Wal Mart A Retail Legend Essay

1862 words - 7 pages

Question...where can you shop for electronics, clothes, and groceries, get your oil changed, go to the bank, see the optometrists and pick up a medical prescription? The answer is Wal-Mart. Best known for, everyday low prices, Wal-Mart’s history is one of innovation, leadership, and success.

Brief History of Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart was founded by Sam Walton who was born in March 1918 in the town of Kingfisher, Oklahoma. Graduating from the University of Missouri, Sam enlisted in the Army in support of the World War II effort. Upon his return, Sam worked for a while at the J.C. Penney group of stores as a manager in training. While there he began to realize that opportunities existed in the large scale discount retailing business (nickel and dime stores). The idea and business philosophy of Wal-Mart borrowed from the nickel and dime stores of earlier times, and consisted of getting National Brands in bulk at a discount based on volume purchases; the company would then stamp its mark and resell the goods at a slight markup, this rate being however less than the other competing Mom and Pop stores across the United States. This philosophy was so successful that it has eventually led to Wal-Mart's becoming the single largest private employer across the USA. Sam Walton opened the first Wal-Mart store in Rogers Arkansas, in 1962, which specialized in providing name-brand products at low prices. The chain of Wal-Mart stores eventually sprang up all across rural America and by 1991; Wal-Mart was the largest U.S. retailer with over 1,700 stores.

Keys to Success
Many would agree that Wal-Mart has accomplished the number one ranking in the Fortune 500, because of its commitment to the company’s Three Basic Beliefs and Values. As stated on Walmart.com, these values are,” Respect for the individual, Service to our customers and Striving for excellence”. The first belief is extremely important, because Wal-Mart is the employer of over 1.5 million people. It is critical to foster an environment centered on teamwork, where employees feel appreciated, as well as respected by their leadership. In a company especially one of this size, continued success depends upon, constantly working hard to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to make the work environment one employees look forward to being in. The second belief is, “Service to our customers”, is possibly the most important of all. Without the business of dedicated customers, Wal-Mart could have failed and never had the opportunity to expand around the world like it has today. Wal-Mart understands this and therefore, works to maintain low prices and provide excellent customer service. Examples of this can be seen through multiple lanes open for checkout, greeters stationed at entrances, and striving to have the lowest prices when compared to its competitors. The last belief is, “Striving for excellence”. Wal-Mart.com states that this is accomplished by always asking: “Is this the best that I...

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