Supply Chain Management

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Wal-Mart and Target Supply Chain Management

Wal-Mart and Target Supply Chain Management

Introduction - Company Overview

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is a U.S. multinational company specializing in retail, founded by Sam Walton and now headed by his eldest son, S. Robson Walton. Founded under that name in 1962, it has grown rapidly in Arkansas and led all U.S. begin to internationalize from 1991. In Europe, stores are present in Great Britain under the name Asda. Wal-Mart is now attacking the market Asia. Based in China since 1996, the group employed about thirty thousand workers in this country in 2006. It is also present in Japan under the name Seiyu. In 2005, 20 million customers attending the Wal-Mart on average each day (Stanley, 2006).

Wal-Mart is the largest general retailer in the United States with 3500 stores and 20% of estimated market share and the largest distributor of toys with a 45% estimated market share, having surpassed Toys "R" Us in the late 1990s.

Business Organization

The company focuses on three main distribution networks: Wal-Mart Stores Division U.S., Sam's Club and Wal-Mart International. The company works with nine different sizes of stores: supercenters, food and drugs, general merchandise stores, bodegas (small retailers), cash and carries stores, membership warehouse clubs, apparel stores, soft discount stores and restaurants (Lichtenstein, 2009).

Wal-Mart Stores Division U.S

Wal-Mart Stores Division U.S. is the largest distribution network, representing 67.2% of sales for fiscal year 2006. This segment consists of three store formats in the United States: Discount Stores, Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets. This division also includes, the online sales site (Bergdahl, 2006).

Wal-Mart International

Wal-Mart's International currently operates 2980 stores in 14 countries outside the United States: Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Britain, China, Brazil, Argentina, and Japan (William, 2006).

Existing Strategies

Wal-Mart always strives to “provide quality products at an everyday low price and with extended customer service”. In order to achieve this, they have adopted a series of strategies which range from loyalty programs for customers to e-tailing (Fishman, 2006). Some of the principal strategies include building divisions, which include smaller stores built in small communities with a population of less than 5000 people; this strategy allows Wal-Mart to give attention to customers in smaller markets in rural America. Another division is the Sam's Club which is a membership only cash and carry operations, in which only wholesale operations are carried out. Customers have to pay a membership fee to be a part of the club in which they get to buy goods in bulk.

Supercenters are another division in Wal-Mart whereby groceries, are combined with general merchandise “giving customers a one-stop shopping experience” this “one-stop” convenience has appealed to a large number of customers thereby making the supercenters become one of the most important retail concepts on the landscape. The International division has allowed the company to maintain a strategic competitive focus on global positioning. Another Strategy adopted by the company is e-tailing. Wal-Mart now operates online under which seen as another store ...
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