Case Study On Walmart: The Story of The Retail Giant

You must have heard of Walmart at least once in your lifetime. Walmart is the biggest retail store chain in the world and has been in the business since 1962.  But just how big is Walmart and how did it get to where it is today? In this case study on Walmart, we will take a look at, how from humble beginnings, Walmart became the biggest retail store in the world. So, without any further ado, let’s get started. 

History Of Walmart 

The case study on Walmart has to start with the history of Walmart. The story of Walmart starts in 1945, after the Second World War. After WW2, a young man named Sam Walton left the military as a captain and started living a civilian life. He started working in a department store, J.C Penny, in 1945. He left J.C Penny and bought a branch of Ben Franklin store from Butler Brothers, where he sold products at the minimum feasible price to get a higher sales volume at a low-profit margin. His revenue increased by 45% in the first year alone to $105,000, which then increased to $145,000 in the next year and within 5 years, his store started generating a revenue of $250,000. This success was short-lived though, as his lease expired, and he had to move his store to 105 North Main Street in Bentonville and called it Walton’s Five And Dime. 

First Wal-Mart Store

After successfully running his store for a few years, Sam Walton decided to open a supermarket or a mart. On July 2, 1962, Walton opened the first Walmart at 719 West Walnut Street in Rogers, Arkansas. The name was based on Fedmart, a chain of stores owned by Sol Price. Within 5 years of opening the very first Walmart, Sam expanded the business and was running 18 stores in Arkansas with a total sales of $9 million in 1967. Then, he opened the first Walmarts outside Arkansas in 1968 in Missouri and Oklahoma. 

Turning Into A Regional Retail Giant

The case study on Walmart also tells us how it became a regional retail giant in America in the early 70s. On 31 October 1969, Walmart was incorporated under the Delaware General Corporation law and changed its name to Walmart Store. By 1970, Walmart had 38 stores with 1500 employees and an annual revenue of more than $44 million. Later, in 1970, Walmart started trading in the stock market as a publicly owned company and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1971, the first stock split occurred at $47. By this time, Walmart already had stores in 5 American states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Oklahoma. Sam kept on expanding the store, and by 1975, Walmart had entered 4 more American states: Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Texas. 

In the 80s, Walmart expanded even further and introduced Hyper-Marts. These were marts that combined the features of 4 types of stores. After this, Walmart started growing even faster and by the time of its 25th anniversary in 1987, there were 1200 Walmart stores with 200,000 employees and a whopping $15.9 billion in revenue. 

Rise To Multinational Corporation

So far in the case study of Walmart, we have seen its rise from a departmental store to a full-fledged supermarket within the USA and now it’s time to learn about the dominance of Walmart in the world. After being set in the United States of America, Walmart tried its luck somewhere other than the USA and opened its first stores outside of the USA in Mexico and Canada in 1991. The company also opened its stores in South America in Argentina and Brazil in 1995 and in Europe in 1999 by buying ASDA in the UK for $10 billion. With this, Walmart became a multinational retail store and didn’t stop there; they kept on opening new stores around the world. By 2005, it had over 6500 stores and 1.5 million employees around the world with an annual revenue of more than $312 billion. 

Mergers And Acquisitions 

Throughout the years, Walmart has been a part of many acquisitions and mergers. 2 of the most significant are and Flipkart. So, in this case study on Walmart, we will take a look at both of these acquisitions. 

Acquisition Of Jet.Com

One of the first and most significant acquisitions by Walmart was made in 2016 when it bought an American e-commerce platform, Walmart did this to expand its services from a retail store to a full-fledged e-commerce website. Moreover, this step was taken to compete with one of Walmart’s biggest competitors, Amazon. Walmart integrated’s e-commerce services into its own operations to further expand its offerings. One of the benefits of acquiring was the addition of the company’s CEO, Marc Lore, to Walmart. 

Lore’s leadership proved to be vital in expanding Walmart’s services and under his leadership, Walmart made significant investments in its e-commerce services and also acquired other e-commerce platforms like Bonobos and Moosejaw. 

Acquisition Of Flipkart

The next acquisition in this case study on Walmart is its acquisition of Flipkart in India in 2018. Walmart tried entering the Indian retail market, but due to backlash from the government and citizens alike, it could not open its stores in India. However, Walmart answered this by buying India’s biggest e-commerce website, Flipkart. The acquisition gave Walmart, a 77% stake in Flipkart for $16 billion, making it the biggest deal in the history of e-commerce in India. 

Walmart Today

Walmart is owned by the Walton Family and they own around 55% of the company, which Sam Walton started. Today, Walmart is the largest US company by revenue and the biggest retail company in the world. It has over 11,000 stores in the world and employs around 2.3 million people. As of 2023, Walmart had an annual revenue of over $611 billion. This case study on Walmart shows us the journey of Walmart from a small departmental store in Arkansas, America, to the biggest retail store chain in the world. 

Take Away From Case Study On Walmart

Walmart is one of the biggest companies in the world and the largest retail store chain in the world. From humble beginnings in 1962, Walmart is now in more than 24 countries around the globe. Just like the success story of Zomato in India, Walmart has shown how a customer-centric business model and providing services with a minimum profit margin can help you grow in the sector of retail. We hope you liked this case study on Walmart. Feel free to comment and let us know which case study you would like to see next. 

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