Critical analysis of Wal-Mart

Critical analysis of Wal-Mart


(Instructors’ name)




Prominently recognized as one of the most successful discount stores globally, Wal-Mart is an international chain of discount department stores that is involved with the sales of various commodities and products (Lichtenstein 1). The company runs a number of retail stores, as well as, warehouse stores, which are exploited for the supply and sales of various goods and services for its consumers. Specifically, the company owns a total of 8500 retail store in an estimated 15 countries worldwide, hence allowing the company to generate a considerable amount of annual revenue as compared to its competitors (Lichtenstein 5). Accordingly, the company has been ranked as one of the largest employers as compared to its competitors as it employs over 2 million people worldwide. The company has also made the list for the top 20 largest corporations in the world, making it an interest for academicians in the field of business and management (Lichtenstein 12). Researchers have demonstrated a considerable degree of curiosity regarding the business approach that the company embraces in running its operations for success. Accordingly, researchers have examined the business strategies that the company utilizes for its success, illustrating every single decision that the company makes with regards to prices, products, and other operational activities (Emek 204). Research studies illustrate that the strengths and weaknesses of the company’s business operations are reliant on the fact that the company makes available products and services at a discounted rate. However, even with its success, environmentalist, labor unions, business organizations, and other community groups for its business approaches have criticized some of the company’s business strategies (Ingram 53). These groups have protested against the company’s product policies, entertainment policies, as well as, their well-famed discount policies.

This paper presents a critical analysis of Wal-Mart. Specifically, the paper examines Wal-Mart as a one-stop shopping store, an entertainment center, as well as, the imp0lication of this. The paper also evaluates Wal-Mart’s provision of discounts, illustrating the various criticism’s of Wal-Mart’s discount offers.

One-Stop Shopping Store

The concept of Wal-Mart being a one-stop shopping store has been associated with the company’s overall success in the retail industry (Emek 204). This is because the company’s consumers are provided with access to all of their preferred goods and commodities all under one roof. A recent survey on this business reveals that the customers to the business a find this strategy as efficient and beneficial to them as they can purchase all goods from one shop as opposed to different shops. With this strategy, customers can be assured of purchasing all commodities that they want at a discounted price, which in turn increases the customer base for the organization. This strategy, however, is not favored among the company’s competitors. Especially those that are concentrated on the sale of specific goods and services. Fundamentally, this business strategy has seen such competing companies lose their customers to Wal-Mart, owing to the discounted prices that the company offers to its consumers (Emek 208). Only those customers who have access to a considerable amount of income can purchase products from specialty stores, leaving those that cannot do this to purchase similar items from retail stores such as Wal-Mart. Contrastingly, Wal-Mart has also been criticized for going against its one-stop shopping store rule because of their exclusion of the sale of certain products and commodities. Some of the products that have recently been excluded from Wal-Mart’s shelves include certain magazines, RIAA music albums, and emergency contraception among other things. Their exclusion of such products goes against their “one-stop shopping” strategy, thus illustrating some of the company’s problems regarding their business strategies.


Wal-Mart has also been credited for its ability to provide entertainment to its consumers during their shopping period. Entertainment offered in this store is in the form of games and movies that are aimed at marketing the company to its consumers, as well as, their potential markets (Panle 1263). Research studies illustrate that small towns are quickly putting Wal-Mart at the top most consideration for their source of entertainment. Instead of visiting other entertainment stores for their services, consumers in such towns are quickly engaging in entertaining activities at Wal-Mart. There are various implications of Wal-Mart’s entertainment provision especially in relation to plummeting some educative entertainment activities for consumers. Accessing entertainment at Wal-Mart reduces access to other outdoor activities for consumers. Consumers are unable to engage in physically demanding activities thus reducing their chances of healthy living. The production of their own movies at a subsidized price has also seen consumerism behavior change, as more consumers shun away from the real entertainment production houses and instead seek these services from Wal-Mart. In essence, offering entertainment by Wal-Mart has changed the way Consumers behave with regards to purchasing entertainment products and services.


Offering discounts is the business strategy that Wal-Mart is well-famed for (Emek 214). The company has embraced offering products at a discounted price as their primary business strategy, which has enabled the company to succeed in the industry. Not only has this strategy increased the company’s customer share, it has also increased revenues for the company. The enormity of Wal-Mart has also been associated with this business strategy as it provides access to numerous products and services by the company. However, this strategy has also been linked with various criticisms of Wal-Mart regarding employee rights, abuse of power and constant conflict with suppliers. With relation to employee rights, the company has been accused of underpaying their employees and reducing employee benefits, something that is goes out of the requirement for the labor unions. Providing discounts on the products sold in their company forces Wal-Mart to search for other economically feasible options to support this price reduction. The most viable option for the company, is therefore, cutting down the wages and salaries of employees in the company. in addition to this, Wal-Mart has also been accused of employing illegal employees and children so as to maintain their operations and sales costs at a balance owing to their discount strategy. Wal-Mart’s discount strategy has also been linked with some of the problems that the company faces with regards to suppliers. Wal-Mart has been indicted of using “monopsony” power to force their suppliers into producing products the best way that suits the company. More specifically, the issuance of discounts for their products and services has forced suppliers to re-invent their operational strategies and activities, which in most cases does not favor the supplier, as they are forced into loses. For example, most suppliers to Wal-Mart are being forced to shut down their operations or lay off their workers so as to balance operational costs with the cost of sales for their products and services.

Work Cited

Emek, Basker. Selling a Cheaper Mousetrap: Wal-Mart’s Effect on Retail Prices. Journal of

Urban Economics 58(2005): 203-229.

Ingram, Paul et al. Trouble in Store: Probes, Protests, and Store Openings by Wal‐Mart, 1998

2007. American Journal of Sociology 116.1(2010): 53–92.

Lichtenstein, Nelson. The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of

Business. USA: Metropolitan Books, 2009. Print.

Panle, Jia. What Happens When Wal-Mart Comes to Town: An Empirical Analysis of the

Discount Retailing Industry. Econometrica 76(2008): 1263-1316.