Sam Waltan, a former military man, founded Walmart in 1962 as a small store in Rogers, Arkansas. Today, it is the world’s largest retailer, comprising over 11,500 retail units with their locations in 28 different countries. Walmart is famous for its low prices and an opportunity to buy different groups of products at the same place. Its discount strategies have created a new approach to retailing. “To save people’s money so they can live better” the company’s slogan stresses. For the time of its existence, which is for more than 50 years, the corporation has been facing many ethical and compliance challenges. Managing with criticism, being involved in scandals and numerous court cases, Walmart remains a part of global economy, providing workplaces for more than two million people.
Question1. Do You Think Walmart is doing Enough to Become More Sustainable?
It was ten years ago when Walmart has set an aim to become a leader in sustainability. Since that time, hundreds of improvement initiatives have been presented and are in the process of implementation within the company. However, the process of becoming sustainable is continuous and even never-ending. Existing more than 50 years in the market, growing and expanding all this time, Walmart has been doing a huge job to become sustainable and improve its working processes. Of course, such large stores’ chain as Walmart may be harmful for the environment. It is even difficult to imagine how much waste it produces. However, Walmart has found a solution to this problem: recycle, repurpose, reuse.
Among its most influential and biggest projects are “100 Percent Renewable Energy”, “Zero Waste to Landfill”, and “Greener Products”. These initiatives show not only the willing of Walmart to improve but also its relation and respect towards the most significant global issues – environment and healthy way of life. Over the last years, Walmart managed to make measurable progress in this sphere. This corporation develops its corporate policies based on safety and ethics and tries to build strong relationships with its suppliers, employees, and customers. Walmart takes care of nature, environment, and makes attempts to decrease possible harm.
Question 2. What are the Problems that Walmart has Faced, and What has the Company done to Address Them?
Being the largest retailer and functioning for many years in different countries, Walmart has faced numerous problems and challenges. The fact that Walmart is diminishing unemployment rate is undeniable. Meantime, a turnover rate within the company is rather high. This situation is to some extent standard for corporations of such type. However, it is a challenge for its leaders and managers to reduce a turnover rate as it is their losses. Most of the court cases and scandals that have gained publicity are concerning the ethical issues such as gender or racial discrimination towards their employees that often are migrant workers.
Some people criticize Walmart for low wages, exploitation of workers or inadequate treatment of suppliers, claiming that it is the worst company in America and that it is unethical to shop there. Many complaints derive from the attempts to explain Walmart’s low prices. To provide beneficial offers for its customers, advantageous collaboration conditions to its suppliers and employees, and be profitable for investors, Walmart’s managers need to be very initiative and innovative.
The other aspect is concerning the quality of goods selled at Walmart stores. The responsibility to monitor their manufacturers and suppliers lays on the Walmart as the seller. Of course, managing such a big chain of retail units that offer a huge assortment is a difficult and challenging task. Thus, some gaps in monitoring of the work in different locations may lead to some mishaps and failures that grow into scandals and court cases. Nevertheless, this company is working hard on regaining their reputation and providing the best offers, trying to make profits and satisfy all groups of stakeholders.
Question 3. Why has Walmart Tended to Improve Performance when Other Retail Outlets have been Suffering Financially?
Walmart has tended to improve performance through its discount offers and convenience. In the current economic situation, when people are trying to save their money by reducing their expenditures on such groups of products as grocery and home accessories, Walmart stores are offer them to buy all these goods cheaper and at one place. Walmart’s proposals, such as everyday discounts, tax refunding, black Fridays, coupons, and extremely low prices are indisputably advantageous for its customers.
Despite Walmart’s competitors accusing it of predatory pricing (intentional prices’ reduction in order to eliminate competitors), the court has not found it guilty. Walmart’s advertising strategies are all about their customers money saving. The company lures customers by offering some popular and necessary goods at a low price, making them buy other goods being sold by the store. Such marketing practices and managing behavior influence not only customers. Suppliers and manufacturers are obliged to provide a wanted quantity of goods at cheap prices not to lose Walmart as their client. The corporation being a for-profit organization is doing its best to become effective and lucrative.
To conclude, Walmart as the largest retailer has a long history with its ups and downs. Functioning of such an organization influences a wide range of aspects, such as unemployment rate, environment, economy, and manufacturing trends. Concerning the scandals and court cases in which this company has been involved, it can be said that not everything goes smoothly, and many mistakes have been admitted. However, since Walmart has managed to satisfy its investors and customers, make profits, and flourish, it could be named a successful and effective business that is a part of modern global economy.