Business Case Studies, Marketing Strategies / Strategic Marketing Case Study, Wal-Mart’s ‘Think Global, Act Local’ , Can ‘Americanisation’ Have its Way?

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Case Title:

Wal-Mart’s ‘Think Global, Act Local’ – Can ‘Americanisation’ Have its Way?

Publication Year : 2008

Authors: Ananthi R & Doris Rajakumari John

Industry: Retailing


Case Code: MKS0117C

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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IWal-Mart while venturing out globally followed the cookie-cutter approach, adopting its highly successful home-grown business model into its new markets. It characterised features such as Every Day Low Price (EDLP), streamlined logistics and distribution system and customer-focussed business policies. Although this had given the retailer considerable success in some of its international markets, Wal-Mart either failed or struggled to make an impact in other countries. In 2006, Wal-Mart withdrew from two of its key international markets- South Korea and Germany, while the retailer was still struggling to survive in Japan. With the global retail market severely competitive, success in these markets becomes highly critical. Retailers are forced to evolve a model that is ‘glocalised’ i.e. one that is tailored to meet the unique requirements of a particular region or culture. This case envisages an analysis of Wal-Mart’s international experiences in the light of its proven business model in the US. While highlighting the success of Wal-Mart in some countries, it also discusses its failed adventures in South Korea and Germany.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To comprehend the components of Wal-Mart’s home-grown business model
  • To discuss Wal-Mart’s entry into overseas market and the strategies it employed there
  • To trace out the reasons behind Wal-Mart’s success/failure in its overseas ventures
  • To examine the feasibility of Wal-Mart’s cookie-cutter approach.

Keywords : Wal-Mart, Global Retailer/Retailing Industry, Going global, EDLP, Logistics, store formats, Americanisation, Wal-Mart’s Failures, Home-grown Business Model, Marketing Strategies Case Studies, Cookie cutter approach, Alternative business model, Wal-Mart’s exit from Germany and South Korea, Think Global, Act Local, International Expansion


  • The Success Story of Wal-Mart in the US
  • Wal-Mart's 'Glocalisation' Act: Going the American Way?
  • Wal-Mart's Foray into Mexico

  • Wal-Mart's Other International Ventures
  • Wal-Mart in China
  • Wal-Mart in UK
  • Wal-Mart's Failures and Lessons for Future

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