Rocky Seas for Wal-Mart

Although Wal-Mart is still by far the world’s largest retailer, it has faced some stormy seas in recent years. U.S. store sales are stagnant. Earnings have been tight. Competition from dollar stores and from online retailers has taken its toll. Etc., etc.
As Shelly Banjo reports for the Wall Street Journal:
“With the price gap shrinking between Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and its competitors, the retailing giant faces the double sorrow of sluggish sales and traffic. In May, the company reported its fifth straight quarter of negative U.S. sales, excluding newly opened or closed stores, and its sixth straight quarter of dwindling traffic. Wal-Mart’s return on investment dropped to 17% in the year ended Jan. 31, down from 20% seven years ago. The weak results led to the lowest levels of bonuses to executives in several years.”
“The discounter is also dogged by allegations of bribery overseas, and continues to face regulatory challenges from its nonunionized workforce. It has stumbled in country after country in its attempts to expand overseas, even as it remains a dominant retailing force in countries like Mexico and Canada.”
“Some of the retailer’s initiatives — from new store formats to a shift in some pricing models — don’t much resemble the old Wal-Mart, where bigger stores were touted as better, and prices were ‘always low.’ This year, for the first time in its history, Wal-Mart will open more smaller grocery and convenience-type stores than supercenters. At 10,000 to 40,000 square feet, its Wal-Mart Express and Neighborhood Market concepts are a fraction of the size of a 200,000-square-foot superstore. Stores now double as pickup stations for shoppers to collect televisions, bicycles and other items purchased online.”
Click the image to read more of Banjo’s story.



This entry was posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 4: Store Location Planning, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Part 8: Putting It All Together and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Rocky Seas for Wal-Mart

  1. Pingback: Rocky Seas for Wal-Mart | Retailing |

  2. Pingback: Wal-Mart’s New ‘Checkout Promise’ and ‘Price First’ Private Brand | Retailing: From A to Z by Joel Evans

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