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Case Code: BSTR495
Case Length: 13 Pages 
Period: 1996-2015  
Pub Date: 2016
Teaching Note: Available
Price:Rs.600
Organization : Wal-Mart
Industry : Retail
Countries : China
Themes:  Globalization/Strategy
Case Studies  
Business Strategy
Marketing
Finance
Human Resource Management
IT and Systems
Operations
Economics
Leadership & Entrepreneurship

World’s Largest Retailer in the World’s Most Populous Country: Wal-Mart in China

 
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INTRODUCTION

 

In 2015, the largest retailer in the world, US-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (Wal-Mart), announced its plans to open 115 new stores in China, increasing the number of its stores by almost a third in the country. The push for expansion came after Wal-Mart’s net sales started falling. While planning to open new stores, the retailer also decided to close some of its underperforming stores. China’s huge population, booming middle class, and increasing disposable incomes made it a lucrative market for Western retailers like Wal-Mart. Despite having been present in China since 1996, Wal-Mart continued to face several challenges in the country. The retailer’s profits were stagnant and it had been losing market share in China since 2009. Experts said the main reason for its poor performance in China was its inability to understand the Chinese consumers and their buying decisions. Wal-Mart’s globally successful polices did not work in China, and severe competition from the local players posed challenges for it. Also, Wal-Mart faced a backlash in China for its business practices and it was accused of violating some of the norms..

 

 
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