Walmart is the largest retail chain both in the USA and in the world. The chain includes hypermarkets selling foodstuffs and household products. The stores offer various things – from food and electronics to coffins (in 2009 the owners decided to expand the range this way). Due to the large turnover, it offers the goods at low prices close to the wholesale ones. In this regard, Walmart is often criticized – the chain is difficult to compete with, and the giant’s emergence in small towns results in closure of small family shops.
Walmart is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas.
The first hypermarket was opened in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas, by the American businessman Samuel Walton. He was the richest American, and only after his death in 1992 Bill Gates replaced him.
However, not everything was smooth: the chain did not get accustomed to the South Korean and German markets and was bought out by competitors. Besides, up to this day, the company is criticized by labor unions and other human rights organizations. Also, there were many claims of workers’ rights violations, women discrimination and poor health care. The management responds to all claims saying that the reason is the company’s popularity and there always will be conflicts.
Since February, 2014 the company’s CEO is Doug McMillon. Doug McMillon started working for the company in 1984 as a trainee in the summer practice. In 2016, the number of company’s employees was more than 2.3 million people throughout the world.
In the retail trade, Walmart has a powerful competitor, Amazon. To catch up with Amazon (which became the world retail leader in the market capitalization volume), the Walmart management made a decision to buy the online shopping resource Jet.com. The confrontation reached a new level.