4P of Retail Marketing in Apparel Industry in India

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4P of Retail Marketing in Apparel Industry in India Powered By Docstoc
					     Cause # 1
     Wal-Mart




Team International



 Yuliya Rudenko

   Lily Nguyen

   Justin Kelly

  Martin Pirgiotis

      Jun Lee



    BUSA 499

 Prof. Chung Lee

    03/04/2008
                                                     Wal-Mart      2


Table of Contents                                      Page #

      Executive summary                                   3
      Wal-Mart background                                 4
      External Analysis                                   4
           o Five Forces of Competitiveness                4
                   Barriers to Entry                      4-5
                   Supplier Power                         5
                   Buyer Power                            5
                   Substitutes                            5
                   Rivalry                                6
                   Government Regulation                  6
           o Product/Market Positioning                    6
           o Products & Market Positioning Diagram         7
           o Sustainable                                   7
      Internal (VRIO)                                     8
           o Value                                         8
           o Rarity                                        8
           o Organization                                  9
           o Competitive and Economic Implication          9
      Major Issue                                         9
           o Problem                                       10
           o Solution 1                                    10
           o Solution 2                                    10
      Trade Offs                                          11-12
      Recommendation                                      12
      Conclusion                                          12-13
      References                                          14-15
                                                                            Wal-Mart      3


                                  Executive Summary

        Wal-Mart started off with the idea to sell low priced - high variety of products to
customers. Their success in creating a strong foothold in the industry has been excellent.
Its winning strategy was based on selling branded products at low prices. With over 5000
stores around the world, a strong foothold in the U.S, the only downside to Wal-Mart is
the bad PR that they have been receiving lately. In other aspects of the business the
company is doing very well, a valuable resource Wal-Mart has is RFID (Radio Frequency
Identification). All of Wal-Mart products have RFID, which can easily figure out how
many products they need, where the products are and how many have been sold. All of
Wal-Mart’s suppliers have to put RFID into their products, by doing this Wal-Mart can
save costs from its inventory and manage the supply chain efficiently (Niemeyer, 2003).
The PR issue is a major issue and it has caused a lot of attention in the country. One of
the main problems that Wal-Mart is currently facing is their poor brand image. If they can
overcome the bad image that the community has they have a chance to improve.
        The first problem statement is that Wal-Mart is loosing market share due to poor
image. When many people think of Wal-Mart, they think of as ruthless, money grubbing,
not paying their employees enough and cheap. Surveyed consumers ranked Wal-Mart
lowest among the major chains in a University of Michigan survey.
A solution to this is to implement a public relations campaign and the creation of a high-
end entity are different in every regard and offer unique solutions to the poor image
problem.
        An aggressive worker wage and benefits increase this could upgrade the poor
brand name of Wal-Mart. Furthermore, In order for Mal-Mart to improve their image, the
company needs to focus on the triple bottom line. Profit, social, and environmental
position all affect the bottom-line profile of Wal-Mart.
        The recommendation for Wal-Mart is they need to embark on a public relations
campaign and simultaneously improve their social and environmental spheres of
influence. To improve their social impacts Wal-Mart should focus on improving the
surrounding communities by boosting wages, donating to social and educational
programs, and taking a more active role in providing after school programs for young
children. Focusing on implementing better PR, benefits, social responsibility and
establishing the image that Sam Walton started Wal-Mart with will make Wal-Mart a
better business for the future.
                                                                             Wal-Mart      4



                                 Wal-Mart background

        Wal-Mart’s history dates back to 1962, when Sam Walton opened up his first Wal-
Mart store with his wife in Rogers, Arkansas. Sam and his wife paid for 95% of the
money for their first Wal-Mart store. He invested in this because he believed that the
American consumer was shifting to a different type of general store, a low price products
store. His vision definitely paid off. Today, Wal-Mart is a global company with more than
1.9 million associates worldwide and with 5,000 stores plus across the world.
        The reason why Sam could achieve all of this was because he understood what
consumers wanted from a retailer. According to Sam and his autobiography, "The secret
of successful retailing is to give your customers what they want," he wrote in his
autobiography (Wal-Mart, 2008). And really, if you think about it from the point of view
of the customer, you want everything: a wide assortment of good quality merchandise;
the lowest possible prices; guaranteed satisfaction with what you buy; friendly,
knowledgeable service; convenient hours; free parking; a pleasant shopping experience.
        "You love it when you visit a store that somehow exceeds your expectations, and
you hate it when a store inconveniences you, or gives you a hard time, or pretends you´re
invisible” (Wal-Mart, 2008). While facing competition and finding funds for more stores,
Wal-Mart’s stock was offered for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange in 1970,
which gave it a great advantage. With the increase in capital, it gave the company power
to grow to 276 stores by the end of the decade.
        In the 1980s, Wal-Mart was one of the most successful companies in the US. They
expanded their stores and product lines and by the end of the decade, they had about
1,400 stores. According to Wal-Mart.com, Wal-Mart invented the practice of sharing sales
data via computer with major suppliers, such as Proctor & Gamble. Every time a box of
Tide is rung up at the cash register, Wal-Mart´s data warehouse takes note and knows
when it is time to alert P&G to replenish a particular store. As a result, Wal-Mart stores
rarely run out of stock of popular items (Wal-Mart, 2008).



                                    External Analysis

Five Forces of Competitiveness

         Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates as a discount retail company that is renowned for
its ability to offer consumers “every day low prices.” Its winning strategy was based on
selling branded products at low prices. In addition, Wal-Mart provides one-stop shopping
to minimize time, and offer long operating hours to allow convenience. These qualities
provide Wal-Mart with a competitive advantage.

Barriers to Entry

        The barriers to entry are quite low since opening a retail store requires low in
capital as well as fixed costs, and knowledge of operating a retail store is manageable.
                                                                              Wal-Mart       5


However, many retailer operations are driven out of business because they cannot match
Wal-Mart’s pricing philosophy, “everyday low prices.” On the contrary, Wal-Mart is able
to because its has the ability to set prices below the long-run average operating cost of a
smaller proprietary retailer. As the world largest retailer, its long-run average operating
cost is much lower due to economies of scale it realizes (Hummer, 2006).

Supplier Power

         Wal-Mart has significant power over its suppliers, and as the world largest
retailer, its preserves a great amount of buyer power to demand volume discounts from
suppliers. Its purpose is to bring the lowest possible prices to customers. However, there
is a high cost to this low pricing strategy: Wal-Mart’s suppliers had to lay off employees,
close U.S. plants, and out-sources products from overseas.

        In addition, Wal-Mart was able to avoid distribution hold-up by operating its own
distribution centers. This system also helps mitigate supplier power. Merchandise that is
purchased is shipped directly to stores from suppliers. In the early 1990s, over 85 % of
Wal-Mart’s products were distributed through distribution centers (Barney & Hesterly,
2008, PC 1-27).

Buyer Power

        Wal-Mart’s ultimate buyer power is its customers. There are three core customer
types for Wal-Mart’s retailer: the brand aspirationals, price sensitive affluent, and value
price shopper. Brand aspirationals are people with low incomes that are obsessed with
names, such as Kitchen Aid. The second type of customers is price-sensitive affluent.
These are wealthier shoppers who love deals, such as name brands with good prices. The
third type is value-price shoppers. These are customers that like low prices and will not
pay more, (The Consumerist, 2007).

          The Wal-Mart model is to provide customers with the lowest prices and quality
products. According to John Fleming, Wal-Mart’s chief marketing officer, “Wal-Mart’s
objective is to know as much as we can about all of our customers, understand their
needs, and give them the choice and value they expect from Wal-Mart.” “Many of the
customers who come to us for low prices and reliability are very interested in fashion, in
brand-name electronics, in home trends, in organic foods, and a variety of other things
they might not have expected to find at Wal-Mart.” (Wal-Mart Stores, 1996-2008).

Substitutes

        Online shopping is a major substitute for shopping at retail stores. Recently, the
popularity of online shopping is growing rapidly. Online shopping provides quick and
easy access to pricing information on many comparable goods sold at various retail
outlets. In addition, Wal-Mart has provided online shopping on www.walmart.com.
However, it is possible that online shopping could be a disadvantage to retail stores if
Wal-Mart oversupplies the market with its retail stores.
                                                                             Wal-Mart        6


Rivalry

        Competition is fierce within the retail industry. Wal-Mart competes within many
different retail sub-industries, such as discount, department, drug, variety and specialty
stores and supercenters (Hummer, 2006). Two large competitors of Wal-Mart are Target
and Kmart.

       Target is Wal-Mart’s large national competitor. Its larger grocery-carrying
incarnation, SuperTarget, has carved out a niche by offering more up-scale, fashion-
forward merchandise than Wal-Mart and K-Mart, (Hoovers, 2008). Another competitor
of Wal-Mart is Kmart. Kmart has rank as #3 discount retailer in the US, after Wal-Mart
and Target. It provides name-brand and private-label goods to low and mid-income
families such as Martha Stewart label (Hoovers, 2008).

Government Regulation

        Government regulation is another threat to Wal-Mart. Recently, the issues of
sustainability and healthcare is the big concern within the business industry. These issues
increase the government regulation. Such regulation involve investigation for the safety
of the products, such as toys, technologies, and clothesline, which are sold in retailer’s
stores.



Product/Market Positioning

       Discount retailers like, Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Target are facing a growing
challenge in their pricing philosophy as demanding in product qualities are higher.
According to Reshma H. Shah, assistant professor in the practice of marketing at Emory
University, the key for these retailers is to make their stores a destination for shoppers
(Knowledge@Emory, 2007). In order to innovate their products, these retailers must
provide more shopping options, from online merchants to retailers specializing in
competitive pricing on electronics, household goods, canned foods, and beauty products.

       Wal-Mart’s strategy is built around its pricing philosophy, which is “EDLP- every
day low prices.” On the other hand, Kmart seeks to price close to, but not as low as, Wal-
Mart and places emphasis on sale items. Kmart pricing strategy revolves around several
key items that were advertised in Kmart’s advertising distributed on Sunday newspapers.
These items are priced lower than their competitors’ prices. Target’s marketing approach
is more systematic; it is considered an “upscale discounter.” Their pricing is generally not
as low as Wal-Mart but is lower than middle-market department stores such as JCPenny
and Mervyn’s (Barney & Hesterly, 2008 PC 1-22).
                                                                              Wal-Mart   7


Products & Market Positioning Diagram

                                       High Prices


                                                          JC Penny



                                                      Target


     Low Quality                                                      High Quality
                                             Kmart


                                       Wal-Mart




                                        Low Prices



Sustainable

         Wal-Mart maintains a strong, sustainable, competitive advantage in the retailer’s
industry based on its pricing philosophy of providing “everyday low prices”, and its one-
stop-shop business model, the Supercenter. Wal-Mart, as the world’s largest retailer, has a
tremendous buyer power to demand volume discounts from suppliers and is able to
pressure its suppliers to meet its pricing philosophy. Unlike many other companies, Wal-
Mart is able to avoid the problems of labor unions in their business. In addition, Wal-Mart
is able to eliminate its competition and subsequently driving the competition out of
business due to its pricing strategy, (Hummer, 2006).
                                                                             Wal-Mart        8



                            Internal (VRIO)
Table 1-1
WAL-MART VRIO FRAMEWORK
                    Costly                                                     Strength
        Valuab              Exploited by Competitive               Economic
               Rare to                                                         or
        le                  Organization Implication               Implication
                    Imitate                                                    Weakness
                                         Competitive
EDLP Yes       No   No      Yes                                    Normal         Strength
                                         Parity
                                         Competitive
EDI     Yes    No   Yes     Yes                                    Normal         Strength
                                         Parity
                                         Competitive
RFID Yes       No   Yes     Yes                                    Normal         Strength
                                         Parity

Value
        Wal-Mart’s resources are valuable. They have 3,351 stores in the U.S in 2003 and
1,274 international stores in 2004; also, they dominate 30% of the market in the U.S.
(Barney and Hesterly, 2008, PC 1-15). One of the achievements of Wal-Mart is its low
prices; they force suppliers to oversee their production line for a cheap price. Once Wal-
Mart sets the price of products, suppliers cannot produce products in that price. Therefore,
they have to find other countries, which can produce, in low cost. Many suppliers are
willing to produce their products at a low cost for success in their business, because of
Wal-Mart’s great distribution channel in the U.S and the world.
        Second, Wal-Mart has their supply chain management system call EDI (Retail
Link Technology). Suppliers need to buy a program that allows them to connect with
Wal-Mart; thus, Wal-Mart can make easy orders and save inventory costs. This system
gives a competitive advantage to Wal-Mart. Many other companies tried to build this
system but they faced high costs from creating the program (Barney and Hesterly, 2008,
PC 1-23).
        Lastly, a valuable resource Wal-Mart has is RFID (Radio Frequency
Identification). All of Wal-Mart products have RFID which can easily figure out how
many products they need, where the products are and how many have been sold. All of
Wal-Mart’s suppliers have to put RFID into their products, by doing this Wal-Mart can
save costs from its inventory and manage the supply chain efficiently (Niemeyer, 2003).

Rarity
        RFID, EDI and EDLP are not rare anymore; customers can easily see products
with RFID in it such as UPS and clothes tag. Also, many companies have their supply
chain system that allows companies to connect with their suppliers. Many companies
production line in other countries such as China and India, thus, they can provide low
price products to customers.


Imitability
        Since RFID, EDI and overseas productions are not rare anymore, it is easy to
imitate, but it requires high set-up cost. In order to acquire EDI, companies need to invest
                                                                               Wal-Mart         9


in developing their own program. Also, it gives pressure to suppliers that they need to
buy program from Wal-Mart in order to make connection between Wal-Mart and
suppliers. Many companies have a RFID system except for small businesses, but this
requires a high set-up cost too. Developing a RFID system and applying it to products is
a difficult process. It also gives pressure to suppliers like EDI. Outsourcing is imitable to
other companies; it can save a lot on production cost by outsourcing their products.
Outsourcing depresses the U.S wage rate but companies can save on production costs.

Organization
        Many competitors try to imitate Wal-Mart’s supply chain system (EDI) but they
have to face with the high start up cost. In 2003, 98% of EDI order made through internet
and it gives big difference between Wal-Mart and competitors. Later, Wal-Mart came
with RFID and gave more competitive advantage than competitors; also, they reduced
production cost by outsourcing labor (Barney and Hesterly, 2008 pg?). Table 1-1 shows
that Wal-Mart has strengths by valuable resources, it innovate supply chain system to
reduce cost and provide low price products to customers.

Competitive and Economic Implication
       From Table 1-1, Valuable resources that exploited by organization represent that
Wal-Mart is a strong company. Overall, Wal-Mart has a competitive parity and normal
economic scale. Major competitive advantage of Wal-Mart is its low prices, this is painful
to suppliers that they must outsource their products and purchase the EDI program, but
Wal-Mart has the power to control their prices. However, this brings a competitive
advantage to Wal-Mart that brings more benefits.



                                        Major Issue

Problem: Wal-Mart is loosing market share due to poor image
         One of the main problems that Wal-Mart is currently facing is their poor brand
image. When many people think of Wal-Mart, they think of as ruthless, money grubbing,
not paying their employees enough and cheap. The University of Michigan surveyed
consumers on their satisfaction with a variety of retailers around the US, and it was
interesting to note that Wal-Mart ranked lowest among the major chains (PBS, 2008).
Wal-Mart is also known for not taking care of their employees and that brings poor brand
image to the company. As it mentioned on the website whynot.com, “Wal-Mart is one of
the largest and most profitable corporations in the world, and some of its full time
employees need government assistance to support their families.” Since Wal-Mart is so
much larger then their competitors, the assumption would be that they have enough
resources to pay its employees more, without threatening other companies to increase
their minimum wage. Some claimed that Wal-Mart had almost single-handedly depressed
wage growth in the U.S. economy (Barney and Hesterly, 2008, pg PC 1-15). By doing
this, other companies are trying to follow Wal-Mart’s example of paying their employees
the lowest they possibly can.
                                                                            Wal-Mart    10


Solution 1: Open higher end chain for higher scale market
          One of the many solutions for Wal-Mart to improve their image is to open a
higher end chain under Wal-Mart's umbrella; it would go under another name and be
separated from the parent company whenever possible. It would be similar to Sam’s Club
except it would be targeted to higher class people and it would be located in really nice
neighborhoods. This way, Wal-Mart can expand into higher scale markets by providing
better and higher quality goods to the market. Coupled with an aggressive worker wage
and benefits increase this could upgrade the poor brand name of Wal-Mart.

Solution 2: Public Relations campaign to improve image
        In order for Mal-Mart to improve their image, the company needs to focus on the
triple bottom line. Profit, social, and environmental position all affect the bottom line
profile of Wal-Mart. The public perception is Wal-Mart only concerns itself with
enhancing the profit section of the triple bottom line and totally ignoring the social and
environmental aspects.
        Wal-Mart will embark on a public relations campaign and simultaneously
improve their social and environmental spheres of influence. To improve their social
impacts Wal-Mart will focus on improving the surrounding communities by boosting
wages, donating to social and educational programs, and taking a more active role in
providing after school programs for young children. Wal-Mart will improve conditions
internally by asking their employees what they really like and don’t like about Wal-Mart
as a whole. They could do that by distributing anonymous company-wide surveys and
through which employees would have the opportunity to express their view on the
company. After doing the survey and implementing some changes, they will increase
employee’s salaries and provide more benefits. Wal-Mart will then distribute a similar
survey to employees that concentrates mostly on improved employee moral. Since Wal-
Mart is known for not treating their workers and staff well, after providing increased
benefits and raising wages Wal-Mart would positively affect the public’s image
perception of its corporation. Wal-Mart should also do anonymous surveys to keep in
touch with employees and release information on moral increases to various economic
and market newspapers. Later on, Wal-Mart should launch further campaigns on TV,
radio and on the internet showing increases in work satisfaction.
        Wal-Mart should not only be known for providing the lowest prices for everyone,
but they should also be known as the company who cares about the environment and
people. Since Wal-Mart is an international company, they can help third-world countries
by building a well in the village or simply by helping to build schools. Internally Wal-
Mart will enact various programs to improve their environmental impacts. Wal-Mart will
add solar panel collectors on stores in heavily sunny areas to diminish the dependency on
man made power. Wal-Mart will encourage the maintenance and formation of natural
wetlands and donations to stream recovery programs will follow. The signal sent to the
public is Wal-Mart is the neighborhood and environmentally friendly super store.
                                                                              Wal-Mart    11


                                        Trade-Offs

       To properly examine the varying benefits of both solutions a tradeoff chart is used
to visually represent the comparison. The chart is below and a comparison analysis
follows the tradeoff chart to explain the more complex ideas.

                                         PR          High       End
                                         image       Entity
 Long-Term Difference                    High        High
 Short-Term Difference                   High        None
 Long-Term Cost                          High        High
 Short-Term Cost                         High        Low
 Solve Low Quality image                 None        Medium
 Long-Term Growth                        Unclear     High
 International Development               Small       High
 Employee                Satisfaction
 Improvement                             High        Unclear
 Pressure on Competition                 High        High
 Profit generation                       Med.        High
 Positive Environmental Impacts          Med.        Low
 Community Improvement                   Med.        Low

         Long-term and short-term difference attempts a generalized comparison of the
varying impacts and when impacts will be felt. The PR campaign has the benefit of quick
changes in the form of wages and benefits increases as well as environmental impacts
that will be felt in a long-term plan. High end entity will take several years to develop a
separate brand name and set up new suppliers and secure new properties.
         Long-term and short-term costs can be discerned from the information provided
in the long-term and short-term difference comparison. PR campaign will spend large
amounts of resources to enact the wage and benefits increase and coupled with the PR
campaign itself will have large up front costs. Furthermore, the PR campaign will have
high costs in the long-term due to the environmental changes and the sustaining of salary
increases. High end entity will very high long term costs in the form of tangible property,
plant, and equipment increases.
         Only the high end entity will help ease the low quality image. The low quality
image is positive in many areas imbedded with poverty. The idea of high end entity is to
bring high quality high margin products to wealthier customers and to disseminate the
high quality substitute to low quality other Wal-Mart stores.
         Long-term growth is the driving force behind the high-end entity. The high-end
entity will improve image problems and drive into new markets and lead to further
expansion. The PR campaign will have unclear or unforeseeable results due to too many
variables regarding the impacts of wage increases and the success of the PR campaign
itself. The question is will improved wages lead to more shoppers coming back to Wal-
Mart because of their new sense of community and a moral compass?
         International development is an excellent attribute of the high-end entity solution.
Many countries associate low price with low quality and refuse to purchase products
                                                                            Wal-Mart    12


from Wal-Mart. The high-end entity will be able to reach into those markets and appease
the local traditions and beliefs.
        Employee satisfaction is of the utmost importance of the PR campaign. The idea
is to increase employee satisfaction and desire for continued employment. Employee
satisfaction will undoubtedly rise after wage and benefits increase. The high-end entity is
hard to discern how or if employees will react to a job at a more upscale store.
        Pressure on competition will come from both solutions, spearheaded by the PR
campaign. Wal-Mart will tout its social and environmental changes and competition will
have to follow suit and quicker then they are prepared for in order to not be passed by.
The high-end entity will attract new competition in new markets and will force
competitors to take drastic steps to compete.
        Long-term cost saving comes in the form of environmental impacts and the
recycling of wages paid back into the company. Environmental impacts will save the
company resources in the long run as government regulation increases. Wage recycling
comes in the form of giving employees more purchasing power. Increased purchasing
power will invite employees to spend much of that increased salary into products sold at
Wal-Mart in order to save money from employee discounts and cheap products.
Eventually many of the funds will come back into the company and the costs of wage
increases will be lessened. High-end entity will increase sales generation by reaching into
new markets with high margins.



                                    Recommendation

         The public relations campaign and the creation of a high-end entity are different
in every regard and offer unique solutions to the poor image problem. The tradeoff table
illustrates the diversity and multiple and long lasting impacts of the two solutions. Wal-
Mart is in need of immediate image help and only the public relations campaign has the
ability to become active within the next accounting cycle or year. Furthermore, the social
and environmental impacts expected to take place in the long term cannot be underscored.
The public will take notice of Wal-Mart’s renewed focus on the triple bottom line.
Shoppers will come back to the socially and environmentally friendly neighborhood
super store. The key opportunity cost of engaging in the public relations campaign is the
loss of potential revenue and market share in the upscale market. By foregoing the
creation of the high-end entity, Wal-Mart is risking giving resources away to the
community on the chance of future revenue streams. The opportunity cost is a risk but is
not a great enough draw and lacks the short term and long term benefits associated with
the public relations campaign.



                                       Conclusion

Wal-Mart started out with a great idea, a business that offered low price quality products
for everyone. They had a great start and expanded their business quickly and passionately.
                                                                             Wal-Mart    13


Recent problems have made Wal-Mart rethink their strategies and what they can improve
or change. There are many issues with Wal-Mart that we have brought up, the major issue
being their internal structure, how they take care of the employees and social
responsibility. The path to success is not easy, it takes a lot of energy, and change and we
all know that organizational change is not that easy. If you follow the advice that we have
come up with, it will put Wal-Mart one step closer in the right direction. Focusing on
implementing better PR, benefits, social responsibility and establishing the image that
Sam Walton started Wal-Mart with will make Wal-Mart a better business.
                                                                         Wal-Mart    14


                                      References
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      Advantage: Concepts and Cases. Second Edition.” Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. p. PC 1-
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Fishman, Charles. (2003). “Fast Company Magazine.” The Wal-Mart You Don’t Know.
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J.B. Barney and W.S. Heserly. (2008). Strategic Management and Competitive
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Niemeyer, Alex. (2003). Smart tags for your supply chain. McKinsey Quarterly; Issue 4,
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The Consumerist. (2007). Poll: Which Wal-Mart Customer Are You? Retrieved on March
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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (1996-2008). Wal-Mart's Customer-Focused Apparel Strategy
     Gathers Momentum With Launch of New, Exclusive Collection. Retrieved on
                                                                  Wal-Mart   15


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Wal-Mart (2008) About Wal-Mart. Retrieved on March 4, 2008 from
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