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

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTA091
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2003
Organization : Wal-Mart
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : Global
Industry : Retail

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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.

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Background Note

Sam Walton, a small town merchant, was convinced that customers would flock to discount stores which offered a wide array of low priced merchandise backed by friendly service. He set up the first Wal-Mart store in 1962. Growth was slow at first, but later picked up...

Store Format

Discount Stores
Wal-Mart's traditional discount store was on an average about 94,000 square feet (but ranging from 40,000 square feet to 125,000 square feet) normally in a small town or in the suburbs, with plenty of parking space...

Vendor Management

Procurement was a key activity for a retail chain like Wal-Mart. Like other discount chains, Wal-Mart had centralized purchasing. Instead of basing orders on centralized sales forecasts, Wal-Mart used in-store terminals to wire merchandise requests to a central computer...


Only a fraction of Wal-Mart's inbound merchandise was shipped directly from the vendors to the stores. The rest passed through Wal-Mart's two-step hub-and-spoke distribution network. Wal-Mart's truck-tractors brought the merchandise into a distribution centre, where it could be sorted automatically on to another truck and delivered to the store...

Excerpts Contd...>>


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