Wal-Mart in 2003: The World's Largest Company

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : BSTA091 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
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Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2003
Organization : Wal-Mart
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : Global
Industry : Retail


Wal-Mart is the largest retail chain in the world. It is also the world's largest company with a turnover of $245 billion. Each year, roughly 80% of American households make at least one purchase at Wal-Mart. Starting off in a small way, under the leadership of the legendary Sam Walton, Wal-Mart has emerged as a global player with operations in North America, Asia, Europe and South America. According to rough estimates, Wal-Mart has saved an estimated $20 billion of costs for US customers in 2002 alone. The 'Wal-Mart effect' has reduced inflation and improved productivity in the US economy year after year. Analysts feel that the combination of discipline, values and learning has contributed to Wal- Mart's success. This case can be used to discuss strategic management issues in a large company, with a special focus on cost leadership.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 1
Store Format 4
Vendor Management 5
Logistics 6
Information Technology 7
Marketing 8
Human Resources Management & Work Culture 9
Concluding Note 12
Exhibits -


Wal-Mart, Largest company, Retail chain, Wal-Mart effect, Cost leadership, Cost cutting, The Pentagon, Sam Walton, Hypermart, The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Stores, Super centres, Vendor management, Retail in detail, Logistics

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