In 2010 Wal-mart adopted a new strategy known as "Project Impact" which involved massive efforts in remodeling the whole company with the aim of reducing clutter in its stores. It eliminated close to fifteen percent of items sold in its stores so as to create a cleaner environment and also give the staff more time to assist customers. The executives who formulated the strategy wanted to increase customer space, enhance the shopping experience, and provide visibility and access throughout departments located within the store which many customers found difficult to shop. The strategy didn't go as planned and wal-mart experienced sales decline even though for the last eight consecutive quarters of the recession period the company had consistent rise I same store sales. This led to the reintroduction of more than three hundred of the items that had been removed.
The current CEO Mike Duke has his focus on the international market as well as the US market. He strongly believes that the US has a lot of growth potential even though it currently accounts for seventy five percent of Wal-mart sales. One of the notable decisions that Duke made when he was heading the international division of wal-mart was to close down the German division. However the company's international growth continued and sales grew from under sixty billion to nearly a hundred billion.
Due to its huge size, running and managing wal-mart is a task of unimaginable complexity. Wal-mart topped the list of Fortune Global 500 with 2010 sales of four hundred and eight billion. Nevertheless, it hasn't been able to shun off the legal, social and logistics problems which come along with operating at such an enormous scale. Currently, the company has more than 8500 stores and more than two million employees.
Lee Scott who was Wal-mart's third CEO chose Mike as his successor due to his excellent managing skills as well as his good leadership abilities. Moreover, Duke is very skilled in dealing with huge amounts of data and his ability to manage time and people effectively helps him achieve a great deal.
In studying Wal-mart, I've learned that they use strategy, structure and system to pursue and achieve their goals; this is probably why the company is so successful. Wal-Marts overall strategy of having the lowest prices is also a key point which many businesses can adopt and focus on increasing sales rather than just profits. I've also learned the need for a company to always focus on expanding into new markets and avoid saturated ones. Wal-mart sales are expected to reach the half a trillion dollar mark and this can only be achieved through overseas expansion into markets like Brazil, India and China and recruit an army of executives and managers to run overseas operations.
I believe that wal-mart will continue to be one of the biggest employers in the US and its ability to work with suppliers will continue to give it a big lead in the chain store business. The company's Human Resource Policy of keeping the two million work-force from unionizing is a good strategy as long as the company continues to pay its employees favorably. I don't think it would have the ability to expand and achieve the same level of success if it did not recruit and take care of employees who are top quality. The company's human resource programs are of admirable nature; they include employee advancement and employee training and development. Ultimately, Wal-marts biggest challenge is developing strategies which will keep the growth of the world's largest company.