Success Crafted

The Successful Business Model of Walmart: How Low Prices and Global Presence Made It a Retail Giant

The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, has a business model that has allowed it to become a major player in the retail industry. With operations in the United States, 26 other countries, and over 11,000 stores worldwide, Walmart has managed to maintain its position as one of the most successful retailers in the world.

In this article, we will take a deep dive into Walmart’s business model, operations, and strategy, including the company’s history, ownership and mission statement, and how Walmart makes money. Walmart’s Business Model

At the core of Walmart’s business model is a focus on providing customers with low prices.

The company has managed to achieve this by continually working to reduce costs and improve its operations. Walmart operates in several areas, including retail, grocery, and e-commerce.

Its operations are divided into Walmart in the U.S., Walmart International, and Sam’s Club. Walmart in the U.S. operates in all 50 American states and Puerto Rico, with both physical stores and e-commerce options.

Walmart International operates in 26 other countries, with stores that include supercenters, hypermarkets, supermarkets, and warehouse clubs. Sam’s Club is a membership-only warehouse club that sells a wide range of products, including groceries, electronics, and health and wellness products.

Walmart’s mobile app allows customers to search for and buy products, pay from their mobile device, create and manage shopping lists, and check prices and availability in stores. The app is available on both iOS and Android devices and can be used to improve the in-store shopping experience.

History of Walmart

Walmart was founded by Sam Walton in 1962, with the opening of the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas. Over the years, Walmart has expanded rapidly, opening more stores, acquiring other companies, and introducing new services and products.

In 1983, Walmart launched Sam’s Club, a membership-only warehouse club that sells a wide range of products in bulk. In 1988, Walmart introduced the first supercenter, which combined a traditional discount store with a grocery store.

Ownership and Mission Statement

The Walton family owns a majority stake in Walmart, with several members of the family serving on the company’s Board of Directors. Walmart’s mission statement is “saving people money, so they can live better.” The company aims to achieve this through its commitment to offering customers low prices and providing them with a wide range of high-quality products and services.

How Walmart Makes Money

Walmart primarily generates revenue through its retail sales. The company’s retail operations account for around 90% of its total revenue.

Walmart’s service revenues, which include revenue generated through its financial services and e-commerce operations, account for the remaining 10% of its total revenue. Walmart’s Business Model Strategy

Walmart’s business model strategy is divided into four key areas: lead on price, differentiate on access, compete on assortment, and deliver a great experience.

The company aims to lead on price by offering customers low prices on everyday products. Walmart differentiates on access by making it easy for customers to shop in-store, online, or on the go using the company’s mobile app.

Walmart competes on assortment by offering customers a wide range of products across several categories. Finally, Walmart delivers a great experience by providing excellent customer service, a pleasant shopping environment, and seamless online and in-store experiences.

Walmart’s Business Model Canvas

Walmart’s business model canvas includes several key elements, including customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partners, cost structure, and competitors. Walmart’s customer segments include budget-conscious customers, families, and businesses.

The company’s value propositions include low prices, a wide range of products, and convenient shopping options. Walmart’s channels include physical stores, e-commerce platforms, and its mobile app.

The company’s customer relationships are built on excellent customer service, while its revenue streams come from retail sales and service revenues. Walmart’s key resources include its stores, products, and employees, while its key activities include supply chain management, marketing, and store operations.

The company’s key partners include suppliers and other retail businesses, while its cost structure is built around reducing costs wherever possible. Walmart’s competitors include other retailers in the industry, both online and offline.


SWOT Analysis

Walmart’s SWOT analysis identifies the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Some of Walmart’s strengths include its strong brand recognition, its wide range of products and services, and its efficient supply chain.

The company’s weaknesses include its reliance on a low-cost business model, its struggles with labor issues, and its lack of focus on e-commerce in the past. Some of Walmart’s opportunities include expanding its e-commerce operations, launching new products and services, and increasing its presence in new markets.

The company’s threats include increased competition from other retailers, changing consumer shopping habits, and regulatory changes that could affect Walmart’s operations.

In Conclusion

Walmart’s business model, operations, and strategy have allowed the company to become a major player in the retail industry. By focusing on providing customers with low prices, a wide range of products, and convenient shopping options, Walmart has managed to maintain its position as one of the most successful retailers in the world.

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, Walmart will need to adapt to changes in consumer habits, regulatory changes, and increased competition to maintain its position as a leader in the retail industry. Walmart is a retail giant that has been a part of the American landscape for almost six decades.

Founded by Sam Walton in 1962, Walmart has grown from a single store in Arkansas to a multinational corporation with operations in over 25 countries. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the history of Walmart, including Walton’s early career, expansion of Walmart, the creation of Sam’s Club and Supercenters, and an overview of the ownership structure of the company.

Sam Walton’s Early Career

Sam Walton was born in 1918 in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. Walton started his retail career in the 1940s by running a retail store for the J.C. Penney company.

In 1950, Walton and his wife, Helen, opened their own variety store known as Walton’s 5-10 in Bentonville, Arkansas. The success of the store led to the opening of additional stores in the region.

Expansion of Walmart

In 1962, Walton opened the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas. The company’s initial focus was on serving rural and suburban areas that were not being served by other retailers.

By 1975, Walmart had opened 125 stores in 13 states and had become the largest retailer in the United States. Walmart went public in 1972 and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT.

By the early 1980s, Walmart had expanded its operations to cover the entire United States. By 1983, the company established its first membership warehouse store, Sam’s Club.

This was followed by the introduction of the first supercenter in 1988, which combined a grocery store with a traditional discount store. By 1990, Walmart had 1,700 stores and was the biggest retailer in the US, surpassing Sears for the first time.

By the mid-1990s, Walmart was expanding globally, opening stores in Canada and Mexico. In 1996, Walmart reached a milestone by crossing $100 billion in annual sales, becoming the first US company to do so.

Creation of Sam’s Club and Supercenters

In 1983, Walmart created Sam’s Club, a membership-based retail warehouse club that offered products in bulk at discounted prices. By 1989, Sam’s Club had expanded to over 350 locations across the United States.

In 1988, Walmart introduced the first supercenter, a combination of a discount store and grocery store. The supercenters were designed to offer a one-stop-shop experience to customers, with everything under one roof, including groceries, electronics, and housewares.

The expansion of Sam’s Club and the introduction of supercenters allowed Walmart to compete more effectively with other retailers, including Target and Kmart. Walmart’s expansion was driven by a combination of acquisitions and organic growth.

The company acquired several other retailers, including Woolco, which allowed Walmart to expand its presence in Canada.

Who Owns Walmart

Walmart is a publicly-traded company, but it is also family-owned. The Walton family owns approximately 50 percent of Walmart’s shares.

The family’s ownership is divided among several members, including the late Sam Walton’s children, Jim, Alice, Rob, and John. The family’s largest individual shareholder is Alice Walton, with an estimated net worth of $70 billion.

The company’s CEO is Doug McMillon, who took over in 2014. The role of Samuel Robson “Rob” Walton, one of Sam Walton’s sons, is to preside over the board of directors as its President.

The board of directors is responsible for setting the strategic direction of Walmart and overseeing the company’s management team.

In Conclusion

Walmart has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a single variety store in Arkansas in 1950. Through decades of organic and acquisition-based expansion, Walmart has grown to become the world’s largest retailer, with operations in over 25 countries.

Its success is built on a foundation of competitive prices, convenient locations, and a wide range of products and services. The family’s ownership, combined with the company’s public status, has created a unique dynamic that has allowed Walmart to continue to grow and thrive despite increasing competition from online retailers.

Walmart, the retail giant, generates its revenue through various channels. In this section, we will explore how Walmart makes money, including its retail sales and service revenues.

Additionally, we will delve into Walmart’s business model strategy, which includes leading on price, differentiating on access, competing on assortment, and delivering a great customer experience.

Retail Sales

The primary source of Walmart’s revenue comes from its retail sales. Walmart offers a wide range of products, from groceries and household goods to electronics and apparel.

The company sells products under its own brand, Great Value, as well as other national and international brands. Walmart’s expansive network of suppliers ensures a diverse selection of merchandise for its customers.

Walmart operates a vast number of physical stores worldwide, allowing it to reach millions of customers. These stores are strategically located in both suburban and rural areas, making Walmart easily accessible to a broad customer base.

In addition to its physical stores, Walmart has a strong presence in e-commerce, providing customers with the convenience of online shopping and home delivery.

Service Revenues

While retail sales account for the majority of Walmart’s revenue, the company also generates a small percentage from service revenues. These revenues come from a range of services provided in-store, such as pharmacy stores and clinics.

By offering healthcare services, Walmart provides additional value to its customers while generating an additional stream of revenue. Walmart’s Business Model Strategy

Walmart’s success can be attributed to its well-executed business model strategy.

The company focuses on leading on price, differentiating on access, competing on assortment, and delivering a great customer experience.

Leading on Price

One of Walmart’s key strategies is to guarantee low prices to its customers. The company achieves this by leveraging its large network of suppliers to negotiate lower prices and pass the savings on to its customers.

Walmart’s efficient supply chain management, including its pioneering practice of cross-docking, helps reduce costs and ensure competitive pricing.

Differentiating on Access

Walmart differentiates itself from competitors by providing customers with easy access to its products and services. The company achieves this through a variety of channels, including its large-format stores, small-format stores such as Walmart Neighborhood Market, and a strong online presence.

Walmart’s digital marketing efforts help reach customers in a personalized manner, making it convenient for them to shop online and access special offers. Moreover, Walmart offers services that others may not have, such as financial services and grocery pickup.

These additional services enhance the customer experience and provide added value, setting Walmart apart from its competitors.

Competing on Assortment

To meet the diverse needs of its customers, Walmart invests heavily in offering a wide variety of products and brands. The company constantly expands its assortment to include the latest trends and consumer preferences.

Walmart’s strong relationships with suppliers enable it to maintain a broad selection of merchandise across multiple categories, ensuring customers can find what they need at competitive prices.

Delivering a Great Experience

Walmart places great emphasis on customer satisfaction and employs various strategies to deliver a great shopping experience. The company provides its customers with a hassle-free shopping environment and ensures that its employees are motivated to deliver exceptional customer service.

Walmart offers a money-back guarantee, demonstrating its commitment to customer satisfaction. By creating a positive shopping experience, Walmart fosters customer loyalty and repeat business.

In Conclusion

Walmart’s business model is centered around retail sales and service revenues. The company’s wide range of products, competitive pricing, and convenient access have made it a preferred choice for customers worldwide.

Walmart’s business model strategy, focusing on leading on price, differentiating on access, competing on assortment, and delivering a great experience, has contributed to its status as a retail industry leader. Moving forward, Walmart continues to adapt to changing consumer preferences and invest in technological advancements to cater to the evolving needs of its customers.

Walmart’s success as the world’s largest retailer can be attributed to its well-defined business model. In this section, we will examine Walmart’s business model canvas, including its customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partners, cost structure, and competitors.

Additionally, we will conduct a SWOT analysis to identify Walmart’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Customer Segments

Walmart’s customer segments primarily consist of individuals and families seeking low-cost, good quality products. The company focuses on offering products that provide the best cost-benefit ratio, attracting customers who prioritize affordability without compromising quality.

Walmart also aims to serve low-income people by providing them with essential products at affordable prices.

Value Propositions

Walmart’s value propositions revolve around providing customers with a variety of products, offering the lowest prices in the market, and ensuring convenience. With its broad assortment of merchandise spanning various categories, Walmart caters to the diverse needs and preferences of its customers.

The company’s commitment to guaranteeing the lowest price is a crucial aspect of its value proposition, attracting customers seeking affordability. Furthermore, Walmart’s multiple channels and formats, including physical stores, website, mobile app, and active presence on social and mass media, contribute to the convenience it offers to customers.


Walmart’s channels include a vast network of brick-and-mortar stores spread across different regions, allowing customers to physically browse and purchase products. Additionally, Walmart’s strong online presence enables customers to shop conveniently through its website and mobile app.

The company leverages social and mass media platforms to reach a wider audience and engage with customers.

Customer Relationships

Walmart aims to build customer relationships based on its value propositions. By delivering on its promises of variety, low prices, and convenience, Walmart seeks to create value for its customers.

Automation and simplification play a key role in Walmart’s customer relationships. The company employs technology and streamlined processes to make the shopping experience easier and more efficient, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Revenue Streams

Walmart generates revenue through two primary streams: services and retail sales. While retail sales constitute the majority of Walmart’s revenue, the company also offers various services such as pharmacy, financial services, and healthcare, which contribute to its revenue stream.

Key Resources

Walmart’s key resources include its extensive network of brick-and-mortar stores, which serve as physical touchpoints for customers. The company also relies on a robust distribution and storage system to efficiently manage its supply chain.

Walmart heavily depends on its virtual infrastructure, including its website and mobile app, to facilitate online sales. Human resources are a critical asset, as the company’s employees play a vital role in delivering exceptional customer service.

Key Activities

Walmart’s key activities span various aspects of its operations. These activities involve buying and delivering goods to ensure a diverse product assortment at competitive prices.

Walmart focuses on controlling costs through efficient inventory management and distribution practices. Customer service is paramount, and the company works to provide a superior shopping experience through friendly and helpful interactions with customers.

Walmart manages its distribution processes to ensure smooth and timely product flow throughout its supply chain.

Key Partners

Walmart heavily relies on its partnerships with suppliers to maintain a broad selection of products across various categories. These collaborations enable Walmart to consistently offer customers a wide range of options at competitive prices.

Cost Structure

Walmart’s cost structure is built around cost discipline, which involves reducing costs wherever possible to maximize savings. By leveraging its market power and negotiating with suppliers, Walmart secures the best possible prices for products.

The company also focuses on efficient resource management and streamlining processes to control costs at every level.


Walmart faces competition from various retailers, including Albertsons, Alibaba, Amazon, Ascena Retail Group, Carrefour, Costco, eBay, Giant Eagle, Home Depot, IKEA, Kroger, Lowe’s, Target, and others. These competitors continuously strive to attract customers with a blend of competitive pricing, diverse offerings, and technological innovations.

SWOT Analysis

Walmart’s strengths lie in its strong brand recognition, global presence, ability to offer low prices, robust supply chain management, well-trained human resources, effective resource management, and significant market power. However, the company faces weaknesses related to working conditions, thin profit margins, and its susceptibility to imitation by competitors.

Opportunities for Walmart include further expansion into untapped markets, forging strategic alliances with complementary businesses, driving innovation to enhance the customer experience, and improving product quality. Nonetheless, Walmart must also navigate potential threats, such as controversies, legal issues, increasing competition, the emergence of new entrants, and technical problems.

In Conclusion

Walmart’s business model canvas showcases the company’s focus on customer segments seeking affordability, variety, and convenience. Walmart’s value propositions, delivered through various channels and supported by strong customer relationships, drive its revenue streams.

The company’s key resources, activities, and partners contribute to building a cost-efficient structure, while competition from various rivals presents both opportunities and threats. By leveraging its strengths, addressing weaknesses, capitalizing on opportunities, and mitigating threats, Walmart maintains its position as a leading global retailer.

In conclusion, Walmart’s business model has propelled it to become the world’s largest retailer. Through its emphasis on low prices, a wide variety of products, convenience, and exceptional customer experience, Walmart has garnered a loyal customer base.

The company’s key strategies, such as leading on price, differentiating on access, competing on assortment, and delivering a great experience, have been crucial to its success. With a robust business model canvas and a recognition of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, Walmart continues to adapt to changing market dynamics.

As Walmart navigates the retail landscape, its commitment to affordability and customer satisfaction remains steadfast. Walmart’s business model serves as a prime example of how a company can achieve growth by meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

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