Wal-Mart


Wal-Mart

Infobox Company
company_name = Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
company_
company_type = Public (nyse|WMT)
company_slogan = Save Money, Live Better.(U.S.)
We sell for less! (Canada)
foundation = 1962
founder = Sam Walton
location = Bentonville, Arkansas
area_served = Worldwide
key_people = H. Lee Scott
(CEO & President)
S. Robson Walton (Chairman)
industry = Retail
num_employees = aprox 2,100,000 ("2008")Biesada, Alex. " [http://www.hoovers.com/wal-mart/--ID__11600--/free-co-factsheet.xhtml Wal-Mart Stores, Inc] ." "Hoover's." Retrieved on October 13, 2006.]
products = Discount Stores
Supercenters
Neighborhood Markets
market c
US$ 232 Billion ("2008")cite web |url=http://zenobank.com/index.php?symbol=WMT&page=quotesearch |title=Company Profile for Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT) |accessdate=2008-09-30]
revenue = profit US$ 387.69 Billion ("2007")" [http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=WMT Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Public, NYSE:WMT)] ." "Yahoo Finance." Retrieved on March 22, 2008.]
operating_income = profit US$ 21.996 Billion ("2007")
net_income = profit US$ 12.731 Billion ("2007")
assets = profit US$ 163.514 Billion (2007)" [http://finance.google.com/finance?q=NYSE:WMT Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Public, NYSE:WMT)] ." "Google Finance." Retrieved on December 9, "2007".]
equity = profit US$ 64.608 Billion ("2007")
homepage = [http://www.walmartstores.com/ www.walmartstores.com] [http://www.walmart.com/ www.walmart.com]

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (or Walmart as written in its new logo) is an American public corporation that runs a chain of large, discount department stores. It is the world's largest public corporation by revenue, according to the 2008 Fortune Global 500.Staff Writer. " [http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2007/ Fortune Global 500] ." "CNN/Fortune." 2007. Retrieved on November 8, 2007.] Founded by Sam Walton in 1962, it was incorporated on October 31, 1969, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. It is the largest private employer in the world and the fourth largest utility or commercial employer, trailing the British National Health Service, and the Indian Railways. Wal-Mart is the largest grocery retailer in the United States, with an estimated 20% of the retail grocery and consumables business. It also owns and operates the North American company, Sam's Club.

It operates in Mexico as Walmex, in the UK as ASDA, and in Japan as Seiyu. It has wholly-owned operations in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Puerto Rico. Wal-Mart's investments outside North America have had mixed results: its operations in South America and China are highly successful, while it was forced to pull out of Germany and South Korea when ventures there were unsuccessful.

Wal-Mart has been criticized by some community groups, women's rights groups, grassroots organizations, and labor unions, specifically for its extensive foreign product sourcing, low rates of employee health insurance enrollment, resistance to union representation, and alleged sexism.

History

Sam Walton, a businessman from Arkansas, began his retail career when he started work on June 3, 1940, at a J.C. Penney store in Des Moines, Iowa where he remained for 18 months. In 1945, he met Butler Brothers, a regional retailer that owned a chain of variety stores called Ben Franklin and that offered him one in Newport, Arkansas.Walton, Sam; Huey, John. "Sam Walton: Made in America: My Story." New York: Bantam, 1993. ISBN 0-553-56283-5.]

Walton was extremely successful in running the store in Newport, far exceeding expectations. [http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/2375.html] However, when the lease came up for renewal, Walton could neither come to agreement on the existing store's lease renewal nor find a new location in Newport. Instead, he opened a new Ben Franklin franchise in Bentonville, Arkansas, but called it "Walton's Five and Dime." There he achieved higher sales volume by marking up slightly less than most competitors.Frank, T.A. " [http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=13796 A Brief History of Wal-Mart] ." "The Washington Monthly." April 1, 2006. Retrieved on July 24, 2006.]

On July 2, 1962, Walton opened the first Wal-Mart Discount City store located in Rogers, Arkansas. Within five years, the company expanded to 24 stores across Arkansas and reached $12.6 million in sales.cite web|url=http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/transform/cron.html |title=The Rise of Wal-Mart |work=Frontline: Is Wal-Mart Good for America? |date=2004-11-16 |accessdate=2007-09-19] In 1968, it opened its first stores outside Arkansas, in Sikeston, Missouri and Claremore, Oklahoma." [http://www.walmartfacts.com/content/default.aspx?id=3 The Wal-Mart Timeline] ." "Wal-Mart" (published on [http://www.walmartfacts.com/ walmartfacts.com] ). Retrieved on July 24, 2006.]

Incorporation and growth

The company was incorporated as "Wal-Mart Stores, Inc." on October 31, 1969. In 1970, it opened its home office and first distribution center in Bentonville, Arkansas. It had 38 stores operating with 1,500 employees and sales of $44.2 million. It began trading stock as a publicly-held company on October 1, 1972, and was soon listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The first stock split occurred in May 1971 at a market price of $47. By this time, Wal-Mart was operating in five states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma; it entered Tennessee in 1973 and Kentucky and Mississippi in 1974. As it moved into Texas in 1975, there were 125 stores with 7,500 employees and total sales of $340.3 million.

During the 1980s, Wal-Mart continued to grow rapidly, and by its 25th anniversary in 1987 there were 1,198 stores with sales of $15.9 billion and 200,000 associates. This year also marked the completion of the company's satellite network, a $24 million investment linking all operating units of the company with its Bentonville office via two-way voice and data transmission and one-way video communication. At the time, it was the largest private satellite network, allowing the corporate office to track inventory and sales and to instantly communicate to stores.Ranade, Sudhanshu. " [http://www.blonnet.com/2005/07/17/stories/2005071700141600.htm Satellite Adds Speed to Wal-Mart] ." "The Hindu Business Line." July 17, 2005. Retrieved on July 24, 2006] .] In 1988, Sam Walton stepped down as CEO and was replaced by David Glass. [Longo, Donald. " [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3092/is_n4_v27/ai_6348147 Wal-Mart Hands CEO Crown to Glass - David Glass] ." "Discount Store News." February 15, 1988. Retrieved on April 1, 2008.] Walton remained as Chairman of the Board, and the company also rearranged other people in senior positions.

In 1988, the first "Wal-Mart Supercenter" opened in Washington, Missouri.Staff Writer. " [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3092/is_n7_v27/ai_6524175 Wal-Mart Tests Similar Hypermarkets - Hypermart USA, Wal-Mart SuperCenter] ." "Discount Store News." March 28, 1988. Retrieved on April 19, 2007.] Thanks to its superstores, it surpassed Toys "R" Us in toy sales in the late 1990s.Byrnes, Nanette; Eidam, Michael. " [http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_13/b3876105_mz017.htm Toys 'R' Us: Beaten at Its Own Game] ." "Business Week." March 29, 2004. Retrieved on July 25, 2006.] The company also opened overseas stores, entering South America in 1995 with stores in Argentina and Brazil; and Europe in 1999, buying ASDA in the UK for $10 billion.Buerkle, Tom. " [http://www.iht.com/articles/1999/06/15/walmart.2.t.php $10 Billion Gamble in U.K. Doubles Its International Business: Wal-Mart Takes Big Leap into Europe] ." "International Herald Tribune." June 15, 1999. Retrieved on April 19, 2007.]

In 1998, Wal-Mart introduced the "Neighborhood Market" concept with three stores in Arkansas." [http://walmartstores.com/GlobalWMStoresWeb/navigate.do?catg=504&contId=47 Neighborhood Markets] ." "Wal-Mart" (website). Retrieved on April 19, 2007.] By 2005, estimates indicate that the company controlled about 20% of the retail grocery and consumables business. [Ortiz, John. " [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20051026/ai_n15715935 Can Kroger Slow Wal-Mart?] " "Deseret Morning News." October 26, 2005. Retrieved on July 25, 2006.]

In 2000, H. Lee Scott became President and CEO, and Wal-Mart's sales increased to $165 billion." [http://www.walmartstores.com/Files/annual_2000/contents/contents.html 2000 Annual Report: Net Sales] ." "Wal-Mart." Retrieved on April 19, 2007.] In 2002, it was listed for the first time as America's largest corporation on the Fortune 500 list, with revenues of $219.8 billion and profits of $6.7 billion. It has remained there every year, except for 2006.Staff Writer. " [http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2007/full_list/index.html Fortune 500] ." "CNN/Fortune." April 16, 2007. Retrieved on July 15, 2007.] Staff Writer. " [http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2006/full_list/index.html Fortune 500] ." "CNN/Fortune." April 17, 2006. Retrieved on July 15, 2007.]

In 2005, Wal-Mart had $312.4 billion in sales, more than 6,200 facilities around the world—including 3,800 stores in the United States and 2,800 elsewhere, employing more than 1.6 million "associates" worldwide. Its U.S. presence grew so rapidly that only small pockets of the country remained further than 60 miles (100 km) from the nearest Wal-Mart. [cite conference |first=Matthew |last=Zook |authorlink= |coauthors=Graham, Mark | editor-first = Stanley D. | editor-last = Brunn |title=Wal-Mart Nation: Mapping the Reach of a Retail Colossus | booktitle = Wal-Mart World: The World's Biggest Corporation in the Global Economy |pages=pp. 15–25 |publisher=Routledge |date=2006 |id=ISBN 0-415951372]

As Wal-Mart grew rapidly into the world's largest corporation, many critics worried about the effect of its stores on local communities, particularly small towns with many "mom and pop" stores. There have been several studies on the economic impact of Wal-Mart on small towns and local businesses, jobs, and taxpayers. In one, Kenneth Stone, a Professor of Economics at Iowa State University, found that some small towns can lose almost half of their retail trade within ten years of a Wal-Mart store opening.Stone, Kenneth E. (1997). " [http://www.econ.iastate.edu/faculty/stone/10yrstudy.pdf Impact of the Wal-Mart Phenomenon on Rural Communities] ". (Published in "Proceedings: Increased Understanding of Public Problems and Policies - 1997". Chicago, Illinois: Farm Foundation). "Iowa State University." Retrieved on August 4, 2006.] However, in another study, he compared the changes to what small town shops had faced in the past — including the development of the railroads, the advent of the Sears Roebuck catalog, as well as the arrival of shopping malls — and concluded that shop owners who adapt to changes in the retail market can thrive after Wal-Mart arrives. A later study in collaboration with Mississippi State University showed that there are "both positive and negative impacts on existing stores in the area where the new supercenter locates." [Stone, Kenneth E.; Georgeanne Artz, Albert Myles (2003). " [http://msucares.com/pubs/misc/m1283.pdf The Economic Impact of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Existing Businesses in Mississippi] ". "Mississippi State University." Retrieved on August 4, 2006.] (See also: )

Recent initiatives

In October 2005, Wal-Mart announced it would implement several environmental measures to increase energy efficiency. The primary goals included spending $500 million a year to increase fuel efficiency in Wal-Mart’s truck fleet by 25% over three years and double it within ten, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in seven years, reduce energy use at stores by 30%, and cut solid waste from U.S. stores and Sam’s Clubs by 25% in three years. CEO Lee Scott said that Wal-Mart's goal was to be a "good steward for the environment" and ultimately use only renewable energy sources and produce zero waste.Staff Writer. " [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9815727/ Is Wal-Mart Going Green?] " "MSNBC." October 25, 2005. Retrieved on November 8, 2007.] The company also designed three new experimental stores in McKinney, Texas, Aurora, Colorado, and Las Vegas, Nevada. with wind turbines, photovoltaic solar panels, biofuel-capable boilers, water-cooled refrigerators, and xeriscape gardens. [Berner, Robert. " [http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/sep2005/nf20050922_6448_db016.htm Can Wal-Mart Wear a White Hat?] " "BusinessWeek." September 22, 2005. Retrieved on July 24, 2006.] Despite much criticism of its environmental record, Wal-Mart took a few steps in what is viewed as a positive direction, which included becoming the biggest seller of organic milk and the biggest buyer of organic cotton in the world, as well as reducing packaging and energy costs.Gunther, Mark. " [http://money.cnn.com/2006/07/25/news/companies/wal-mart-short.fortune/ Wal-Mart sees green] ." "CNN." July 27, 2006. Retrieved on November 8, 2007.] Wal-Mart also spent nearly a year working with outside consultants to discover the company's total environmental impact and find where they could improve. They discovered, for example, that by eliminating excess packaging on their toy line Kid Connection, they could save $2.4 million a year in shipping costs, 3,800 trees, and a million barrels of oil. Wal-Mart has also recently created its own electric company in Texas, "Texas Retail Energy", and plans to supply its stores with cheap power purchased at wholesale prices. Through this new venture, the company expects to save $15 million annually and also lays the groundwork and infrastructure to sell electricity to Texas consumers in the future.Souder, Elizabeth. " [http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/817594/will_walmart_sell_electricity_one_day/index.html Will Wal-Mart Sell Electricity One Day?] ." " [http://www.redorbit.com/ RedOrbit] ." January 28, 2007. Retrieved on March 31, 2008.]

In March 2006, Wal-Mart sought to appeal to a more affluent demographic. The company launched a new Supercenter concept in Plano, Texas, intended to compete against stores seen as more upscale and appealing, such as Target. [Koenig, David. "Wal-Mart Targeting Upscale Shoppers." "ABC News." March 22, 2006.] [Staff Writer. " [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11957536/ Wal-Mart turns attention to upscale shoppers] ." "MSNBC." March 23, 2006. Retrieved on December 1, 2007.] The new store has wood floors, wider aisles, a sushi bar, a coffee/sandwich shop with free Wi-Fi Internet access, and more expensive beers, wines, electronics, and other goods. The exterior has a hunter green background behind the Wal-Mart letters, similar to Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets, instead of the blue previously used at its supercenters.

On September 12, 2007, Wal-Mart introduced new advertising with the slogan, "Save Money Live Better"," replacing the "Always Low Prices, Always" slogan, which it had used for the previous 19 years. Global Insight, which conducted the research that supported the ads, found that Wal-Mart's price level reduction resulted in savings for consumers of $287 billion in 2006, which equated to $957 per person or $2,500 per household (up 7.3% from the 2004 savings estimate of $2,329). [Staff Writer. " [http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/business/business-walmart-advertising.html?_r=1&oref=slogin Wal-Mart Rolling out New Company Slogan] ." "Reuters" via the "New York Times." September 12, 2007. Retrieved on September 26, 2007.]

On June 30, 2008, Wal-Mart unveiled a new company logo, featuring the non-hyphenated name "Walmart" followed by a stylized spark, as it is referred to on store advertisements. The new logo received mixed reviews from some design critics, who question whether the new logo is as bold as competitors such as the Target bullseye or as instantly recognizable as the former company logo, which was used for 18 years. [ [http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/less_hyphen_more_burst_for_wal.php Brand New: Less Hyphen, More Burst for Walmart ] ] The new logo made its debut on the company's "walmart.com" website on July 1, 2008, although the old logo still appears on the corporate site, "walmartstores.com". The new logo will eventually replace store logos at the company's US locations throughout the year.cite news|url=http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/jul2008/id2008072_324653.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index_news+%2B+analysis|title=Wal-Mart Gets a Facelift|last=Jana|first=Reena|date=July 2, 2008|publisher=Business Week|accessdate=2008-07-07] Wal-Mart international have not yet adopted the new logo.

ubsidiaries

Wal-Mart's operations primarily comprises three retailing subsidiaries: Wal-Mart Stores Division U.S., Sam's Club, and Wal-Mart International."PDFlink| [http://www.walmartstores.com/Files/2006_annual_report.pdf Wal-Mart 2006 Annual Report] |1.91 MiB ." "Wal-Mart." 2006. Retrieved on July 26, 2006.] The company does business in nine different retail formats: supercenters, food and drugs, general merchandise stores, bodegas (small markets), cash and carry stores, membership warehouse clubs, apparel stores, soft discount stores and restaurants.

Wal-Mart Stores Division U.S.

Wal-Mart Stores Division U.S. is Wal-Mart's largest business subsidiary, accounting for 67.2% of net sales for financial year 2006. It consists of three retail formats that have become commonplace in the United States: Discount Stores, Supercenters, and Neighborhood Markets. The retail department stores sell a variety of mostly non-grocery products, though emphasis has now shifted towards supercenters, which include more grocery items. This division also includes Wal-Mart's online retailer, "walmart.com". On February 6, 2007, the company launched a "beta" version of its new movie download service, "mediadownloads.walmart.com," which sells 3,000 films and television episodes from all major studios and television networks.Staff Writer. " [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,250417,00.html Wal-Mart Launches Online Movie Download Service] ." "Fox News." February 6, 2007. Retrieved on February 14, 2007.] This service was discontinued on December 21, 2007.Matt Richtel and Brad Stone. " [http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/01/01/business/walmart.php Wal-Mart's Movie Download Service Passes into Ignominy] ." "International Herald Tribune." January 1, 2008. Retrieved on January 2, 2008.]

Wal-Mart Discount Stores

Wal-Mart Discount Stores are discount department stores with size varying from convert|51000|sqft|m2|1 to convert|224000|sqft|m2|1, with an average store covering about convert|102000|sqft|m2|1. They carry general merchandise and a selection of food. Many of these stores also have a garden center, a pharmacy, Tire & Lube Express, optical center, one-hour photo processing lab, portrait studio, a bank branch, a cell phone store and a fast food outlet. Some also have gasoline stations.Longo, Don. " [http://www.csnews.com/csn/petroleum/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000872451 Gasoline a Logical Extension of Wal-Mart's Reach] ." " [http://www.csnews.com/ Convenience Store News] ." November 1, 2007. Retrieved on November 1, 2007.]

The first Wal-Mart store opened in Rogers, Arkansas in 1962.

In 1990, Wal-Mart opened its first "Bud's Discount City" location in Bentonville. Bud's operated as a closeout store, much like Big Lots. Many locations were opened to fulfill leases in shopping centers as Wal-Mart stores left and moved into newly-built Supercenters. All of the Bud's Discount City stores closed or converted into Wal-Mart Discount Stores by 1997. [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3092/is_n15_v36/ai_19662401 Wal-Mart shuttering 7-year old Bud's chain - Bud's Discount City | Discount Store News | Find Articles at BNET.com ] ]

As of January 31, 2008, there were 971 Wal-Mart Discount Stores in the United States. In 2006, the busiest in the world was one in Rapid City, South Dakota." [http://investor.walmartstores.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=112761&p=irol-irhome Corporate Profile] ." "Wal-Mart." Retrieved on July 26, 2006.]

Wal-Mart Supercenter

Wal-Mart Supercenters are hypermarkets with size varying from convert|98000|sqft|m2|1 to convert|261000|sqft|m2|1, with an average of about convert|197000|sqft|m2|1. These stock everything a Wal-Mart Discount Store does, and also include a full-service supermarket, including meat and poultry, baked goods, delicatessen, frozen foods, dairy products, garden produce, and fresh seafood. Many Wal-Mart Supercenters also have a garden center, pet shop, pharmacy, Tire & Lube Express, optical center, one-hour photo processing lab, portrait studio, and numerous alcove shops, such as cellular phone stores, hair and nail salons, video rental stores, local bank branches, and fast food outlets. Some also sell gasoline; distributors include Murphy Oil Corporation (whose Wal-Mart stations are branded as "Murphy USA"), Sunoco, Inc. ("Optima"), or Tesoro Corporation ("Mirastar").

The first Supercenter opened in 1988 in Washington, Missouri. A similar concept, "Hypermart USA", opened in Garland, Texas a year earlier. All of the Hypermart USA stores were later closed or converted into Supercenters.

As of January 31, 2008, there were 2,447 Wal-Mart Supercenters in the United States. The nation's largest Supercenter, covering convert|260000|sqft|m2 and two floors, is located in Crossgates Commons in Albany, New York. [ [http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8VGL2Q00.htm "Upstate NY is home to biggest Wal-Mart."] "Business Week". March 19, 2008. Retrieved on March 20, 2008.]

Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market

----Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets are grocery stores that average about convert|42000|sqft|m2|1. They offer a variety of products, which include full lines of groceries, pharmaceuticals, health and beauty aids, photo developing services, and a limited selection of general merchandise.

Neighborhood Markets are used to fill the gap between Discount Stores and Supercenters.

The first Neighborhood Market opened in 1998 in Bentonville, Arkansas. As of January 31, 2008, there were 132 of them in the United States.

am's Club

Sam's Club is a chain of warehouse clubs which sell groceries and general merchandise, often in large quantities. Sam's Club stores are "membership" stores and most customers buy annual memberships. However, non-members can make purchases either by buying a one-day membership or paying a surcharge based on the price of the purchase." [http://pressroom.samsclub.com/content/?id=3&atg=524 About Sam's Club] ." " [http://www.samsclub.com/ www.samsclub.com] ." Retrieved on November 1, 2007.] Some locations also sell gasoline. The first Sam's Club opened in 1983 in Midwest City, Oklahoma under the name "Sam's Wholesale Club".

Sam's has found a niche market in recent years as a supplier to small businesses. All Sam's Club stores are open early hours exclusively for business members and their slogan is "We're in Business for Small Business."

According to Wal-Mart's 2007 Annual Report, Sam's Club's sales during 2007 were $42 billion, or 12.1% of Wal-Mart's total 2007 sales." [http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/11/112761/2007_AR.pdf 2007 Annual Report] ." (PDF). "Wal-Mart." Retrieved on November 1, 2007.] As of January 31, 2008, there were 591 Sam's Clubs in the United States.

Wal-Mart International

Wal-Mart's international operations currently comprise 2,980 stores in 14 countries outside the United States." [http://www.walmartstores.com/GlobalWMStoresWeb/navigate.do?catg=14 Wal-Mart International] ." "Wal-Mart." Retrieved on December 2, 2007.] According to Wal-Mart's 2006 Annual Report, the International division accounted for about 20.1% of sales. There are wholly-owned operations in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Puerto Rico (although PR is part of the US, the company's operations there are managed through its international division), and the UK. With 1.8 million employees worldwide, the company is the largest private employer in the US and Mexico, and one of the largest in Canada.PDFlink| [http://www.walmartfacts.com/FactSheets/7262006_Corporate_Facts.pdf Wal-Mart Corporate Facts] |48.7 KiB ." "Wal-Mart." Retrieved on August 12, 2006.]

Wal-Mart has operated in Canada since its acquisition of the Woolco division of Woolworth Canada, Inc in 1994. [" [http://www.walmartcanada.ca/wps-portal/storelocator/Canada-About_Walmart.jsp Company Profile] ." "Wal-Mart Canada." Retrieved on September 12, 2006.] In 2007, it operates at 278 locations, employing 70,000 Canadians, with a local home office in Mississauga, Ontario. On November 8, 2006, Wal-Mart Canada's first three Supercentres (spelled as in Canadian English) opened in Hamilton, London, and Aurora, Ontario. As of January 31, 2007, there were six Wal-Mart Supercentres in Canada. As of November 30, 2006, there were six Sam's Clubs in Ontario, in London, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Cambridge, Pickering, and Toronto). In December 2006, conversion of a Wal-Mart Discount Store into a Wal-Mart Supercentre began in Lethbridge, Alberta, making it the seventh in Canada and the first in western Canada.

Sales in 2006 for Wal-Mart's UK subsidiary, ASDA (which retains the name it had before acquisition by Wal-Mart), accounted for 42.7% of sales of Wal-Mart's international division. In contrast to Wal-Mart's US operations, ASDA was originally and still remains primarily a grocery chain, but with a stronger focus on non-food items than most UK supermarket chains other than Tesco. At the end of 2007, ASDA had 340 stores, some of which are branded ASDA Wal-Mart Supercentres, as well as ASDA Supermarkets, ASDA Living, George High Street and ASDA Essentials stores." [http://www.asda-corporate.com/customer-services/faq.asp Customer Services: Frequently Asked Questions] ." " [http://www.asda.com/ ASDA] ." Retrieved on November 1, 2007.]

In addition to its wholly-owned international operations, Wal-Mart has joint ventures in China and several majority-owned subsidiaries. Wal-Mart's majority-owned subsidiary in Mexico is Walmex. In Japan, Wal-Mart owns about 53% of Seiyu." [http://ccbn.10kwizard.com/xml/download.php?repo=tenk&ipage=4486902&format=PDF Wal-Mart Reports Third Quarter Sales and Earnings] ." "Wal-Mart." November 14, 2006. Retrieved on November 14, 2006.] Additionally, Wal-Mart owns 51% of the Central American Retail Holding Company (CARHCO), consisting of more than 360 supermarkets and other stores in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica." [http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/104169/000119312506066792/d10k.htm Wal-Mart SEC Form 10-K] ." "United States Securities and Exchange Commission." January 31, 2006. Retrieved on July 26, 2006.]

In 2004, Wal-Mart bought the 116 stores in the Bompreço supermarket chain in northeastern Brazil. In late 2005, it took control of the Brazilian operations of Sonae Distribution Group through its new subsidiary, WMS Supermercados do Brasil, thus acquiring control of the Nacional and Mercadorama supermarket chains, the leaders in the Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná states, respectively. None of these was rebranded. As of August 2006, Wal-Mart operates 71 Bompreço stores, 27 Hiper-Bompreço stores, 15 Balaio stores, and three Hiper-Magazines (all originally parts of Bompreço). It also runs 19 Wal-Mart Supercenters, 13 Sam's Club stores, and two Todo Dia stores. With the acquisition of Bompreço and Sonae, Wal-Mart is currently the third largest supermarket chain in Brazil, behind Carrefour and Pão de Açúcar." [http://www.walmartstores.com/GlobalWMStoresWeb/navigate.do?catg=373 Brazil Operations] ." "Wal-Mart." October 2007. Retrieved on November 1, 2007.]

In July 2006, Wal-Mart announced its withdrawal from Germany due to sustained losses in a highly competitive market. The stores were sold to the German company Metro during Wal-Mart's fiscal third quarter.Staff Writer. " [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5223432.stm Wal-Mart Abandons German Venture] ." "BBC News." July 28, 2006. Retrieved on July 31, 2006 ]

In November 2006, Wal-Mart announced a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises to open retail stores in India. As foreign corporations are not allowed to directly enter the retail sector in India, Wal-Mart will operate through franchises and handle the wholesale end. A. Giridharadas, S. Rai, " [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/27/business/worldbusiness/27cnd-walmart.html Wal-Mart to Open Hundreds of Stores in India] ", "The New York Times." November 27, 2006. Retrieved on November 27, 2006.] The partnership will involve two joint ventures; Bharti will manage the front end involving opening of retail outlets, while Wal-Mart will take care of the back end, such as cold chains and logistics.

Private label brands

About 40% of products sold in Wal-Mart are private label store brands, or products offered by Wal-Mart and produced through contracts with manufacturers. Wal-Mart began offering private label brands in 1991 with the launch of Sam's Choice, a brand of drinks produced by Cott Beverages exclusively for Wal-Mart. Sam's Choice quickly became popular, and by 1993 was the third beverage brand in the United States.Staff Writer. " [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3092/is_n19_v32/ai_14495621 Sam's Choice Climbs Beverage Brand List - Wal-Mart's Sam's American Choice Beverage Brand] ." "Discount Store News." October 4, 1993. Retrieved on April 20, 2007.] Other Wal-Mart brands include Great Value and Equate in the US and Canada, and Smart Price in Britain. A 2006 study talked of "the magnitude of mind-share Wal-Mart appears to hold in shoppers' minds when it comes to awareness of private label brands and retailers." [Reyes, Sonia. " [http://brandweek.com/bw/news/spotlight/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003020035&imw=Y Study: Wal-Mart Private Brands Are Catching On] ." "Brandweek." August 21, 2006. Retrieved on August 23, 2006.]

Corporate affairs

Wal-Mart's business model is based on selling a wide variety of general merchandise at "always low prices." The company refers to its employees as "associates". All Wal-Mart stores in the US and Canada also have designated "greeters", who welcome shoppers at the store entrance. [Mikkelson, Barbara. " [http://www.snopes.com/language/eponyms/codeadam.htm Code Adam] ." "Snopes." December 31, 1998. Retrieved on August 3, 2006.]

In June, 2007. Wal-Mart announced it was retiring the blue vest its 1.5 million associates wear, and replacing it with khakis and polos. The replacement was to help Wal-Mart increase sales.

Unlike many other retailers, Wal-Mart does not charge a slotting fee to suppliers for their products to appear in the store.Nelson, Emily. " [http://www.columbia.edu/~ss957/media_ref_pages/TooManyChoices.html Too Many Choices — Nine Kinds of Kleenex Tissue, Eggo Waffles in 16 Flavors: Blame Brand Managers] ." "Wall Street Journal." April 20, 2001. Retrieved on August 1, 2006.] Instead, it focuses on selling more popular products and often pressures store managers to drop unpopular products, as well as asking manufacturers to supply more popular products. More than 70% of the goods sold in Wal-Mart are manufactured in China.Jiang, Jingjing. " [http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-11/29/content_395728.htm Wal-Mart's China Inventory to Hit US$18b This Year] ." "China Daily." November 29, 2004. Retrieved on October 3, 2007.] Gogoi, Pallavi. " [http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/jul2005/nf20050726_3613_db016.htm Wal-Mart's China Card] ." "Business Week." July 26, 2005. Retrieved on October 3, 2007.]

On September 14, 2006, the company announced that it would phase out its layaway program, citing declining use and increased costs. [Staff Writer. " [http://www.walmartfacts.com/articles/4438.aspx Wal-Mart Will Phase Out Layaway Program] ." "Wal-Mart." September 14, 2006. Retrieved on October 8, 2006.] Layaway ceased to be offered on November 19, 2006, and required merchandise pickup by December 8, 2006. Wal-Mart now focuses on other payment options, such as increased use of six- and twelve-month, zero-interest financing. The layaway location in most stores is now used for Wal-Mart's Site-To-Store program, which was introduced in March 2007. This enables "walmart.com" customers to buy goods online with a free shipping option, and have goods shipped to the nearest store for pickup.McCarthy, Caroline. " [http://www.news.com/2110-1030_3-6164619.html Free Shipping from Walmart.com...with Store Pickup] ." "c|net." March 6, 2007. Retrieved on November 1, 2007.]

Financial

In 2006, Wal-Mart was 67th most profitable corporation (profits divided by total revenue), behind retailers Home Depot, Dell, and Target, and ahead of Costco and Kroger.Staff Writer. " [http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2006/full_list/ Fortune Global 500] ." "CNN/Fortune." July 24, 2006. Retrieved on July 25, 2006.] For the fiscal year ending January 31, 2006, Wal-Mart reported a net income of $12 billion on $340 billion of sales revenue (3.5% profit margin)." [http://investor.walmartstores.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=112761&p=irol-newsArticle_Print&ID=819386&highlight= Wal-Mart Reports Record Fourth Quarter Sales and Earnings] ." "Wal-Mart." February 21, 2006. Retrieved on July 25, 2006.] For the fiscal year ending January 31, 2006, Wal-Mart's international operations accounted for about 20.1% of total sales.As of July 10, 2008, net sales for the 22-week period ending July 04, 2008 was $166.3 billion, up 9.6% from the previous year's results." [http://walmartstores.com/FactsNews/NewsRoom/8429.aspx June Sales] ." "Wal-Mart." July 10, 2008.]

Governance

Wal-Mart is governed by a fifteen-member Board of Directors, which is elected annually by shareholders. Robson Walton, the eldest son of founder Sam Walton, serves as Chairman of the Board. Lee Scott, the Chief Executive Officer, serves on the board as well. Other members of the board include Aída Álvarez, James Breyer, Michele Burns, James Cash, Roger Corbett, Douglas Daft, David Glass, Roland Hernandez, Allen Questrom, Jack Shewmaker, Jim Walton, Christopher Williams, and Linda Wolf." [http://www.walmartstores.com/AboutUs/7622.aspx Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. — Board of Directors] ." "Wal-Mart." Retrieved on April 16, 2008.]

Notable former members of the board include Hillary Clinton (1985–1992) [Harkavy, Ward. " [http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0021,harkavy,15052,5.html Wal-Mart's First Lady] ." "The Village Voice." May 24, 2000. Retrieved on August 3, 2006.] and Tom Coughlin (2003–2004), the latter having served as Vice Chairman. Clinton left the board before the 1992 U.S. Presidential Election, and Coughlin left in December 2005 after pleading guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Wal-Mart. [Boulden, Jennifer. " [http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=a574eQ1zemuk&refer=top_world_news Wal-Mart Former Vice Chairman Coughlin Admits Fraud] ." "Bloomberg." January 31, 2006. Retrieved on August 3, 2006.] On August 11, 2006, he was sentenced to 27 months of home confinement, five years of probation, and ordered to pay $411,000 in restitution. [Staff Writer. "waybackdate|site=http://money.cnn.com/2006/08/11/news/newsmakers/walmart.reut/index.htm?cnn=yes|title=Former Wal-Mart Exec Sentenced|date=20060828081306." "CNN." August 11, 2006. Retrieved on August 11, 2006.]

Competition

In North America, Wal-Mart's primary competition includes department stores like Kmart, Target, ShopKo, Meijer, and Canada's Zellers, Winners, and Giant Tiger. Competitors of Wal-Mart's Sam's Club division are Costco, and the smaller BJ's Wholesale Club chain operating mainly in the eastern US. Wal-Mart's move into the grocery business in the late 1990s also set it against major supermarket chains in both the United States and Canada. Several smaller retailers, primarily dollar stores, such as Family Dollar and Dollar General, have been able to find a small niche market and compete successfully against Wal-Mart for home consumer sales. [Stilgoe, John. " [http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2003/11/23/wal_mart_giant_can_be_tamed?mode=PF Wal-Mart Giant Can Be Tamed] ." "The Boston Globe." November 23, 2003. Retrieved on January 11, 2006.] In 2004, Wal-Mart responded by testing its own dollar store concept, a subsection of some stores called "Pennies-n-Cents." [Berner, Robert. " [http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_19/b3882086.htm Out-Discounting the Discounter] ." "Business Week." May 10, 2004.]

Wal-Mart also had to face fierce competition in some foreign markets. For example, in Germany it had captured just 2% of German food market following its entry into the market in 1997 and remained "a secondary player" behind Aldi with a 19% share.Ewing, Jack. " [http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_15/b3928086_mz054.htm Wal-Mart: Struggling in Germany] ." "BusinessWeek." April 11, 2005. Retrieved on July 27, 2006.] In July 2006, Wal-Mart announced its withdrawal from Germany. Its stores were sold to German company Metro. Wal-Mart continues to do well in the UK, and its ASDA subsidiary is the second largest chain after Tesco.Fairlamb, David with Laura Cohn " [http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_40/b3852011_mz001.htm A Bumpy Ride in Europe] ." "BusinessWeek." October 6, 2003. Retrieved on July 27, 2006.]

In May 2006, after entering the South Korean market in 1998, Wal-Mart withdrew and sold all 16 of its South Korean outlets to Shinsegae, a local retailer, for $882 million. Shinsegae re-branded the Wal-Marts as E-mart stores.Sang-Hun, Choe. " [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/23/business/worldbusiness/23shop.html?ex=1306036800&en=af8236900d13fd8d&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss Wal-Mart Selling Stores and Leaving South Korea] ." "New York Times." May 23, 2006. Retrieved on December 2, 2007.]

Wal-Mart struggled to export its brand elsewhere as it rigidly tried to reproduce its model overseas. In China, Wal-Mart hopes to succeed by adapting and doing things preferable to Chinese citizens. For example, it found that Chinese consumers preferred to select their own live fish and seafood; stores began displaying the meat uncovered and installed fish tanks, leading to higher sales.Trunick, Perry A. " [http://www.logisticstoday.com/displayStory.asp?sNO=7650 Wal-Mart Reinvents Itself in China] ." " [http://www.logisticstoday.com/ Logistics Today] ." January 2006. Retrieved on November 1, 2007.]

In addition, under heavy pressure from the Chinese government, Wal-Mart accepted a form of organized labor in China. Chinese labor unions do not negotiate contracts but simply pay dues to the government, "to secure the social order." However, Chinese consumers may be more open to Americana than shoppers in Europe. [Naughton, Keith. " [http://www.newsweek.com/id/45140 The Great Wal-Mart of China] ." "Newsweek." October 30, 2006. Retrieved on November 1, 2007.]

Customer base

Each week, about 100 million customers, nearly one-third of the U.S. population, visit Wal-Mart's U.S. stores.Zimmerman, Ann; Hudson, Kris. " [http://wsjclassroom.com/monday/mx_06apr17.pdf#search=%22wal-mex%20customer%20demographics%22 Managing Wal-Mart] ." (PDF). April 17, 2006. Retrieved on April 3, 2007.] Wal-Mart customers give low prices as the most important reason for shopping there, reflecting the "Low prices, always" advertising slogan that Wal-Mart used from 1962 until 2006.Barbaro, Michael. " [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/02/business/02walmart.html?ex=1330491600&en=5a72ddc69030ce62&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss It’s Not Only about Price at Wal-Mart] ." "New York Times." March 2, 2007. Retrieved on April 3, 2007.] The average US Wal-Mart customer's income is below the national average, and analysts recently estimated that more than one-fifth of them lack a bank account, twice the national rate. [Weston, Liz Pulliam. " [http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Banking/Betterbanking/P109171.asp The Basics: National Bank of Wal-Mart?] " "MSN Money." Retrieved on April 3, 2007.] A Wal-Mart financial report in 2006 also indicated that Wal-Mart customers are sensitive to higher utility costs and gas prices.Schumacher, Carol; Tureman, Pauline; Clark, Sarah. " [http://investor.walmartstores.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=112761&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=895785 Wal-Mart Reports Second Quarter Sales and Earnings] ." "Wal-Mart." August 15, 2006. Retrieved on April 3, 2007.] A poll before the 2004 US Presidential Election indicated that 76% of voters who shopped at Wal-Mart once a week planned to vote for George W. Bush, while only 23% planned to vote for John Kerry." [http://www.zogby.com/News/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1157 Zogby: Bush Job Approval—34%] ." "Zogby International." August 16, 2006. Retrieved on April 3, 2007.] When measured against other similar retailers in the U.S., frequent Wal-Mart shoppers were rated the most politically conservative. [Birchall, Jonathan; Yeager, Holly. "A Purchase on Psephology." "Financial Times." August 17, 2006. Page 9, US edition.]

In 2006, Wal-Mart took steps to expand its US customer base, announcing a modification in its US stores from a "one-size-fits-all" merchandising strategy to one designed to "reflect each of six demographic groupsndash African-Americans, the affluent, empty-nesters, Hispanics, suburbanites and rural residents."" [http://www.cnbc.com/id/14714027/for/cnbc Wal-Mart to Drop One-Size-Fits-All Approach] ." "CNBC." 2006. Retrieved on April 3, 2007.] Around six months later, it unveiled a new slogan:" "Saving people money so they can live better lives". This reflects the three main groups into which Wal-Mart categorizes its 200 million customers: "brand aspirationals" (people with low incomes who are obsessed with names like KitchenAid), "price-sensitive affluents" (wealthier shoppers who love deals), and "value-price shoppers" (people who like low prices and cannot afford much more). Wal-Mart has also made steps to appeal to more liberal customers, for example, by rejecting the American Family Association's recommendations and carrying the DVD "Brokeback Mountain," a love story between two gay cowboys in Wyoming." [http://www.cbc.ca/arts/story/2006/04/06/brokeback-walmart-protest.html Wal-Mart Selling 'Brokeback' DVD Despite Anti-Gay Protest] ." CBC. April 6, 2006. Retrieved on April 3, 2007.]

Employee and labor relations

Labor unions, Christian organizations, [Sellers, Jeff M. " [http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/116/52.0.html Women Against Wal-Mart] ." "Christianity Today." April 22, 2005. Retrieved July 31, 2006.] [Sellers, Jeff M. " [http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/005/17.40.html Deliver Us from Wal-Mart?] ." "Christianity Today." April 22, 2005. Retrieved on July 31, 2006.] and environmental groupsKabel, Marcus. " [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/18/AR2006071800981.html Wal-Mart, Critics Slam Each Other on Web] ." "Washington Post." July 18, 2006. Retrieved on July 31, 2006.] have criticized Wal-Mart for its policies and/or business practices. In particular, several labor unions blame Wal-Mart workers' unwillingness to join their organizations on the company's anti-union stance. Others disapprove of the corporation's extensive foreign product sourcing, treatment of employees and product suppliers, environmental practices, and use of public subsidies, and the impact of stores on the local economies of towns in which they operate. [Copeland, Larry. " [http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/2006-03-15-young-walmart-usat_x.htm Wal-Mart's Hired Advocate Takes Flak] ." "USA Today." March 13, 2006. Retrieved on July 31, 2006.] [Rodino Associates. " [http://www.lacity.org/council/cd13/houscommecdev/cd13houscommecdev239629107_04262005.pdf Final Report on Research for Big Box Retail/Superstore Ordinance] ." "Los Angeles City Council." October 28, 2003. Retrieved on July 31, 2006.] [Smith, Hedrick." [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/secrets/shots.html Who Calls the Shots in the Global Economy?] " "PBS." Retrieved on July 31, 2006.]

In 2005, labor unions created several websites and organizations to shed new lighthuh on Wal-Mart. These included Wake Up Wal-Mart (United Food and Commercial Workers) and Wal-Mart Watch (Service Employees International Union). By the end of 2005, Wal-Mart launched Working Families for Wal-Mart, an operation managed by Wal-Mart to tell the company's side of the story. Additional efforts to counter criticism included a PR campaign in 2005, managed through its PR website walmartfacts.com, [" [http://www.walmartfacts.com/ walmartfacts.com (official public relations website)] ." "Wal-Mart." Retrieved on August 1, 2006.] as well as several television commercials. The company retained the PR firm Edelman to respond to negative media attention,Barnaro, Michael. " [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/01/business/01walmart.ready.html?ex=1288501200&en=ec9edfc5f2f9841f&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss A New Weapon for Wal-Mart: A War Room] ." "New York Times." November 1, 2005. Retrieved on August 1, 2006.] and started interacting directly with bloggers by sending them news, suggesting topics for postings, and sometimes inviting them to visit its corporate headquarters.Barbaro, Michael. " [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/07/technology/07blog.html?ex=1299387600&en=ae7585374bf280b9&ei=5088 Wal-Mart Enlists Bloggers in P.R. Campaign] ." "New York Times." March 7, 2006. Retrieved on August 1, 2006.]

Full-time Wal-Mart employees earn an average of $10.11 per hour,cite web
url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13600024/
title=Wal-Mart backs hike to minimum wage
accessdate=2008-06-24
author=Associated Press
date=2006-06-28
work=U.S. Business
publisher=MSNBC
archiveurl=http://www.webcitation.org/5Yo7XBaPB
archivedate=2008-06-24
quote=Wal-Mart says it pays well above the minimum wage — an average of $10.11 an hour for full-time employees in the U.S.
] potentially supplemented by quarterly bonuses of up to $1000 through the retailer's "My$hare" program. [cite web
url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17734994/
title=Wal-Mart doles out bonuses to hourly staff
accessdate=2008-06-24
author=Associated Press
date=2007-03-22
work=U.S. Business
publisher=MSNBC
archiveurl=http://www.webcitation.org/5Yo97QBj3
archivedate=2008-06-24
quote=
] But critics point out that the starting pay can be far loweremdashplacing some employees with children below the poverty lineemdashand that payrates do not rise as quickly as with unionized companies. Others decry low levels of health coverage or overpriced health insurance, though the company reports that it offers rates as low as $5 per month in some areas ($9 per month nationwide) and that 92% of its associates are insured (though not necessarily through Wal-Mart). [ [http://walmartstores.com/Careers/Careers/7750.aspx Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. - Benefits ] ] Other allegations regard poor working conditions, unfavorable employer-employee relationships, and anti-union policies. Many suggest that Wal-Mart's high annual turnover-rate of ~70% shows that workers are dissatisfied and maltreated." [http://www.pbs.org/itvs/storewars/stores3.html Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town] ." "PBS." Retrieved on February 24, 2007.]

In response, Jay Nordlinger of "National Review" argues that Wal-Mart is attacked simply because it is a leader of the Fortune 500 list or the largest employer in America, and a "free-market success story". [Nordlinger, Jay. (August 5, 2004). " [http://www.nationalreview.com/nordlinger/nordlinger200404050842.asp The New Colossus] ." "National Review." Retrieved on November 20, 2006.] Penn & Teller devoted an episode of to an analysis of Wal-Mart criticism as a social movement. They theorized that despite the noble rhetoric, the real motivation of "Wal-Mart haters" was rooted in human psychology. They suggested that hating Wal-Mart permits a person "to feel better about themselves" for three main reasons: They "don't run a greedy international conglomerate", they aren't Wal-Mart workers, widely considered "low-skilled, minimum wage drones", and they aren't Wal-Mart customers thought of as "toothless, welfare-getting hillbillies". ["Penn & Teller: Bullshit", Season 5, Episode 2.] Wal-Mart stores are unionized in every country outside of North America.Lichtenstein, Nelson. 2006. Wal-Mart: The Face of Twenty-First-Century Capitalism. New Press.]

Wal-Mart has opposed the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would make it easier for workers to unionize. In mid-2008, the company required store managers and department heads to attend meetings at which opposition to the EFCA was used as a fulcrum for criticism of Democratic candidates in the elections for the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as of the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee, Senator Barack Obama. At these meetings, Wal-Mart human resources managers warned that Democratic victories might result in passage of the EFCA and hence more unionization. At one meeting, a Wal-Mart customer service supervisor from Missouri stated, "I am not telling you how to vote, but if the Democrats win, this bill will pass and you won't have a vote on whether you want a union.Citation| last = Zimmerman| first = Ann | last2 = Maher| first2 = Kris| title = Wal-Mart Warns of Democratic Win| newspaper = The Wall Street Journal| pages = A1| year = 2008| date = August 1, 2008| url = http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121755649066303381.html] A Wal-Mart spokesman, while acknowledging that the meetings were taking place nationwide, said, "If anyone representing Wal-Mart gave the impression we were telling associates how to vote, they were wrong and acting without approval." Several labor-rights groups including the AFL-CIO have asked the Federal Election Commission to investigate whether Wal-Mart broke federal election rules by advocating against Democratic candidate Barack Obama in meetings with employees. [ [http://newswise.com/articles/view/543539/ Wal-Mart Put Chill on Expression in Workplace, Says Professor] Newswise, Retrieved on August 17, 2008.]

Diversity

Wal-Mart is currently facing a gender discrimination lawsuit, "Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.", which alleges that female employees were discriminated against in matters regarding pay and promotions. In February 2007, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a 2–1 ruling which affirmed a lower court ruling to certify the case as a class-action lawsuit; plaintiffs estimate that about 1.6 million women could be included in the suit." [http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2007/2/6/130433.shtml Wal-Mart Faces Class-Action Lawsuit] ." "Associated Press." February 6, 2007 Retrieved on February 11, 2007.] Staff Writer. " [http://money.cnn.com/2007/02/06/news/companies/walmart/?postversion=2007020617 Wal-Mart to Appeal Discrimination Suit Status] ." "CNNMoney.com." February 6, 2007. Retrieved on February 11, 2007.] According to a consultant hired by plaintiffs in a sex discrimination lawsuit,Conlin, Michelle. " [http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/01_29/b3741080.htm Is Wal-Mart Hostile to Women?] " "Business Week." July 16, 2001. Retrieved on October 1, 2006.] Zellner, Wendy. " [http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_09/b3822067_mz021.htm No Way to Treat a Lady?] " "Business Week." March 3, 2003. Retrieved on October 1, 2006.] in 2001, Wal-Mart's EEOC filings showed that female employees made up 65% of Wal-Mart's hourly-paid workforce, but only 33% of its management. Just 35% of its store managers were women, whereas 57% were at comparable retailers. The economist Marc Bendick Jr described the ratio of women store managers in 2001 as below that of comparable companies in 1975. On April 3, 2007, Wal-Mart reported that female employees were now 61% of its workforce and 40% of its management. " [http://www.walmartfacts.com/articles/4930.aspx Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Recognized as Top Company for Executive Women by the National Association for Female Executives] " "Wal-Mart." April 3, 2007. Retrieved on April 3, 2007.]

A similar lawsuit, "EEOC (Janice Smith) v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.", was filed on August 24, 2001. It accused the retailer of discriminatory hiring practices at its London, Kentucky Distribution Center, dating back to 1995." [http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/104169/000010416905000019/wmt10q_q3fy2006.htm Wal-Mart Form 10-Q] ." "United States Securities and Exchange Commission." October 31, 2005. Retrieved on May 14, 2007.] "Mauldin v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc." charges that the company's denial of health insurance coverage for birth control is unfair to female employees. In 2002, the lawsuit was granted class action status, allowing all female employees after March 2001 to file claims if they were using contraceptives." [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/08/31/health/main520436.shtml Suit Vs. Wal-Mart Made Class Action] ." "CBS News." August 31, 2002. Retrieved on November 1, 2007.]

From 2002 through 2006, Wal-Mart received steadily increasing scores on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, a measure of how companies treat LGBT employees and customers. The company's rating increased from 14% in 2002 to 43% in 2004, due to an expanded antidiscrimination policy to protect gay and lesbian employees. [Kershaw, Sarah. " [http://www.hrc.org/Content/ContentGroups/News3/20037/Wal-Mart_Sets_a_New_Policy_That_Protects_Gay_Workers.htm Wal-Mart Sets a New Policy That Protects Gay Workers] ." "New York Times." July 1, 2003. Retrieved on October 1, 2006.] The score increased to 57% in 2005, because of the company's new definition of family that included same-sex partners, [" [http://www.hrc.org/Template.cfm?Section=Press_Room&CONTENTID=24994&TEMPLATE=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm HRC Applauds Wal-Mart's Inclusive Family Policy] " (press release). "Human Rights Campaign." January 27, 2005. Retrieved on October 1, 2006.] and increased again in 2006 to a high of 65%. [" [http://www.hrc.org/Template.cfm?Section=Get_Informed2&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=33909 Corporate Equality Index] ." " [http://www.hrc.org/ Human Rights Campaign] ." 2006. Retrieved on November 2, 2006.] However, the rating for the 2008 edition dropped back to 40%, attributable to losses in two key areas: not renewing its membership in the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (which it joined in 2006), and a discrepancy from last year's study that was discovered in this year's answers and resulted in another 10-point loss (by comparison, Target scored 80% and Kmart 100%). As a result of the 40% rating, HRC encouraged consumers to "strongly consider other [shopping] options."DiGuglielmo, Joey. " [http://washblade.com/thelatest/thelatest.cfm?blog_id=15438 Wal-Mart Sets Record with HRC Ratings Plunge] ." "Washington Blade." November 28, 2007. Retrieved on December 3, 2007.]

In January 2006, Wal-Mart announced that "diversity efforts include new groups of minority, female and gay employees that meet at Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville to advise the company on marketing and internal promotion. There are seven Business Resource Groups: women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, Gays and Lesbians, and a disabled group." [Kabel, Marcus. " [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20060105/ai_n15996562 Wal-Mart CEO Expects Record Profits] ." "Deseret News." January 5, 2006. Retrieved on December 1, 2006.]

ee also

Advocacy groups

* Wal-Mart Watchndash a joint project of The Center for Community and Corporate Ethics studying the impact of large corporations on society
* Working Families for Wal-Martndash an advocacy group run by Wal-Mart and the Edelman public relations firm
* Wake Up Wal-Martndash a union-backed campaign group

Television

* ""ndash a 2005 documentary film by director Robert Greenwald
* Something Wall-Mart This Way Comesndash a 2004 episode of Comedy Central's "South Park"

Other

* Criticism of Wal-Mart
* Wal-Mart camelndash a bone fossil of a prehistoric camel found at a future Wal-Mart store in Mesa, Arizona
*
* Walmartingndash a neologism with three meanings
* Wal-Mart First Tee Open at Pebble Beachndash a golf tournament
* Wally Worldndash a slang term for Wal-Mart

References

External links

* [http://www.walmart.com/ Official E-Commerce Website]
* [http://www.walmartstores.com/ Official Corporate Website]
* [http://www.walmartfacts.com/ Official Public Relations Website]


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