Thomas Edison State College
Table of Contents
Part One Introduction
Part Two Body of Narrative
Part Three Conclusion
Part Four References
Part One Introduction (Executive Summary)
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is the largest retail company in the United States and has been ranked number one on the Fortune 500 Index by Fortune Magazine. Wal-Mart has four parts to their corporate strategy. 1. Dominance in Retail Market 2. Expansion in the US and International Markets. 3. Creation of Positive Brand and Company Recognition. 4. Branch Out into New Sectors of Retail.
Wal-Mart’s public affair ...view middle of the document...
This dominance, and company finances, coupled with retaining the top lobby organizations in the US give the company a clear advantage in Washington.
The company manages its relationships with its key stakeholders in a way that maximizes the tactical advantage for Wal-Mart. With groups that the company perceives as hostile, like labor unions, complaining former employees, or even local ad hoc opposition groups, who are fighting to keep Wal-Mart out of their community, the company uses every mean available to win. The company applies its retail philosophy, of being the best, and winning, into its political a public affairs strategy. They use top law firms, and top PR firms, the company will battle in court. In public, Wal-Mart uses top Public Relations firms to produce commercials for its stores and to portray the best possible image. Wal-Mart has also been able to avoid being probed by Government regulators for some of its aggressive retailing and competition practices. Wal-Mart, like all companies want to maintain a low profile and to keep government officials regulators away. Wal-Mart keeps its relationships with its stakeholders with corporate communications from its website, and other corporate paper base communications. It keeps in contact with the US Congress through its Washington DC office through its retained lobbying staff.
All of the above behavior which has been very successful growing the Wal-Mart business and brand have also hurt the public perception of the company as being a large bully which gets and recerives special treatment from the government. In the current area we are in where the public sees corporate bailouts for large companies like GM, Chrysler, and big banks on Wall street, the average American feels left out. And when Wal-Mart continues to grow and hurt small business, and workers, you can see how the public can have a negative perception.
Wal-Mart is currently enjoying a good year which they have vaulted to the top of the Fortune 500 listing. However, they have not implemented their strategy in the best possible way; especially with public relations. Many in retail see them as a bully and tyrant. They present the impression of a corporate bully that destroys communities and clamps down on workers rights (www.walmartwatch.com). Alternative strategies available to Wal-Mart are to adopt a friendlier corporate attitude. While they display a cheery attitude in public, off camera they can be quite aggressive. One to the first things Wal-Mart should do is change the order of their corporate strategy. They should list number one objective as the Creation of Positive Brand and Company Recognition. This will at least be the fist item that is read, they should also include integrity in the mission statement as well. Coming to an understanding with organized labor is needed. They must ease their way into foreign markets, instead of barging in and buying up companies. It these strategies are used,...