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Walmart the ultimate retailer – Always Low Prices

Updated on July 1, 2017
First Discount Store at Rogers
First Discount Store at Rogers

Sam Walton and his brother opened the first Walmart discount store in 1962 at Rogers, a small town in Arkansas, USA. They sold everything from apparels to automotive supplies to small appliances in this large warehouse type store. Their prices were very low. Although the conventional wisdom suggested that discount stores could succeed only in large cities, Walmart, from the modest beginnings, exploded onto the national retailing scene.

Chicago Supercenter
Chicago Supercenter
Orlando
Orlando

Today, Walmart is not just the world’s largest retailer, but also the world’s largest company. Their annual sales are around $300 billion. They are the number one seller in multiple categories of consumer products. Walmart sells 30% of the disposable diapers purchased in US each year, 30% of hair-care products, 26% of toothpaste, and 20% of pet food. Walmart’s total sales per day is larger than the GDP of some countries. The company is now expanding rapidly into international markets. The giant retailer has a substantial impact on the U.S. economy.

Evolution of the Walmart Logo

1962 - 1964
1962 - 1964
1964 - 1968
1964 - 1968
1968 - 1981
1968 - 1981
1981 - 1992
1981 - 1992
1992 - 2008
1992 - 2008
2008 todate
2008 todate

Walmart Supercenter interior

What are the secrets behind their spectacular success? Mostly, day in and day out, Walmart lives up to its promise: Always Low Prices, Always. Its mission is to “lower the world’s cost of living”. To deliver on this promise, they listen to their customers and take care of them, treat employees as partners and keep tight rein on costs. The company stays close to the customers, talks directly with them and delivers what customers want: a broad selection of carefully selected goods at unbeatable prices.

Beyond listening to customers and taking care of them, Walmart also takes good care of employees. They believe that the company’s people are what really make it better. Walmart was the first to call employees as “associates”, a practice now widely copied by competitors. The associates work as partners and they become deeply involved in operations and share rewards for good performance.

Wal-Mart Associates

Walmart delivers real value to customers by keeping a sharp eye on costs. It has the lowest cost structure in the industry and that lets the giant retailer charge lower prices but still earn higher profits. Walmart’s lower prices attract more shoppers producing more sales, making the company more efficient and enabling it to lower prices even more.

Walmart’s low costs result in part from superior management and more sophisticated technology. Their huge, fully automated distribution centers employ the latest technology to supply stores efficiently. Walmart spends less than its competitors on advertising because its reputation has spread rapidly by word of mouth.

The success of Walmart, the ultimate retailer, has resulted from an unrelenting focus bringing value to its customers. Always Low Prices, Always.

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    • profile image

      Sam 

      5 years ago

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    • charmike4 profile image

      Michael Kromwyk 

      6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Great synopsis of Wal-Mart! I always enjoy visiting when in the US because of the great deals & some of the sights you get to see! Cheers Michael

    • profile image

      mickey mouse 

      8 years ago

      :)i love walmart yo!

    • LasanthaW profile imageAUTHOR

      Lasantha Wijesekera 

      8 years ago from Sri Lanka

      Thanks KoffeeKlatch Gals for your visit and writing your personal experience about Wal-Mart. The leaders of the market, as you said can create markets and opportunities for the small players.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      We do a lot of our shopping at Wal-Mart. They seem to be becoming so large that they are pushing other businesses out. Good write-up. Great hub and pictures.

    • LasanthaW profile imageAUTHOR

      Lasantha Wijesekera 

      8 years ago from Sri Lanka

      Thanks Vocalcoach for your appreciating comments.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Informative hub. I look forward to reading more of your articles. Thank you

    • LasanthaW profile imageAUTHOR

      Lasantha Wijesekera 

      8 years ago from Sri Lanka

      Thanks Dahoglund for visiting and sharing your personal experience on Wal-Mart with all of us.

      Sebastian S. Kresge has founded the K-mart chain of supermarkets and currently it is the third largest in the world after Wal-Mart and Target. However K-mart had problems later and went into bankruptcy in 2002 but later recovered from bankruptcy and then merged with Sears.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I do a good portion of our buying at Wal-Mart, especially groceries. I also buy at Aldis's. Since the 1960s I bought at various stores similar to Walmart The big one was shoppers city where we lived. Eventually the "dome" stores like Kresge became K-mart.

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