Wal Mart's success is built on operational efficiency in the distribution channel. Hyperbole aside (and there is plenty). Wal Mart's competitive advantage is the ability the firm has to move merchandise more cost effectively than its competitors. Wal Mart also has a reputation as a hard negotiator. In spite of the fact that the firm is vilified by some, they appear to be reasonable and flexible. Just this week they opened a new store in Austin, Texas (Northcross Mall) that was modified dramatically to incorporate design changes in response to neighborhood concerns.