Wal-Mart is more than just the world's largest retailer. It is an economic force, a cultural phenomenon and a lightning rod for controversy. It all started with a simple philosophy from founder Sam Walton: Offer shoppers lower prices than they get anywhere else. That basic strategy has shaped Wal-Mart's culture and driven the company's growth (Fishman, Charles).
Globalisation is essential strategy for food retail market in order to secure the profits in the future. Wal-Mart is world's largest public corporation by revenue, the largest private employer and the largest grocery retailer in the United States. Since year 2000, Wal-Mart has expanded internationally with the opening of new bigger stores with ever increasing number of products available to the customers. Wal-Mart aims to provide a culture of innovation and diverse environment. Wal-Mart has improved and implemented new innovative strategies in different key areas.
To compete with other supermarket food giants Tesco & Sainsbury's, Wal-Mart has opened new stores at different locations across the UK. In the United States, they have opened large, medium or small size stores according to the locations and requirements resulting in Wal-Mart Discount Stores, Wal-Mart Supercenters and Wal-Mart Neighbourhood Markets. Wal-Mart aims to compete in every section and every product, they can provide. Wal-Mart is expanding globally and operates in Mexico as Walmex, in the United Kingdom as Asda, in Japan as Seiyu, and as Best Price in India as well as in Argentina, Brazil, Canada and Puerto Rico.
The company does business in nine different retail formats including supercenters, food and drugs, general merchandise stores, bodegas, cash and carry stores, membership warehouse clubs, apparel stores, soft discount stores and restaurants. Wal-Mart regularly provides its customers with discounts and good deals to keep them interested always. As these days, many people with their busy work life prefer to shop online, so Wal-Mart has also opened online shopping for them which save them time and hassle of shopping in stores. Wal-Mart focuses to appeal top all the segments of the customers by providing customers all the range of products from top branded low value products across all the sections including grocery, pharmacy, electronic products and many more. Wal-Mart has opened new chains as Supermercado de Wal-Mart, Marketside, Sam's Club and Wal-Mart international. About 40% of products sold in Wal-Mart are private label store brands, or products offered by Wal-Mart and produced through contracts with manufacturers.
In the present era of competitive markets, Wal-Mart has started operating self-check out tills to save on staff costs. They have opened several self-check out tills so now they have to employ fewer staff. Moreover, some people prefer to use self-check out tills as they save time and are fast if you have less shopping. In March 2007, Wal-Mart's Site-To-Store programme was introduced which has enabled walmart.com customers to buy goods online with a free shipping option, and have goods shipped to the nearest store for pickup. Asda is providing financial services like insurance (provided by Norwich Union), credit cards (provided by Grupo Santander), loans (provided by the Funding Corporation) and Credit Card (provided by GE Capital Bank and then Grupo Santander). The Financial Services division is also responsible for Gift Cards, Christmas Saver and Business Rewards.
Wal-Mart's business model is based on selling a wide variety of general merchandise at "always low prices”. They always advertise and challenge to provide better and low prices as compared to other stores. This launches new innovative offers on different products and performs perfect strategy to keep the customers loyal and happy. Basically, the motto of all types of shops in a High Street and provide all those products under one giant roof of Wal-Mart. Moreover, along with globalisation, diversity of products and services is the idea that needs to be implemented and improved if a food supermarket wants to survive and make profits in future in this highly competitive environment.
Wal-Mart stores across United States
Ø Fishman, Charles. "The Wal-Mart Effect." Penguin Press, 2006. ISBN 1594200769
Ø Barbaro, Michael. "Wal-Mart Tries to Find Its Customer." New York Times, February 2, 2006.