Case 1: Wal-Mart: The Main Street Merchant of Doom Wal-Mart: it‟s a familiar name to most Americans

, as well as some citizens of other parts of the world. Since its beginning in 1962, Wal-Mart stores have spread throughout the United States and even operate international stores in nearly a dozen of other countries throughout the world (Carroll and Buchholtz 772-77). Currently, over 7200 Wal-Mart stores operate worldwide (“Wal-Mart 2009 Annual Report” 4-7). Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has “four major retail divisions— Wal-Mart Supercenters, Discount Stores, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam‟s Clubs warehouses” (Carroll and Buchholtz 772). In Business & Society: Ethics and Stakeholder Management, Carroll and Buchholtz, state Wal-Mart became the “world‟s largest retailer” by 2001 (772). To some communities, Wal-Mart is “seen as a friend” while in other communities, it‟s seen as a „“billion-dollar parasite” and a “nation retail ogre”‟ (Carroll and Buchholtz 771-75). When Sam Walton began Wal-Mart, he targeted small rural towns with less than ten thousand people (Carroll and Buchholtz 772). According to Carroll and Buchholtz, he looked for towns that needed this “friend” that Wal-Mart would become to them (771). His goal was to provide loyal customer service and “fast, friendly service coupled with consistently low prices” (Carroll and Buchholtz 772). Walton‟s main goal was providing convenience and efficiency to his primary stakeholders: consumers. Wal-Mart has both external and internal stakeholders. I will discuss one main external stakeholder: consumers. Consumers are those people who shop directly at Wal-Mart stores or online at walmart.com. Consumers have a direct financial stake in Wal-Mart. Consumers, along with manufacturers, determine the level of profitability of WalMart. The amount of profit Wal-Mart makes depends, more or less, on how much or how little the consumers spend. Consumers, especially in small rural towns, depend on Wal-Mart to provide them with the basic things they need (Carroll and Buchholtz 772). Consumers rely on

Some communities are standing and waiting for Wal-Mart with open arms. The people responded. Carroll and Buchholtz. When a new WalMart is being constructed. and Kim 64-78).Wal-Mart as much as Wal-Mart relies on them. “It (Wal-Mart) is the biggest employer in 21 states. Someone has to pour the cement. underserved rural towns with populations of no more than ten thousand people. . it could affect some consumers. products. Although there is some controversy about Wal-Mart putting small downtown businesses out of business. According to Business & Society: Ethics and Stakeholder Management. If Wal-Mart were to change their store hours to 9am-5pm. Therefore.S.” which visit stores on a regularly weekly basis (779). Wal-Mart has millions of supporters. etc. When “Sam Walton opened his first store in Rogers.” he had a goal to target “small. it also provides thousands of people with jobs. Schlosser. People were grateful for the Wal-Mart. wire the building. certain consumers may not even be able to shop at Wal-Mart due to conflicts in work schedules. changes in hours. and Wal-Mart soon developed a core of loyal customers who love the fast. making it a primary stakeholder. with more people in uniform than the U. etc. state that part of Walton‟s cultures included: “exceeding customer expectations” and “helping people make a difference (772). Army” (Useem. On one hand. Wal-Mart is providing jobs before it even opens its doors. there are often hundreds of construction workers and other related employees working to build the Wal-Mart. payment methods.. “in spite of its challenges. friendly service coupled with consistently low prices” (Carroll and Buchholtz 772). Arkansas. install doors. According to Carroll and Buchholtz. Perhaps. can affect the average consumer. They enjoyed the convenience that Wal-Mart brought to them as well as Walton‟s philosophy of making customers feel like they are at home when shopping (Carroll and Buchholtz 772). a lot of people feel that Wal-Mart is a friend to their communities.

some business and communities dread “the winds of the „Wal-Mart Way‟” (Carroll and Buchholtz 774). and Wal-Mart just comes and takes over. Wal-Mart began to be socially responsible for the environment by making shelf tags from “100 percent recycled paper” in hopes of informing customers about Wal-Mart‟s efforts to be environmentally safe (Carroll and Buchholtz 774). One of the biggest complaints of communities is that Wal-Mart “kills” small “mom and pop” downtown merchants because they cannot compete with Wal-Mart‟s low prices (Carroll and Buchholtz 774). state that „“downtowns will never again be the providers of the basic consumer goods and services they once were”‟ (774). into their stores to scribble down prices and lists of merchandise” (Carroll and Buchholtz 775). air and water” (Carroll and Buchholtz 774). Although Wal-Mart is typically very beneficial to small. Carroll and Buchholtz say that some retailers believe the methods that Wal-Mart uses/d to compete with their competitors left “bad tastes” in their mouths (775). As issues of environmental awareness grew. quoting Kennedy Smith. On the other hand. Carroll and Buchholtz. These small stores have been around for years. Carroll and Buchholtz state that Wal-Mart began to carry some of the same merchandise that small retailers carried in their stores only at discount prices (775). that “Wal-Mart sent employees. Millions of Wal-Mart shoppers feel Wal-Mart is socially responsible for their actions and provides high value (Carroll and Buchholtz 779).Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is defined as “seriously considering the impact of the company‟s actions on society” (Carroll and Buchholtz 35). Retailers told Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Corporate social responsibility is very important in a business. Sam Walton began to think environmentally and made commitments to “land. underserved rural towns because of the “variety of product choices” and convenience. wearing name tags and smocks. not every community feels a Wal-Mart .

I shop at Wal-Mart at least once every week.” I have no opposition to the expansion of Wal-Mart stores throughout cities in the United States or other countries of the world. felt that Wal-Mart‟s low-cost reputation just didn‟t fit in well with their community (Carroll and Buchholtz 774). I am an avid shopper. This is where Wal-Mart falls into play. the population. We may have to cut back on spending or sacrifice things that once used to comfort us. What more could one ask for? As the economy changes. change as well. if not twice a week. Consumers could benefit from the development of new products and services. Wal-Mart is not only a discount store. I feel that Wal-Mart‟s low costs and convenience are comforts to the average consumer in our fast-paced lives. Some resort communities. If I were to sum Wal-Mart up in two words. the ways we live our lives may change as well. it is also a . After looking at both sides. they would be cheap and convenient. and Wal-Mart takes the work out of that concept.” “The money that consumers save on purchases at WalMart” nutures “the demand for and enabling the consumption of new kinds of goods and services” (Paruchuri. such as Steamboat Springs. Baum. I feel Wal-Mart is a “friend. and Potere 3-5). I say that I am a supporter of Wal-Mart. Some communities opposed the expansions of WalMart to their areas because “they wanted to insulate their unique cultures from what they considered to be the offensive consumerism that is usually generated by Wal-Mart‟s presence (Carroll and Buchholtz 776). “Wal-Mart‟s biggest and most obvious effect is that it offers lower prices to consumers (Basker 2005b). People look for ways to save money. I do not feel like Wal-Mart is dooming our world. Colorado.would benefit them (Carroll and Buchholtz 776). Increasing demand and consumption will not only be advantageous to Wal-Mart but to consumers as well. As unemployment and the cost of living rises in this country. we.

I do feel empathy for small downtown “mom and pop” shops owners because no one wants his/her business to be unsuccessful. Most do not even have a computer in the shop. Shop owners operate in hopes of serving their local community and to make a living. then. most small “mom and pop” stores lack current technology. With small “mom and pop” stores. It can become inconvenient and time consuming. They should let the others that can keep up with these changes thrive and prosper. we. He knew what was selling and where it was selling. Wal-Mart uses an “extensive computer network system” that enables “round-the-clock inventory control and credit card sales control” (Carroll and Buchholtz 772). consumers may have to visit more than one store to fulfill all their needs on their grocery lists. Consumers can go to one store for most of their needs. They should not fight the inevitable. If a company cannot or does not want to keep up with the changes in technology. To me. Our economy is becoming a computerized one. . the population as a whole. I feel as technology evolves. Carroll and Buchholtz state that Walton used the information he obtained from this system to determine the total sales of his products and where they sold (772).. and I feel this helps Wal-Mart is its thrive of the nation. Computers are beginning to run our lives. This tool is a great asset for any business owner.large food retailer/grocery store. they should probably stop competing. should evolve as well. I feel we need this technology to thrive in life.

OH: South-Western Cengage Learning. Buchholtz. Useem. "TheWal-Mart Effect:Wave of Destruction or Creative Destruction?" Economic Geography 85. Arkansas: Wal-Mart Stores. Srikanth. and Helen Kim.C Baum.4 (2003): 6478. and Ann K. Web.WORKS CITED Carroll. 2009. Inc. "One Nation Under Wal-Mart.2 (2009): 3-5. 7th ed. Paruchuri. Web. Academic Search Premier. 2008. and David Potere.. Bentonville. Archie B. . Joel A. Mason. Julie Schlosser. Inc. Business & Society: Ethics and Stakeholder Management. 35-776. Academic Search Premier. Annual Report. 7 July 2010." Fortune 147. Print. 7 July 2010. Wal-Mart Stores. Jerry.

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