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Case study WAL-MART STORES

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Case 22 WAL-MART STORES, INC.(1998): RAPID GROWTH IN THE 1990s I. CASE ABSTRACT Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., in 1998, with corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, was not only the nation’s largest discount department store chain but also had surpassed Sears, Roebuck & Company as the largest retail organization in sales volume in the United States. The firm operated stores under a variety of names and retail formats including: Wal-Mart, discount department stores; SAM’S Clubs, wholesale and retail membership warehouses; and Supercenters, large combination general merchandise and grocery stores. In the international division, it operated stores in Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Germany and China. The McLane Company, a support division with over 36,000 customers, was the nation’s largest distributor of food and merchandise to convenience stores and selected Wal-Marts, SAM’S Clubs, and Supercenters. On January 31, 1998, Wal-Mart operated 2,421 Wal-Mart stores, 483 SAM’S Club stores, and 502 Supercenters, which totaled 3,406 stores. A major concern was Wal-Mart’s spectacular growth and the dominance of the firm in the market. The firm was perceived to be in the accelerated development or growth stage of the institutional life cycle in which sales are increasing rapidly, profits are high, new stores are being opened, existing stores are being refurbished, the product line is being reevaluated, service offerings are being upgraded, automation is being i ...
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