Wal-Mart Globalization Global Corporate Strategy: The Case Term Paper

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Wal-Mart Globalization

Global Corporate Strategy: The Case of Wal-Mart

For years now, the American mega-retail store super giant Wal-Mart, founded in Rogers, Arkansas in 1962 by the late Sam Walton ("Wal-Mart -- Timeline") has been expanding its international reach, with some impressive, although varied success. For example, according to "Wal-Mart" (Wikipedia, August 7, 2005), Wal-Mart:

is the largest retailer and largest company in the world based on revenue. If Wal-Mart were its own economy, it would rank 33rd in the world... It is the largest private employer in the United States, Mexico and Canada. It holds an 8.9% retail store market share -- $8.90 out of every $100 spent in U.S.

A retail stores is spent at Wal-Mart.

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With that much success here in the United States and adjoining areas, it is understandable that Wal-Mart would seek similar success in other areas internationally, e.g., Europe, Asia, and other foreign markets. According to Ernsberger (Newsweek International, May 20, 2002), Wal-Mart's international endeavors have been (at least as of then) more successful overall in Asian nations like China and Japan [where the Wal-Mart concept of everything under one roof may still be more of a one-of -- a kind novelty than in many European markets] but less so in Europe, due perhaps to a combination of other, more entrenched retail competition, plus the relative protectiveness, compared to the United States, of workers' unions. Wal-Mart's only European successes so far, also according to Ernsberger (2002) have been in Great Britain and Germany, and more so in Great Britain (where the concept is familiar, courtesy of similar retailers like Tedesco and Sainsbury) than in Germany.

However, by clicking on a current link on today's Wal-Mart.com website, "Wal-Mart International Operations" (August 7, 2005), one also learns that:

Today, customers at more than 1,600 units in nine countries prove Wal-Mart's

Term Paper on Wal-Mart Globalization Global Corporate Strategy: The Case Assignment

Every Day Low Price promise is a message clearly understood in any language. Wal-Mart International employs more than 400,000 associates [as retail store employees are called by the company] in Argentina, Brazil,

Canada, China, Germany, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United

Kingdom.

Further, one of the major reasons for Wal-Mart's international success, at least in some areas of the world outside the U.S., is that the company, as Ernsberger (2002) further notes:

pays close attention to local tastes. The cooked-food section of the Wal-Mart in Shenzhen, China, includes fried rice-flour buns, pork sausages and chicken feet. Not far from a shelf of canned Del Monte sweet corn are tins of Ma-Ling brand stewed pork ribs and Gulong brand pickled lettuce. About 85% of the products the store sells come from 14,000 Chinese suppliers. "I can buy anything here -- my groceries, clothes, cooked food," says shopper Ma Jing, a 30-year-old businesswoman. "The selection is good, the place is clean and my boy can run around and look at toys." She has abandoned frequent visits to traditional Chinese wet markets and neighborhood shops (xiaomaibu) for weekly stops at Wal-Mart, buying more stuff in less time. "The xiaomaibu and market cannot compete...

But as Ernsberger observes, also, Wal-Mart's U.S. operations themselves do not always create the happiest scenarios at home. That may in fact give future prospective international Wal-Mart markets reason to hesitate:

Behind its folksy image, Wal-Mart is a tough, savvy company. Massive sales give the company unmatched leverage over suppliers, which it doesn't hesitate to use. The company is... aggressively anti-union. So far not one of its more than 1 million U.S. workers is unionized... Labor activists say Wal-

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