Next Big brand is back with another story of a multinational brand who started a intend of Always Low Prices, Walmart Inc. started a single discount department stores, has become the world largest retailer in the world. Each week, over 275 million customers visit more than 11,300 stores in 27 countries.
Walmart Inc. or formerly known as Wal-Mart Stores, INC. is an American originated multinational retailer that operates a series of department stores, grocery stores, and hypermarkets. Headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas with over 1168 stores and Sam’s clubs expanded over 27 countries. Founded by Sam Walton, an American businessman with a strong vision of employment opportunity and sustainability.
According to the Fortune Global 500 list 2018, Walmart is the world’s largest company by revenue, over US$500 billion. It is also the world largest private employer with 2.2 million employees. Walmart was the largest U.S. grocery retailer in 2019, and interestingly 65-per cent of Walmart’s US$510.329 billion sales came from U.S. operations only. Walmart Inc. is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
In 1945, businessman Sam Walton bought a branch of the Ben Franklin stores from the Butler Brothers. His primary focus was selling products at cheap prices to get higher-volume sales at a lower profit margin. But due to the high price of branch and leach price too, he experienced major setbacks. Although he was able to find lower-cost suppliers. Sales increased 45 % in his first year of ownership to US$105,000 in revenue, which increased to $140,000 the next year and $175,000 the year after that. The lease then expired for the location and Walton was unable to reach an agreement for renewal, so he opened up a new store at 105 N. Main Street in Bentonville, naming it “Walton’s Five and Dime” knows as the Walmart Museum.
On October 1, 1970, It began trading stock as a publicly held company and was soon listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Later in May 1971, the first stock split occurred at a price of $47 per share. By the time, Walmart was operating only in five states i.e. Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Soon, it entered Tennessee in 1973 and Kentucky and Mississippi in 1974 and Texas in 1975. By the company’s 25th anniversary in 1987, there were 1,198 stores all across the world with sales of $15.9 billion estimated with 200,000 associates.
Later in 1998, Sam Walton resign as Chief Executive Officer and was replaced by David Glass, a former executive vice president of Finance. By 1990, it becomes the largest retailer of America surpassing Kmart and Sears by revenue. After that Walmart expands its operation on the west coast or in the northeast including California and Pennsylvania and further in Mexico and Canada.
In 200, H. Lee Scott was appointed as CEO, and sales increased to $165 billion. Walmart used its logistics network to organize a rapid response to the disaster of Hurricane Katrina in September 2005 by donating $20 million, 1,500 truckloads of merchandise, food for 100,000 meals, and the promise of a job for every displaced worker.
Walmart focuses on various environmental measures to increase energy efficiency. Spending $500 million a year to increase fuel efficiency in Walmart’s truck fleet by 25 %, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 % in seven years, restricting the usage of energy by 30 %; and cut solid waste from U.S. stores and Sam’s Clubs by 25 %.
As part of the initiative to remodel its stores to make it more appealing, the company launched a new store in Plano, Texas that included electronics, jewelry, wines, and a sushi bar. On September 12, 2007, Walmart introduced a new tagline, “Save money. Live better.”, replacing the 19-year-old. On June 30, 2008, Walmart removed the hyphen from its logo and replaced the star with a Spark symbol that resembles a sunburst or star. The new logo made publicly on the company’s website on July 1, 2008.
On March 20, 2009, Walmart announced that it was paying US$933.6 million in bonuses to every worker. Additionally, $788.8 million in profit sharing, pension contributions, millions of dollars in merchandise discounts, and contributions to the employees’ stock purchase plan. On February 22, 2010, the company acquired video streaming company Vudu, Inc. for an estimated $100 million.
In January 2011, Walmart announced a scheme with an aim to improve the nutritional value of its store brands by reducing the amount of salt and sugar and completely eliminating trans fat. On April 23, 2011, the company started the test in San Jose & California its new “Walmart To Go” home delivery system where customers will be able to order specific items offered on their website. In August 2013, it acquired Kenya based Naivas, a supermarket chain. Later on February 29, 2017, it acquired Moosejaw, online active outdoor retailer for $51 Million.
Many Walmart technology projects are coded in the open and available through the Walmart Labs GitHub repository as open-source software under the OSI approved Apache V2.0 license. During a migration of the walmart.com retail platform to Facebook React and Node.js, the Electrode project was created to power the e-commerce platform which serves 80 million visitors per month and 15 million items.
Walmart collects and analyzes a large amount of consumer data including name, mobile number, date of birth, address. The big data sets are mined for use in predictive analytics, which allows the company to optimize operations by predicting customer’s habits. Walmart’s datacenter is unofficially mentioned as Area 71. Later on, Walmart acquired Kosmix to develop software for analyzing real-time data streams. Walmart announced its Polaris search engine, in August 2012.
Operation in India
As foreign corporations were not allowed to enter the retail sector directly, Walmart joins hands with Bharti Enterprises to handled the wholesale end of the business. The partnership involved two points, Bharti manages the opening of retail outlets while Walmart takes care of the back end, such as cold chains and logistics. Walmart operates stores in India with the name Best Price Modern Wholesale. Finally, on May 30, 2009, the first store opened in Amritsar.
As of April 30, 2019, there are 23 Best Price locations. On May 9, 2018, Walmart announced its intent to acquire a 77% majority stake in the Indian e-commerce company Flipkart for $16 billion, in a deal that was completed on August 18, 2018.
An investigation by The New York Times reported the allegations of a former executive of Walmart de Mexico that, the company had paid bribes via local fixers to officials throughout Mexico in exchange for construction permits, information, and other favors, which gave Walmart a substantial advantage over competitors.
Also, an incident with CJ’s Seafood, a crawfish processing firm in Louisiana eventually gained media attention for the mistreatment of its 40 H-2B visa workers from Mexico. Walmart has invested US$99 million on internal investigations, which expanded beyond Mexico to implicate operations in China, Brazil, and India.
In paper Farm Foundation Kenneth Stone, Professor of Economics at Iowa State University concludes that small towns are more affected by “discount mass merchandiser stores” than larger towns and that shop owner who adapt to the ever-changing retail market.
A 2001 McKinsey Global Institute study of U.S. labor productivity growth between 1995 and 2000 concluded that “Wal-Mart, directly and indirectly, caused the bulk of the productivity acceleration” in the retail sector.
Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics and an adviser to the study, stated that “by far the most important factor in that growth is Wal-Mart.
The Wal-Mart Foundation was boosting its efforts to work with U.S. manufacturers. In February 2014, the Walmart Foundation pledged US$10 billion to support domestic manufacturers and announced plans to buy US$250 billion worth of American-made products in the next decade, reported by The Guardian.
Walmart has over 2.3 Million employees worldwide that face lawsuits and issues with regards to its workforce issues including low wages, poor working conditions, inadequate health care, and issues involving the company’s strong anti-union policies.
In March 2018, Walmart was sued by former Director of Business Development Tri Huynh for claims of reporting misleading e-commerce performance results in favor of the company. Walmart was sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that Walmart denied requests from pregnant employees to limit heavy lifting.
In addition to thousands of crimes, more than 200 violent crimes, including attempted kidnappings, stabbings, shootings, and murders occurred at the 4,500 Walmarts in the U.S. in 2016.
Walmart is competing with Amazon Prime Now with a new grocery delivery subscription service called simply, “Delivery Unlimited. In Las Vegas and the Phoneix area, it launches one-day shipping on more than 220000 items with a minimum price of $35.
Its competitors include discount department stores all over the world including Aldi, Kmart, Kroger, Ingles, Publix, Target, Harris Teeter, Shopko, and Meijer, and Winn Dixie, Canada’s The Real Canadian Superstore, Sobeys and Giant Tiger, and Mexico’s Commercial Mexicana and Soriana