, sports , things for the home,
garden and patio, gift registry, video games, books, apparel(for men and women) travel, vision
center, music, seasonal items, pharmacy and a photo center. Groceries can be found in the
super-centers as in the neighborhood markets.
Within each individual group exists a category of products. Under electronic fall six
different categories which include, computers, televisions, cameras and photo, audio equipment,
DVD and VCR’s players and accessories (speakers boxes, camcorders etc.). Movies include
DVD’s CDs and VHS videos. Music can be found in the order of new releases, seasonal tracks
( Christmas, thanksgiving, Halloween etc. ), music categories ® & B, Country, Pop, etc) and
featured music. Music can also be downloaded thru the use of walmart.com for eighty-eight
cents a song. Books can be categories by their hot titles, educational, and bargain books. Toys
includes dolls, kids’ electronics, bikes and scooters, remote and radio control vehicles, vehicles,
action figures, learning toys, kids’ furniture, games, preschool, activities, building sets, outdoor
play and video games. Baby necessities includes nursery, car seats, strollers, toddlers and
pregnancy. Wal-mart’s jewelry collection category ranges from occasion ( wedding rings,
engagement rings, anniversary gifts and promise rings). They also sell pendants necklaces,
bracelets, jewelry boxes and everyday rings and watches. The sports group consist of exercise
and fitness equipment, game room activities, paint balls, bikes, scooters and trampolines. Wal-
mart’s home department carries appliances and housewares bed and bath furniture, decor,
vacuum cleaners, grilling, lawn equipment, metal detectors massage and spa care, heaters along
with patio decor. Last but not least is the apparel. The apparel can be categorizes into nine
different sections which include women, women plus size, petite, juniors, juniors plus and
maternity, men, men big and tall girls and boys and by brand name ( wrangler, white stag, faded
glory, riders, George, Mary -Kate and Ashley etc.).
Wal-mart offers financial services such as the Wal-mart credit card, shopping cards and
checking account payments. The payment methods that they offer include express billing and
the “Wal-mart financial services en espanol.” Online financial services include credit reports
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and check printing.
Explain Wal-mart concept of distribution....name the channels
Wal-mart’s hub and spoke distribution system has become a company trademark. Wal-
mart developed a satellite system connecting all stores was initially installed in 1983, and
grew into a complex communication network that included all stores, headquarters, and
distribution centers, as well suppliers. This system facilitated a modified just-in-time process of
inventory control. Put simply, as each store sells an item, a message is automatically sent to the
supplier of that item, who then knows to include a replacement in the next shipment (usually
that day) to the nearest distribution hub. This degree of connectivity allows rapid response to
inventory needs, and reduces dramatically the amount of inventory required.
A second area of major investment was in distribution technology. Wal-Mart established
a network of innovative hubs which used “cross-docking” to minimize distribution center
inventory and to facilitate the need-based inventory delivery system enabled by the satellite
network. In this model, as shipments arrive at the warehouse, merchandise is moved directly to
the trucks carrying the outbound shipments to specific stores. In many cases, the same trucks can
even be used for inbound and outbound shipments, including those carrying new merchandise to
stores and those carrying returned, outdated, or unneeded merchandise from stores, thus
minimizing round-trip shipping costs.
Wal-Mart operates as an aggregator, distributor, and retailer of consumer goods. Due to
its size, the connectivity involved in its operations, and to the enthusiasm with which it has
traditionally negotiated supplier contracts. Wal-Mart has established itself in a key position in
the value chain of its suppliers. It is Procter and Gamble largest customer, and holds a significant
power position relative to other smaller suppliers. This position has enabled Wal-Mart to obtain
superior price breaks relative to the competition on the products it carries. It’s size has obviated
the need for separate distributors or wholesalers in the value chain. Coupled with the efficiency
of its distribution network and store model, Wal-Mart has achieved a well-entrenched position in
the value chain of its customers as well that of the lowest cost consumer goods retailer.
Therefore, the value that Wal-Mart provides is designed into two-steps. First, it provides value to
its suppliers by operating as a large, relatively stable, nearly omnipresent channel for sales of
goods, which provides rapid feedback on unit sales and localized demand. Secondly, Wal-Mart
provides value to customers by offering aggregation of a wide variety of consumer goods in a
single location, and selling those goods at the lowest prices.
Explain Wal-mart advertising and marketing strategies used, talk about the strengths and weakness of these strategies
Wal-mart’s market share is about 40% as of June 2004. It also known for it’s double
dight growth rate every year for the past 15 years. Wal-mart marketing strategies include
delivering on its promise to customers, “a wide assortment of good quality merchandise; the
lowest possible prices; guaranteed satisfaction with what you buy; friendly and knowledgeable
service; convenient hours; free parking; and a pleasant shopping experience.”Wal-mart is known
as a low-price leader within the industry. By lowering cost and increasing productivity it equals
to net sales of an increasing 23% yearly.
One of Wal-Mart’s core competencies is its operational ability to streamline the supply
chain through cross-docking inventory systems and efficient means of communication through
technology. This helped to reach consumers and to develop a more efficient and effective
relationship between them and their consumers.Wal-mart began using the internet in June 1996
to make shopping more covenant for consumers and to find out store information. This was used
in advertising and promotion of various products. This internet process was done at first to keep
up with their competition ( Toys-R- rus, Amazon.com and Target). It is proven to be one of the
best web-sites for good products at reasonable prices. Wal-mart has a sales worth of 138 billion
and is the biggest retailer on Earth. The strength in which Wal-marts process is the power that
they have over their suppliers. It is positioned to dictate whom they do business with and how
that business is conducted.
The weakness of these strategies include the competition, company size, image, and
international challenges. Wal-mart’s plans of saturate a geographical area has forced prices to
increase and has prompted the need for a more aggressive advertising campaign. This can lead
into bad publicity. Due to the size of this company it has prompted management to divide the
company into three divisions. This creates conflict of management style and extra layers of
management. As Wal-mart begins to expand it’s markets small retailers are feeling threaten.
Some of these small retailers have launch campaigns to keep retail giants like Wal-mart out of
there communities. Wal-mart has a hard time in breaking down international barriers. Wal-mart
is so set on the cultural values of America that exploring countries outside the untied states
seem very hard to break
Walmartstores.com, “New Wal-Mart Fulfillment Distribution Center to Provide Service to Wal-Mart.com”. August 2, 2003.
Business Week. “Why Banana Republic’s Star Jumped to Wal-Mart” November 6, 2003.
Wal*Mart Stores, Inc.,” Harvard Business School Case 9-794-024, Rev. August 6, 2002.
Red Herring. “Shop Talk: Wal-Mart.com Analysis “. June 11, 2004.