Case Study

Wal-Mart: Should it change? Can it change?

21 pages
August 2008
Reference: IMD-3-1883

In 2007 Wal-Mart was the largest company in the world. From the start it promised customers “low prices, always.” To deliver on this promise, the business was run with a single minded focus on low cost. In this case we start off by exploring the factors that made Wal-Mart the company it is today. Second we address the effects on society of Wal-Mart’s low cost focus. Third we deal with change. The different stakeholders asking for Wal-Mart to change. What kind of change the company is exploring. And finally we ask: How much change is even feasible for a company like Wal-Mart?

Learning Objective

The case can be taught in different contexts. It can for example be used to show how a company can create a best practice low-cost structure, supply chain and strategy. It can however also be used as a strategy case as well as serve as a good basis for a sustainability discussion.

Low Cost, Retail
Published Sources
© 2008
Available Languages
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