Walmart provides a detailed assessment of the world's largest retailer that forever changed the face of retailing. The book examines Walmart's successes, failures, and whether it can stay ahead for the next 50 years. Despite being a source for best practice in procurement, logistics, systems and store format innovation, the retail giant is now facing several issues that affect its future development. Starting from its inception in rural Arkansas in 1962, this objective analysis of Walmart's history addresses the rapid change of retail, including the rise of e-commerce and multi-channel retailing; Walmart International and its 'everyday low prices' philosophy; the saturation of the superstore format, and much more.
In a time of rapid change, will the world's largest retailer be able to reconfigure? Walmart provides the necessary insights for retailers, advertisers, other business professionals and students to understand how Walmart became a retail giant, the lessons that can be learned, and what is in store for the future.
With plenty of combined experience working for Walmart and its competitors, Berg and Roberts are familiar with every twist, turn, foible, and forte of Walmart's retail practices. Beginning with the origins of Sam Walton's vast empire in Bentonville, Arkansas, the text shifts rapidly from freshman level background info to grad school caliber industry analysis. Though the particulars of the retail behemoth's success are complex, Walton's genius was and remains simple: it's all about scale Walmart lobbies for lower prices from suppliers by becoming their biggest customer, their Great Value brand of food products is the largest of its kind in the U.S., and its Data Warehouse is "the second-largest civilian database behind eBay." In addition to their elucidation of the company's domestic presence, Roberts and Berg also explore Walmart's global ventures, dutifully documenting both their successes (as in England under the Asda name) and failures (as in Germany), and illuminating the corporation's ability to learn from good and bad outcomes, as well as from the seemingly unremitting criticism regarding their labor practices, handling of gender issues, and other personnel matters. The authors' backgrounds are evident in their incessant use of business lingo, so while this is a far cry from a pop culture take on one of the biggest retailers in history, Berg and Roberts provide numerous valuable insights for business students and industry professionals.