Wal-Mart in 2004: Creating a New Image


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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTA111
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1962 - 2004
Organization : Wal-Mart
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : USA
Industry: Retail ing

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Please note:

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.

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Excerpts

The Dateline Program

On 22 December 1992, NBC's Dateline featured a program on Wal-Mart. The NBC anchor, had once written to Walton, asking for permission to feature Wal-Mart. By the time Walton gave his assent, the leadership had effectively passed on to Glass. NBC was allowed to film inside Wal-Mart stores and interview Glass...

Rediscovering Public Relations

Senior executives knew that the company had to think carefully about the Dateline experience and all that it meant. In the mid-1990s, Wal-Mart's senior management decided to strengthen the corporate affairs department, which included corporate communications (news media relations), government relations, and the Wal-Mart Foundation (community relations)...

Government Liaison

Wal-Mart had traditionally been resistant to proactive government relations. Walton saw little reason to cultivate government officials in order to improve Wal-Mart's situation. But from the mid-1990s, Wal-Mart realized that regulatory agencies were increasingly eager to take on the retail giant, because of its size and influence...

Community Involvement

Traditionally, store managers did not see themselves as community leaders. But the public perceived them as important people in their communities. Indeed, store managers were often the most important business figures in their respective town...

Lawsuits

As Wal-Mart kept growing bigger and the number of customers visiting its stores increased, the number of lawsuits filed against the company started to rise. In the early 1990s, there were some 2,000 - 2,500 lawsuits pending against the company. That figure had grown to 8,000 by October 2002...

The Road Ahead

In an interview in October 2002, Lee Scott noted that he was spending a good deal more time on the issue of Wal-Mart's reputation than Glass had. He believed that the effort was paying off...

Exhibits

Exhibit 1: Financial Highlights
Exhibit 2: Financial Summary
Exhibit 3: Net Sales
Exhibit 4: Wal-Mart Store Segment
Exhibit 5: SAM's CLUB Segment
Exhibit 6: International Segment



 

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