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Wal-Mart 2005

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Wal-Mart, 2005 At the start of 2005, Wal-Mart was up to nearly $260 billion in sales, managed over 5,000 stores in 10 different countries, and was an employer to over 1.5 million people worldwide- making it the largest supercenter, the largest company in the world. As of 1998, Wal-Mart began closing many of the original discount stores and opening supercenters in their place that provided “one-stop, round-the-clock family shopping,” with everyday low prices and convenient store hours. Supercenters doubled the size of the discount stores, employed over 200 and offered over 100,000 items (30,000 being grocery products). Some supercenters also consisted of specialty shops and others opened in urban areas as simply neighborhood markets offering limited drugs and groceries. Wal-Mart also continued to run the widely distributed warehouse clubs, SAM’S CLUBS, which directly competed with Costco and BJ’s Warehouse. By 2004, Wal-Mart maintained over 3,200 locations in the U.S., nearly 900 locations in the Americas (non U.S.), over 350 in Europe, and over 440 in Asia. Wal-Mart’s strategy began with the goal to provide customers with the goods they wanted when and where they wanted them. Wal-Mart then focused on developing cost structures that allowed it to offer low everyday pricing. This operational strength evolved from their strategic use of IT systems. These systems interchangeably shared information within stores, across stores, and with suppliers for forecasting, planning, replenishing and shipping applications. The key to achieving this goal was to make the way the company replenishes inventory the centerpiece of its strategy. This strategy reduced Wal-Mart’s costs and shrinkage significantly and they passed those savings on to their customers with highly competitive pricing. Furthermore, later in 2000, IT introduced new tools for management and forecasting that...

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