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Wal-Mart

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Wal-Mart’s German Misadventure
Ce document constitue une synthèse du dossier traitant de la tentative d’implantation en Allemagne du groupe Wal-Mart. Nous y présentons le choix de s’internationaliser, les opportunités ou leur absence sur le marché Allemand, avant de tirer un bilan sur les 5 premières années d’implantation.

Analysez les raisons qui ont poussé Wal-Mart à s’internationaliser.

Est-ce que Wal-Mart avait vraiment besoin de s’internationaliser ? De toute évidence, il avait mis au point un modèle économique performant pour soutenir la concurrence aux États-Unis. Pourquoi ne pas simplement rester sur le marché américain? La réponse est que la société avait besoin de grandir pour survivre, et la scène internationale était le seul moyen pour qu’une croissance significative soit possible.

Pourquoi la croissance était si importante? Tout d'abord, l’entreprise avait besoin de montrer une augmentation dans les ventes et les profits pour satisfaire les attentes du marché des capitaux. Deuxièmement, il avait besoin de satisfaire les attentes de ses propres employés. Un des facteurs clés du succès de Wal-Mart était sa force de travail dévoué et engagé. Grâce au plan de Wal-Mart d'achat d'actions, la richesse de ces employés a été directement liée à la valeur marchande des actions de la société, créant un lien direct entre la croissance et son effet sur le cours des actions et moral de l’entreprise.

Compte tenu de la nécessité de croissance, Wal-Mart ne pouvait pas se permettre de limiter ses opérations aux États-Unis pour trois raisons. D'abord, il avait déjà saturé la plupart des marchés intérieurs. Deuxièmement, les États-Unis représentent un peu plus de 4 pour cent de la population mondiale. En se limitant à ce marché, Wal-Mart se privait de 96 pour cent des clients potentiels. Premièrement, les marchés émergents, avec leurs faibles niveaux de revenu, offraient des plates-formes énormes pour la croissance du commerce de détail à prix réduits. D'autres entreprises avaient déjà misé sur la croissance en investissant sur différents marché à l’étranger notamment grâce à l'expansion rapide des technologies de l'information, l'augmentation de l'homogénéisation culturelle et la suppression des barrières commerciales. Deuxièmement Wal-Mart n'avait pas le choix que de poursuivre la mondialisation agressive pour rester en compétition.

En entreprenant l'expansion mondiale, Wal-Mart avait la capacité de tirer parti de deux ressources clés à l'origine développés aux États-Unis. D’abord, il pourrait exploiter son immense pouvoir d'achat avec ces géants des fournisseurs nationaux comme Proctor & Gamble, Hallmark, Kellogg, Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Pfizer, Revlon et 3M se procurer des biens à moindre coût pour ses magasins hors Etats Unis. Puis Il pourrait également utiliser dans ces pays ses connaissances acquis jusqu’à présent aux Etats Unis dans des domaines tels que la gestion des stocks efficaces, l'utilisation efficace de la technologie vis-à-vis des fournisseurs, des compétences de merchandising, logistique et informatique, le déploiement au profit de ses débouchés extérieurs. Une conséquence bénéfique mais imprévue de ce processus, c'est que Wal-Mart a également été en mesure de tirer parti des idées génératrices de chiffre d'affaires ou de réduction des coûts tirés de ses points de vente internationaux au profit de ses 3000 magasins aux États-Unis.

Pensez-vous que la décision de Wal-Mart de pénétrer le marché Allemand était correcte ? Justifiez.

Dans un premier temps, il convient de s’intéresser aux avantages stratégiques que présente le marché allemand.
Tout d’abord, le marché agro-alimentaire allemand présente un avantage certain. En effet, la stratégie de Wal-Mart basé sur le système EDLP (Every Day Low Pricing) s’accorde naturellement avec celle du marché allemand qui est extrêmement sensible à une stratégie de prix bas. S’ajoute à cela un marché agro-alimentaire très robuste : les dépenses des ménages sont constantes et relativement élevées (le marché alimentaire compte pour 370 milliards de dollars en Allemagne).
La localisation de l’Allemagne, au cœur de l’Europe, offre une position d’entrée stratégique dans le marché européen dans lequel Wal-Mart ambitionne de s’étendre par la suite. De plus, l’Allemagne occupe à cette époque la place de troisième puissance du monde, la construction de l’Union Européenne offrait des perspectives économiques certaines.

Enfin, le pays possède des infrastructures de transport perfectionnées favorisant la logistique de l’acheminement des marchandises qui représentent un avantage certain pour Wal-Mart et son système de distribution centralisé.

Au-delà de ces avantages stratégiques, l’Allemagne recèle de diverses barrières d’entrée. Le marché agro-alimentaire allemand présente à l’époque une faible croissance et de nombreux concurrents saturant le secteur. Ainsi, cela a conduit le gouvernement à réduire drastiquement le nombre de licences délivrées, obligeant Wal-Mart à acquérir des enseignes (et leurs licences) déjà implantées. Wal-Mart hérite alors à la fois des infrastructures existantes (ne correspondant pas forcément au concept « Wal-Mart »), des dettes mais aussi de l’image de la société acquise.

Ce marché saturé entraine également les concurrents dans une guerre des prix acharnée, cependant régulée par une législation allemande très rigoureuse qui ne permet à Wal-Mart de se démarquer suffisamment des autres enseignes.

Les conditions de travail très rigides sont également une contrainte pour Wal-Mart qui ne peut pas appliquer sa politique tout en dégageant une marge suffisante, à cause notamment des restrictions liées à l’exploitation des salariés (horaires limités, salaires élevés, faible marge de manœuvre).

Enfin, la dimension culturelle semble être un frein à l’implantation de Wal-Mart en Allemagne. Le contexte politico-historique entre les deux cultures semble avoir laissé des traces. La politique d’implantation de Wal-Mart ne tenant pas en compte la barrière de la langue (Wal-Mart compte envoyer des managers américains ne maitrisant pas le langage germanique) semble être une barrière évidente. Pour finir, les fournisseurs allemands ne sont pas familiers avec le système de distribution centralisé américain.

Avec une production en hausse de 31% entre 2000 et 2008, le marché britannique de l’agro-alimentaire est le plus prospère au monde. Cette croissance s’explique par l’augmentation de la consommation domestique et par les importantes exportations vers l’Europe. Les exportations britanniques sont importantes et font du pays le 8ème exportateur agro-alimentaire mondial.
Ce sont principalement les grandes et moyennes surfaces qui contribuent au chiffre d’affaire, avec plus de 70% du chiffre d’affaire produit dans ces enseignes de grande distribution.

Le Royaume-Uni bénéficie d’un réseau de transports efficace pour la distribution interne. Cependant, la distribution vers le reste de l’Europe semble beaucoup plus coûteuse étant donné la localisation géographique de l’Angleterre par rapport à l’Allemagne. En plus de la question de l’acheminement, la position économique du Royaume-Uni vis-à-vis de l’Union Européenne n’aurait peut-être pas offert une assise suffisante à l’expansion sur le reste du continent.

Néanmoins, l’aspect culturel semble ici plus adéquat à l’implantation de Wal-Mart, avec des enseignes de grande distribution de hard discount déjà implantées et une culture d’entreprise qui se rapproche peut-être plus du modèle américain. De plus, les conditions de travail en Angleterre semblent plus propices au développement du concept « Wal-Mart » américain, avec une législation plus libérale permettant notamment de jouir d’horaires d’ouverture beaucoup plus flexibles qu’en Allemagne (168 heures par semaine au Royaume-Uni contre 80 heures par semaine en Allemagne – Voir tableau en fin de page).

Même s’il semble évident que l’Allemagne présente des avantages stratégiques certains (en particulier sa position géographique ainsi que son rang économique mondial), les différentes barrières mises en évidence semblent être une véritable entrave à l’implantation du concept « Wal-Mart » stricto-sensu du modèle américain. En effet, le manque de flexibilité du modèle montre des lacunes face à la dimension culturelle qui semble avoir été négligée lors du projet d’implantation. Ce que révèlera l’histoire…….

Tableau [ 1 ]- Heures de travail en Europe
Source : KPMG/EHI

Analysez les raisons des problèmes de Wal-Mart sur le marché Allemand. Pensez-vous que le groupe puisse améliorer ses performances en Allemagne ?

Après 5 années d’implantation en Allemagne, le constat d’échec de Wal-Mart est indéniable. Et si l’on prend du recul sur cette décision d’implantation, on se rend compte que cet échec prend ses sources à l’origine même de cette orientation stratégique.

Leur stratégie d’entrée s’est en effet avérée dès le début très coûteuse, en temps, argent, et en termes d’image. La position du gouvernement Allemand les a contraints à procéder par rachats d’entreprises, et leur choix s’est rapidement orienté sur des entreprises en difficulté financière. Seulement, les deux groupes rachetés (Wertkauf et Interspar) ne bénéficiaient pas d’une côte de popularité importante auprès des Allemands, ce qui n’a pas aidé l’image de Wal-Mart. De plus, les groupes étant en proie à d’importantes pertes financières, il a fallu investir beaucoup d’argent pour combler ces dettes, et également mettre les magasins au standard du groupe Wal-Mart.

A cette erreur d’entrée s’ajoutent des choix stratégiques critiquables : leur décision de pratiquer des tarifs attractifs pour attirer un maximum de clients est tombée à l’eau lorsque ses concurrents, bénéficiant en outre d’une meilleure image auprès du public, se sont alignés sur les prix. Ainsi, Wal-Mart n’a pas eu l’impact escompté et n’était pas considéré comme un magasin pratiquant des tarifs faibles. Pire encore, à force de baisser les prix, Wal-Mart s’est mis dans l’illégalité et s’est retrouvé poursuivi et assigné en justice. Après une longue bataille juridique, Wal-Mart a perdu et a dû renoncer à ses stratégies de prix.
De plus, ils se sont heurtés à un autre problème d’ordre juridique en ne publiant pas leurs données financières comme il est prévu dans la législation Allemande. Cela montre une fois de plus leur difficulté à maîtriser ce contexte différent de leurs habitudes.

Vis-à-vis de leurs fournisseurs, ils ont choisi d’appliquer le même modèle que celui utilisé aux Etats-Unis, à savoir une distribution centralisée, mais la culture du pays et les relations pas assez développées avec leurs fournisseurs ont empêché de pérenniser ce système.
Wal-Mart a également eu du mal avec les mentalités des salariés Allemands. Il était très difficile de trouver une main d’œuvre à moindre coût pour ses entrepôts de stockage, ce qui a mené à un excès de stocks et des conflits avec les syndicats se plaignant des mauvaises conditions de travail. En menant une politique allant complètement à l’encontre des mœurs en Allemagne (interdiction de syndication, de rencontres…), Wal-Mart a vu ses employés se soulever, organiser des grèves et ternir une fois de plus l’image du groupe.

Cette mécompréhension des employés renvoie à une complète méconnaissance du marché en Allemagne et des habitudes de sa population. Wal-Mart est arrivé sur le territoire en prenant de haut les locaux, leur façon de penser, et même leur langue : ils ont imposé l’anglais en interne, ont forcé les cadres à partager des chambres d’hôtel en déplacement… en résumé ils ont appliqué leur mode de pensées sans se soucier de savoir si les Allemands le partageait.

En externe également, le groupe a fait preuve à nouveau d’incompétence dans le traitement de ses clients : ils ont estimé que leur modèle, qui fonctionne aux Etats-Unis ou dans d’autres pays (Ten-Foot Rule, les « salueurs » à l’entrée…) fonctionnerait également en Allemagne. Leur supposée plus-value apportée au client n’a pas du tout fonctionné, et a même eu l’effet inverse, les Allemands ne comprenant pas pourquoi ils devraient payer plus cher pour un service dont ils ne voyaient pas l’utilité.

Conscients de leur échec aux cours de ces 5 premières années, Wal-Mart tente désormais de redresser la barre : ils ont enfin compris qu’ils s’étaientt trompés de stratégie et de mode de fonctionnement en arrivant trop confiants et en souhaitant adapter l’Allemagne à Wal-Mart et non pas l’inverse. Ce fut un échec en raison du choc des cultures mais également du manque de moyens.
Aujourd’hui, Wal-Mart est septième au palmarès des supermarchés en matière de satisfaction de clients, une position peu glorieuse en regard des moyens investis. Mais pour l’heure, avant de penser à progresser, le groupe souhaite avant tout stabiliser sa position, adapter son fonctionnement à l’exigence Allemande, réduire ses coûts…

Pour parvenir à ses fins, une première avancée vers une adaptation à la culture locale est d’ouvrir des magasins plus petits que leurs hypermarchés. Ayant compris quelles avaient été leurs erreurs et leurs points faibles dans leur stratégie d’implantation, et même si les difficultés ne sont pas totalement terminées, on peut penser que le groupe Wal-Mart est sur la bonne voie pour enfin réussir son défi de parvenir à pénétrer durablement et stablement le marché en Allemagne.…...

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...“The Wal-mart effect” Written by: William S. Kowinski Business journalist Charles Fishman begins his book with a disarming story of how Wal-Mart produced an environmental benefit when the company decided that paperboard boxes around cans of deodorant were unnecessary. So they disappeared -- not only from Wal-Mart but from everywhere -- thereby saving many trees. But the reason Wal-Mart did this, and the reason everyone else followed, he argues, are also the key factors in a new kind and extent of destruction. These factors cause the various manifestations of the Wal-Mart effect, which is the subject of Fishman's book. The first factor is the company's single operating principle, administered absolutely, without exception: always low prices. It is not only Wal-Mart's slogan but also its one commandment, its ultimate morality, trumping all other considerations. The second factor is Wal-Mart's unprecedented size. "For most of this decade, Wal-Mart has been both the largest company in the world, and the largest company in the history of the world," Fishman writes. It still would be in 2006 except that the doubling of oil prices places Exxon-Mobil in the top spot. But Wal-Mart is still America's largest private employer -- as well as the world's. And its stated goal is to be twice its current size by 2010. Ninety percent of Americans live within 15 miles of a Wal-Mart, and 93 percent of U.S. households shop at one at least once a year. Fishman concludes: "Wal-Mart......

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Premium Essay

Wal-Mart

... Wal MartWal-Mart opened its first super store in Shanghai China, in 2005. By using the same tactics that is used within the United States, offering numerous items at low prices, China was still the ideal location for Wal MartWal-Mart to continue to thrive within the foreign market. Wal MartWal-Mart quickly started gaining the trust of the local government and local officials in order to expand quickly. By using local venture partners, Wal MartWal-Mart was able to bypass the government’s opposition to foreign businesses opening. Wal MartWal-Mart further was able to gain the trust of the local government byut allowing the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) to operate within it’s stores in the countryover there, something that here within the United States Wal MartWal-Mart does not allow. Being able to offer China’s exports within its it’s own country, Wal MartWal-Mart is able to save money from the exporting and importing fees that are normally associated with its’s super centersupercenters, t. Thus creating a substantial gain in its earnings. Comparing China to the United States, the per capita is allowing Wal MartWal-Mart to draw the conclusion that it will be as equal to the United States when it comes to the success that it hopes achieves. II. Questions & Answers 1. What were some of the reasons behind Wal-Mart’s entry into the Chinese retail market? 2. Answer. The company needed to grow. With the huge success Wal-Mart had......

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Premium Essay

Wal-Mart

...Understanding that there was not much differentiation of product in the retail industry, Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton aimed to achieve a competitive advantage by reducing costs at all levels, leading to lower prices for the consumer. Wal-Mart’s culture driven cost policy was and continues to be a valuable, inimitable and scarce resource that is embedded in the retailer’s routine activity. However, it is only through Wal-Mart’s technological innovations that the company is able to take full advantage of this unique resource. To be sure, Wal-Mart has “gained competitive advantages – despite the unattractive, high threat, low opportunity environments within which [it] operate[s]” (Barney, pg. 50). A closer look at the SWOT analysis, along with a rigorous breakdown of its internal value chain will help us understand how Wal-Mart, in only 40 years, has become the premier shop in its industry. Initially, Wal-Mart focused extensively on reducing costs, keeping wages and operating expenses down to bare minimums. Knowing these cost cutting efforts would follow Schumpeterian ideals and that competitors would eventually catch on, Wal-Mart strove for long-lived competitive advantages (Ricardian profits) and began to invest heavily in technology to help keep its costs below the industry average. To enhance operations, Wal-Mart developed “Retail Link” to provide its suppliers real-time computer access to point-of-sale data, helping to manage and coordinate the quantity and assortment......

Words: 1398 - Pages: 6