Wal-Mart in China

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTA015
Case Length : 12 Pages
Period : 1996 - 2004
Organization : Wal-Mart
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : China
Retail Merchandise

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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In 2004, Wal-Mart Stores, the world's largest private employer and retailer, employed more than 1.5 million associates worldwide and operated more than 5,000 stores. Wal-Mart's operations spanned several countries including the US, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, China, Korea, Germany and the UK. Worldwide, about 140 million customers visited Wal-Mart stores each week.

China had emerged an important market for Wal-Mart in the early 2000s. In 2002 and 2003, Wal-Mart was elected as one of the "Most Respected Companies in China" by the Enterprise Management Case Study Center of Beijing University and the Economic Observer.

In 2004, Wal-Mart topped the China Business Competitiveness Index among commercial and trade companies. In August 2004, Wal-Mart ranked No.8 among the "Most Admired Companies in China" of Fortune's Chinese edition.

Wal-Mart's presence in China had strengthened considerably in recent times. Wal-Mart operated 39 units (34 Supercenters, 3 SAM'S CLUBS, and 2 Neighborhood Markets) in 19 cities, including Shenzhen, Dongguan, Kunming, Dalian, Shantou, Fuzhou, Shenyang, Xiamen, Harbin, Changchun, Changsha, Nanchang, Beijing, Jinan, Qingdao, Nanjing, Tianjin, Nanning and Guiyang. Wal-Mart employed more than 20,000 associates in China, invested up to RMB 1.6 billion (US $1 = 8.25 RMB approximately) and paid more than RMB1 billion in taxes.

Wal-Mart China had attempted to maintain the parent company's tradition of providing quality merchandise at low prices, and friendly customer service. The retailer had introduced advanced retail techniques and concepts to improve operational efficiency and customer service...

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