Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart was a simple man, following simple principles and his simplicity brought him the victory. The first Walmart store was opened 50 years ago after seeing his first Walton’s 5&10 succeeding. The idea of successful business with low prices and great customer service sounded surreal to Walton’s competitors but as it turned out, the success of Walmart exceeded even Walton’s own expectations. The worlds largest private employer with only the U.S. Department of Defence and China’s People’s Liberation Army employ more people. Walmart’s fiscal revenues exceed the government budgets of all baltic states together by multiple times (that’s right). Obviously, all this success and becoming the most powerful private company does not come easy. New Walmart in town means often bankruptcy to small local businesses, hundreds of new vacancies does not equal hundreds of satisfied and happy employees with rights but in the end, Walmart’s story is a great example of American capitalism. There are losers, there are winners, locally in the US and globally. Just before you take a position, have a look how it works. It’s simple!
From the very first Walmart, “Always low prices” in the chain have been the attraction for most of its customers. So they could sell products that people use in daily lives at just a bit cheaper. Offering a mind-blowing selection of goods in Walmart is just for convenience (and as a part of successful business plan, of course!) and people tend to like it. The more of your shoppings you can do in one place, the better, right? And it’s not only just offering better price and more choice, as a result of aforementioned, it’s us, the consumers who feed Walmart. Walmart has the power to get people to overconsumption. As a result in this vicious buy-sell-produce more circle, things become so cheap there is no point in fixing broken things or thinking twice about the real needs (so do I REALLY need a banana case?) when you can just buy anything so cheap.
Actually, not everything Walmart does is bad, they do invest in sustainability and new technologies to be as productive as possible with minimal waste. Although there are critics who see this campaign as a publicity propaganda stunt, Walmart as a global and very influential giant could cut benefits from investing in greener production. Environmental activists are encouraged. Check. Furthermore, Walmart does run and fund quite a number of charities and local communities. Obviously, the amount of money that goes to charity could be a lot bigger, but it’s a business after all.
Merilin Notton, MDX Hendon