Global Strategy Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for Global Strategy College Essay Examples

Title: I write final exa Global environment Business Corporate international master topic Apply global strategy judicial reform Brazil I d introduction political system Brazil charateristics system important evaluation a country Check situation President relation judical reform innovation

  • Total Pages: 4
  • Words: 1537
  • Sources:10
  • Citation Style: APA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: I have to write my final exa for the course Global environment of Business for the Corporate international master.
the topic is Apply global strategy to the judicial reform in Brazil.
I'd like to have an introduction of the political system in Brazil and the charateristics of the system and why is important in the evaluation of a country? Check also the situation now under the new President the relation between the judical reform and innovation. relation with the intellectual property.

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References

Barrington, L. (2012). Comparative Politics: Structures and Choices. Wadsworth Pub Co.

Brinks, D. (2009). Judicial Reform and Independence in Brazil and Argentina: The Beginning of a New Millennium? TEXAS INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL VOL. 40:595 pp 595-621.

Nunes, R.M. (2010). Politics without Insurance: Democratic Competition and Judicial Reform in Brazil. Westport, Conn: Praeger.

Ryan, M. (1998). GLOBAL STRATEGY VIEWS: Where and Why of Global Strategy. (Dunning, Journal of International Business Studies 1998)

Ryan, M. (2012). JUDICIARY: How long to get the national courts to enforce a contract or settle a contract dispute?

Bassiouni, M.C., & Inter-Parliamentary Union. (2008). Democracy: Its principles and achievement. Geneva: Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Fabri, M., & Contini, F. (2009). Justice and technology in Europe: How ICT is changing the judicial business. Boston: Kluwer Law International.

Fleischer, D.V. (2012). Corruption in Brazil: Defining, measuring, and reducing: a report of the CSIS Americas program. Washington, D.C: CSIS Press.

Gargarella, R. (2013). Latin American constitutionalism, 1810-2010: The engine room of the constitution. Westport, Conn: Praeger.

Helmke, G., & Ri-os, F.J. (2011). Courts in Latin America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Holm-Nielsen, L., Crawford, M.F., & Saliba, A. (2010). Institutional and entrepreneurial leadership in the Brazilian science and technology sector: Setting a new agenda. Washington, DC: World Bank.

Patrick, J.J., & JusticeLearning.org. (2009). Understanding democracy. New York: Oxford University Press.

Prillaman, W.C. (2010). The judiciary and democratic decay in Latin America: Declining confidence in the rule of law. Westport, Conn: Praeger.

Pozas-Loyo, A. & Rios-Figueroa, J. (2007). Enacting Constitutionalism: The Origins of Independent Judicial Institutions in Latin America. New York: Cambridge University Press, 20o7), pp. 293-307.

Rowat, M. (2011). Judicial reform in Latin America and the Caribbean: Proceedings of a World Bank conference. Washington, DC.

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Title: global strategy

  • Total Pages: 2
  • Words: 588
  • References:0
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: write a paper answering the following question: Can the global strategy be used for service industries? Use the internet to obtain examples to support your position.

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Churchill, G. (1995). "Marketing: Creating Value for Customers." Illinois: Richard D. Irwin, Inc.

Global Strategic Management." Quick MBA Web site. Accessed 16 June 2003 http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/global/.

Globalization." Microsoft Encarta Reference Library 2002. Microsoft Inc. 1998.

IBM and Avaya contact center and customer relationship management (CRM) solution." International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation Official Web site. Accessed 16 June 2003 http://www-1.ibm.com/industries/telecom/doc/content/solution/255422102.html.

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Title: THE GILLETTE COMPANY's GLOBAL STRATEGY

  • Total Pages: 31
  • Words: 8412
  • Works Cited:0
  • Citation Style: APA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: A. Topic -The Gillette Company's global strategy


B. Subject area will be involved in this topic:

1. Interl Business

2. Strat Mngt

3. Marketing



C. The project is based predominantly on Library research



D. Deadline - MAR 14, 2005



E. Words - not less than 9000 in UK english style



F. Benchmark for undergraduate requirement--
1.Dissertation subject matter:

A topic in business, management or economics (including named / specialist degrees)



2.Research objectives:

Clearly defined objectives relating to the topic and based upon the literature in the field



3.Research strategy:

Must demonstrate an awareness of different research strategies (e.g. survey, case study etc.) and must justify, explain, select and recognise the limitations of the strategy chosen at a basic level



4.Research methods:

40 ? 60 journal

Must demonstrate an awareness of different research methods (quantitative and /or qualitative) and justify, explain, select and recognise the limitations of appropriate research methods for the dissertation topic

Must explain the practical details of the conduct of the research and recognise limitations

Primary research may or may not be conducted. Students may undertake primary research (quantitative or qualitative etc.) or they will need to undertake some re-analysis of existing material (e.g. quantitative - financial data, budgets, trade statistics, or qualitative - minutes of meetings, use of diaries and other archival materials etc.)



5.Literature review:

Discussion of relevant literature

Critical review

Explanation of role of the literature in the dissertation



6.References:

An adequate range and number of journal articles and books are to be used / cited.

All may not be current



7.Referencing:

Harvard



8.Analysis:

Application of relevant theory to the data gathered to gain understanding

Discussion of the data in relation to the theories

Displays competence in the subject matter and related theory

Use of appropriate quantitative / qualitative techniques at a simple level



9.Critical reflection:

Recognition of need for further research

Simple statements of what has been learned



10.Conclusions:

Conclusions are drawn from the analysis and supported by the data

Conclusions are related to relevant prior research



G. TABLE OF CONTENTS


Abstract

Contents Page







CHAPTER1 INTRODUCTION

Reason for choice of topic

Academic objectives of dissertation

Outline of chapters



CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW



Rationale for literature reviewed

Critical review of literature relating to academic objectives



CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY



Scope of the research

Basic methodology

The design and implementation of the inquiry

Sources of bias

Limitations of research process



CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS and ANALYSIS



CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS





References

Bibliography

Appendices A - Short Statement of Learning

B

C

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Bibliography

Baghai, Mehrdad a., Stephen C. Coley, Charles Conn, Robert J. Mclean and David White. 1996. Staircases to Growth. The McKinsey Quarterly, 4: 39.

Baghai, Mehrdad a., Stephen C. Coley, and David White. 1999. Turning Capabilities into Advantages. The McKinsey Quarterly, 1: 100.

Brightwell, Richard.

1999, August 21. Internet Museum of Safety Razors. Available: http://www.creekstone.net/razors/gillette.htm.

Drucker, Peter F. 1985. Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles. New York: Harper & Row.

Form 10-K. 2005, March 14. The Gillette Company: SEC EDGAR Online Pro. Available: http://pro.edgar-online.com/EFX_dll/EDGARpro.dll-FetchFilingHTML1?ID=3534766&SessionID=%2DhPJIzKGYhcih4h.

Gilbert, James. 1972.

Designing the Industrial State: The Intellectual Pursuit of Collectivism in America, 1880-1940. Chicago: Quadrangle Books.

Gillette at a Glance. 2005. The Gillette Company. Available: http://www.gillette.com/company/gilletteataglance.asp.

Gillette Company. 2005. Reuters Business. Available: http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=G.

Higgins, Richard B. 1996. Search for Corporate Strategic Credibility: Concepts and Cases in Global Strategy Communications. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

Hoffman, Richard C. 1994. Generic Strategies for Subsidiaries of Multinational Corporations. Journal of Managerial Issues, 6(1): 69.

Hsieh, Tsun-Yan, Johanne Lavoie, and Robert a.P. Samek. Think Global, Hire Local. The McKinsey Quarterly, 92.

Jensen, J.L. & Rodgers, R. (2001). Cumulating the intellectual gold of case study research. Public Administration Review, 61(2), 235.

Leedy, P.D. (1997). Practical research: Planning and design (6th ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Maher, Megan K. And Jon Michael Thompson. 2002. Intellectual Property Crimes. American Criminal Law Review, 39(2): 763.

Mcmenamin, Jim. 1999. Financial Management: An Introduction. London: Routledge.

P&G Acquires the Gillette Company. 2005, January 28. The Gillette Company. Available: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=106746&p=irol-newsArticleProduct&t=Regular&id=667655&.

Profile for the Gillette Co. 2005. Yahoo! Finance. Available: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/pr?s=G.

Samli, a. Coskun. 1993. Counterturbulence Marketing: A Proactive Strategy for Volatile Economic Times. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

Swiencicki, Mark a. 1998. Consuming Brotherhood: Men's Culture, Style and Recreation as Consumer Culture, 1880-1930. Journal of Social History, 31(4): 773.

Thompson, Robert I. 2003, April. AEDs: Are You Following Best Practices? Occupational Hazards, 65(4): 40.

Beusekom, Ineke Van, Emmett B. Keeler, Connor Spreng, Silke Tnshoff and Han De Vries. 2004. Possibility or Utopia: Consumer Choice in Health Care a Literature Review. Santa Monica, CA: Rand.

Wood, G.D. & Ellis, R.C.T. (2003). Risk management practices of leading UK cost consultants, Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 10 (4): 254-62.

Yahoo! Finance. 2005. Available: http://finance.yahoo.com/.

Zikmund, W.C. (2000). Business research methods (6th ed.). Fort Worth, TX: Dryden Press.

Appendix a - Short Statement of Learning

One of the most interesting features of researching this project was the colorful and eventful life of the company's founder, King Camp Gillette. Notwithstanding his rather bizarre beliefs concerning the appropriateness of the corporate structure for society in general, the fact that he recognized the social disparities that existed at the time when big business was the norm, says a lot for his personal character. The book by Gilbert in particular made it tempting to spend more time on the founder than the company's global strategies, but some attention was felt in order since his influence is so clearly manifest in how the company is managed today. The ready availability of this information in digital, online form was also found to advantageous for the modern researcher, and King Camp would most likely have readily embraced this new technology to help his company sell even more of his razors to men around the world, just as the company's management team is doing today.

Appendix B

Photo Images of King Camp Gillette's Early Safety Razors

Source: Richard Brightwell's "Internet Museum of Safety Razors," 1999.)

1920 GILLETTE, gold color, three piece, sandwich construction, top has three prongs to hold blade, bottom bladed holding part is flat in the middle, underside: [Gillette diamond logo] "MADE in U.S.A.," side of handle: "PAT. JAN. 13, 1920 U.S.A." inside: "5-8 0-2 4-4 B"

GILLETTE BOX, hinged, burgundy top reptile texture, black bottom half reptile texture, felt on metal to hold razor, inside top: [Gillette diamond logo] | "MADE in U.S.A."

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Title: Global Strategic Planning

  • Total Pages: 1
  • Words: 477
  • Bibliography:0
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: Wal-Mart is the largest US retailer and employer. Wal-Mart has continued its domestic expansion, as we all know. It has also become an important global company.
Our case on global strategy focuses on Wal-Mart International. Please visit the Wal-Mart website and read the following article:
Wal-Mart World; Can the Arkansas giant export its price-cutting culture around the world? It aims to, and global retail markets are headed for a shake-up.:[Atlantic Edition]
Richard Ernsberger Jr.. Newsweek. (International ed.).New York: May 20, 2002. pg. 50


Abstract (Article Summary)
Having largely conquered the American market, Wal-Mart has now set it sights on bringing its cheerful price-cutting culture to the rest the world. It's off to a strong start: Wal-Mart opened its first foreign store in Mexico 11 years ago, and now has 1,186 units outside the United States and more than $35 billion in overseas sales. But the company's global expansion--and influence--is in its early stages. Wal-Mart is the No. 1 retailer in the United States, Canada and Mexico, growing rapidly in Asia, but still a minor player in Europe and South America. When Wal-Mart strides into a new market, it's as if a bull has got loose in the china shop. Papers scream the news, stocks gyrate and local retailers start to scramble. Wal-Mart is already being credited with holding down inflation in Mexico, with improving Britain's cost of living and with helping to revolutionize the distribution system in China. Japan, where the American behemoth just announced it was taking a stake in Seiyu (the country's fifth-largest retailer), is girding for a shake-up. In Germany, the U.S. juggernaut is triggering fierce competition from local chains. That hasn't slowed Wal-Mart's advance: this year alone, the company plans to spend about $2 billion on overseas expansion, renovating existing stores--and opening about 130 news ones.
Behind its folksy image, Wal-Mart is a tough, savvy company. Massive sales give the company unmatched leverage over suppliers, which it doesn't hesitate to use. The company is ferocious about controlling costs, and aggressively anti-union. So far not one of its more than 1 million U.S. workers is unionized, despite years of campaigning by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). Jill Cashen, a UFCW spokeswoman, asserts that the Wal- Mart pays its workers subpar wages. She also claims the company's health plan is so "expensive and restrictive" that only 38 percent of Wal-Mart workers use it. Labor activists say Wal-Mart's relentless effort to find cheap suppliers effectively depresses wages even in places as poor as Bangladesh. Wal-Mart denies the charges. The company insists that its U.S. wages are competitive and that its workers are happy, everywhere. Wal-Mart also says that it strives to ensure that its overseas factories comply with local labor laws.

That's the idea. [John Menzer] says China is "the only overseas market where we can replicate the scale of our U.S. operations," sketching the potential for 3,000 Wal-Mart stores in China by 2028, up from 19 today. Though it was beaten to the China market by French retail rival Carrefour, Wal-Mart expects to catch up (in number of stores) by adding 10 new ones this year. The advance of these Western giants is shaking China's shopping system, which featured state-owned wholesalers also owning retailers, and dictating the terms of business. Food distribution was unreliable, and there was lots of spoilage. Now, says Paul French of Access Asia, a consulting firm, "Carrefour and Wal-Mart are [so powerful] that if you're a supplier, you can't afford to lose them. When they say they want a frozen product on Wednesday, then that's when it arrives. And it is chilled, not swimming in warm water. If you don't follow their standards, they will look for others who will." In response, local supermarket chains like Shanghai Lianhua are building hypermarkets of their own, and offering Wal-Mart-esque touches like balloons and music.

Wal-Mart does not look or act like a corporate colossus. The company's headquarters in tiny Bentonville, Arkansas, is located directly across the street from Colleen's Beauty Chalet (a modest clapboard house). The main building is little more than a three- story warehouse with a brick facade. Suppliers do business with company "associates" (Wal-Mart's term for employees) in the lobby. On Saturdays, employees gather to listen to sales figures and perform the company cheer, led by senior managers: "Give me a W! Give me an A!," and so on. To symbolize the hyphen between Wal and Mart, everybody wiggles his butt. The scene is so small-town Arkansas, it's a bit hard to believe these are the retailing geniuses who aim to reshape the way the world goes shopping.

Sam Walton, the company founder who died in 1992, was a simple but ambitious man. Whenever his wife, Helen, would beseech him to stop building new stores, his reply was always: "Just one more, dear." His CEO successors have taken that philosophy to heart. The company that 40 years ago was a humble Bible Belt retailer now has 4,375 stores in nine countries, and it is growing steadily. In March Wal-Mart reported $220 billion in sales, making it the world's largest company--bigger than Exxon-Mobil, bigger than General Motors. Drawn by rock-bottom prices, each week about 100 million people traipse through the aisles of its massive "supercenters," where they can buy anything from clothes to medicine, do their banking, get their eyes checked or have the oil changed in the family car.

Having largely conquered the American market, Wal-Mart has now set it sights on bringing its cheerful price-cutting culture to the rest the world. It's off to a strong start: Wal-Mart opened its first foreign store in Mexico 11 years ago, and now has 1,186 units outside the United States and more than $35 billion in overseas sales. But the company's global expansion--and influence--is in its early stages. Wal-Mart is the No. 1 retailer in the United States, Canada and Mexico, growing rapidly in Asia, but still a minor player in Europe and South America. When Wal-Mart strides into a new market, it's as if a bull has got loose in the china shop. Papers scream the news, stocks gyrate and local retailers start to scramble. Wal-Mart is already being credited with holding down inflation in Mexico, with improving Britain's cost of living and with helping to revolutionize the distribution system in China. Japan, where the American behemoth just announced it was taking a stake in Seiyu (the country's fifth-largest retailer), is girding for a shake-up. In Germany, the U.S. juggernaut is triggering fierce competition from local chains. That hasn't slowed Wal-Mart's advance: this year alone, the company plans to spend about $2 billion on overseas expansion, renovating existing stores--and opening about 130 news ones.

Nobody paid much attention to the Arkansas firm in the go-go years of the 1990s. Though the stock performed well, Wal-Mart was too dull, too unsexy to compete in the public's imagination with Silicon Valley and the flashy Internet start-ups that were supposedly driving the high-growth, low-inflation American boom. Technology was in fact a catalyst--but mostly, it turns out, because Wal-Mart and its "big box" retailing brethren were wringing efficiencies out of IT systems and management innovations that more glamorous companies in telecommunications and computers could not match. The high-glitz story of America in the '90s had it all wrong: the real masters of the New Economy were peddling low-price diapers, TVs and dishwashing detergent.

Only now is the company's larger impact getting noticed. A study by McKinsey & Co. consultants recently gave a large portion of the credit for America's sizzling productivity gains in the '90s to the retail industry. Writes McKinsey analyst Bradford Johnson: "More than half of the productivity acceleration in the retailing of general merchandise can be explained by only two syllables: Wal- Mart." And the beat goes on: Washington last week reported that U.S. productivity had surged by 8 percent in the first quarter of 2002-- a 20-year high. That raises a fascinating question. As Wal-Mart expands worldwide, will it have the same impact on overseas retailing sectors as it appears to have had in the United States?

Behind its folksy image, Wal-Mart is a tough, savvy company. Massive sales give the company unmatched leverage over suppliers, which it doesn't hesitate to use. The company is ferocious about controlling costs, and aggressively anti-union. So far not one of its more than 1 million U.S. workers is unionized, despite years of campaigning by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). Jill Cashen, a UFCW spokeswoman, asserts that the Wal- Mart pays its workers subpar wages. She also claims the company's health plan is so "expensive and restrictive" that only 38 percent of Wal-Mart workers use it. Labor activists say Wal-Mart's relentless effort to find cheap suppliers effectively depresses wages even in places as poor as Bangladesh. Wal-Mart denies the charges. The company insists that its U.S. wages are competitive and that its workers are happy, everywhere. Wal-Mart also says that it strives to ensure that its overseas factories comply with local labor laws.

But one reason the company is so productive is that it knows how to use technology. The biggest building at the Wal-Mart complex in Bentonville houses the firm's mainframe computers, which reportedly hold three times more data than those of the Internal Revenue Service. Wal-Mart was the first major retailer to use satellite communications to link stores to suppliers, so suppliers can track sales second by second, and deliver new stock as fast as old stock disappears from the shelves. "Wal-Mart has got incredible systems capabilities--some proprietary--and they know how to use the data," says Dan Binder, a senior vice president of Morgan Stanley in New York. "They do a lot of little things right."

The little things add up to a different kind of revolution from the one America had come to expect. The assumption of Silicon Valley gurus was that new technologies would accelerate the "creative destruction" of capitalism, wiping away old ties between businesses, their suppliers and customers. Wal-Mart embodies the opposite idea-- what Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, the associate dean of the Yale School of Management, calls "creeping but profound incrementalism." This shows up in the way Wal-Mart has strengthened ties to its biggest suppliers, cross-trained employees so they can cover various departments and refined the marketing art of pushing higher-margin merchandise. In the United States, Wal-Mart's sales per employee are easily the highest in the industry. Says Sonnenfeld: "The gospel of those who preach disruptive technologies means that you have to dismember to get ahead. Wal-Mart has kept moving forward without having to do that."

The result is a world-wide competitive force analysts call the "Wal-Mart effect." Last March when Wal-Mart announced that it was buying a 6 percent stake in Seiyu, the Japanese company's share price jumped 60 percent on the Tokyo stock market. The price of most other Japanese retailers plunged. "It was as if Mount Fuji had erupted," says Merrill Lynch analyst Takayuki Suzuki. "When such a giant mountain explodes, a big earthquake follows. Japanese retailers nationwide began restructuring and are now actively negotiating to get international partners."

The Wal-Mart effect is already homogenizing global consumer tastes. Sam Walton built his chain on the idea that you could sell the same stuff everywhere, and major Wal-Mart suppliers such as Procter & Gamble and Heinz now often deliver the same sauces and soaps to Berlin, Mexico City and Houston. A McKinsey study predicted that "manufacturers will sell increasing numbers of identical products in many European markets," and Wal-Mart is pushing that trend with its usual homey zest. Last year John Menzer, the president of Wal-Mart International, dressed up as Charlie the Tuna to promote Starkist tuna in a pouch--a new product--in the company's international markets. Nobody at Wal-Mart stands on ceremony.

That said, Wal-Mart pays close attention to local tastes. The cooked-food section of the Wal-Mart in Shenzhen, China, includes fried rice-flour buns, pork sausages and chicken feet. Not far from a shelf of canned Del Monte sweet corn are tins of Ma-Ling brand stewed pork ribs and Gulong brand pickled lettuce. About 85 percent of the products the store sells come from 14,000 Chinese suppliers. "I can buy anything here--my groceries, clothes, cooked food," says shopper Ma Jing, a 30-year-old businesswoman. "The selection is good, the place is clean and my boy can run around and look at toys." She has abandoned frequent visits to traditional Chinese wet markets and neighborhood shops (xiaomaibu) for weekly stops at Wal- Mart, buying more stuff in less time. "The xiaomaibu and market cannot compete."

That's the idea. Menzer says China is "the only overseas market where we can replicate the scale of our U.S. operations," sketching the potential for 3,000 Wal-Mart stores in China by 2028, up from 19 today. Though it was beaten to the China market by French retail rival Carrefour, Wal-Mart expects to catch up (in number of stores) by adding 10 new ones this year. The advance of these Western giants is shaking China's shopping system, which featured state-owned wholesalers also owning retailers, and dictating the terms of business. Food distribution was unreliable, and there was lots of spoilage. Now, says Paul French of Access Asia, a consulting firm, "Carrefour and Wal-Mart are [so powerful] that if you're a supplier, you can't afford to lose them. When they say they want a frozen product on Wednesday, then that's when it arrives. And it is chilled, not swimming in warm water. If you don't follow their standards, they will look for others who will." In response, local supermarket chains like Shanghai Lianhua are building hypermarkets of their own, and offering Wal-Mart-esque touches like balloons and music.

Japan will be slower to do things the Arkansas way. Its foundering economy, finicky consumers and byzantine distribution networks pose huge hurdles to all outsiders. Office Max, Costco and Carrefour have all struggled there. Menzer says Wal-Mart studied this difficult market for four years, and understood it would get clobbered if it tried to build stores "from the ground up." Instead, it searched for a local team to "run the business for us," and now plans to help its new Seiyu partners transform their chain into Japan's price leader, using the Wal-Mart obsession with detail. "Wal- Mart is going to come in and reduce prices by streamlining Seiyu's operations and supply chain, which is new to Japan," says Craig Easterday of Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting in Tokyo. He calls the U.S. company "an invisible threat" to the Japanese market--one that will ultimately force a shakeout among the largest retailers.

In Europe, Wal-Mart faces a different set of hurdles--higher labor costs, tougher unions and a more paternalistic regulatory environment than the laissez-faire U.S. market. So far it's dared to jump into only two countries, Britain and Germany, and its success rate is 50 percent.

Wal-Mart arrived in Britain in 1999, acquiring the 252-store Asda chain. The move prompted scare stories in the press: invasion of the Wal-martians read a headline in the Daily Mail. (No matter that Asda was a Wal-Mart imitator in the first place.) Big British chains suffered immediately. Tesco and Sainsbury have seen sales margins fall about two points, from a fat 7 or 8 percent. Though it still trails far behind Tesco and Sainsbury in revenues, Asda's sales growth last year was twice the market average. Dave Ferguson, Wal- Mart's European chief, boasts that "our presence [in Britain] has helped lower the cost of living."

Germany has been less welcoming, to put it mildly. Jurgen Elfers, a retail analyst for Commerzbank in Frankfurt, recently described Wal-Mart's German operation as a "fiasco." In 1997 Wal-Mart bought two small German chains, Wertkauf and Interspar, with 95 stores. It was probably too eager to enter Europe's biggest market. Germany already has plenty of discounters (such as Aldi, a nationwide chain of no-frills, no-service stores) and price-sensitive consumers. Margins are low, costs high. Union rules and labor laws make it difficult to cut wages. Under fair-competition rules that forbid product "dumping," rivals recently won an injunction prohibiting Wal- Mart from selling products below purchase cost.

Beyond that, it is nearly impossible to build new stores in Germany because of stringent zoning laws. The U.S. company only last year was able to open two new venues built from the ground up. Just enlarging existing stores can take years because of all the red tape, and the renovations cost five times more than in the United States. "They had no idea it was going to be this difficult," says Peter Rohleder, a retail specialist for Mercer Consulting in Geneva. Analysts say Wal-Mart is losing 100 million annually, and is now cutting more than 1,000 of its 17,000 jobs in Germany to reduce costs. They also say that Wal-Mart must roughly triple its market share (now 2 percent), and double the number of stores it operates before it can start exerting price pressure on its suppliers.

While Wal-Mart prefers operating big stores, it has devised ways to squeeze into crowded urban markets. Many of its stores in Korea are seven stories high--three for shopping, four for parking. In Mexico, its Wal-Mex affiliate operates 563 stores in five different "formats" ranging from upscale grocers to bulk-buying membership clubs to the austere Bodega Aurrera chain for low-income shoppers. As Mexico's largest retailer and biggest private employer, Wal-Mex has enormous clout: President Vicente Fox was the special guest at a recent board meeting. Robert Ford, a Merrill Lynch analyst in Mexico City, goes so far as to credit Wal-Mex for keeping inflation low in Mexico through efficient food distribution and discount pricing. And Mexicans accustomed to grumpy, distrustful clerks say Wal-Mex is changing the country's retail culture. "This idea that the customer comes first is a great gringo strategy," says Carlos Solorzano, 48, a Mexican chef who shops in a supercenter. "The staff has been trained to trust clients."

What's next? Is the cheerful gorilla destined to bestride the world? Even in the rough-and-tumble German market, says Mike Troy, a senior editor of DSN Retailing Magazine, the trend is toward a slow relaxation of retail laws. The more countries deregulate, the more pronounced the Wal-Mart effect is likely to be, if only because local competitors have got to become more efficient to keep up. Is this all a good thing? If you're in a union, or a rival store, perhaps not. But for consumers, it would seem so. "Everybody in the world loves a bargain," says Daniel Barry, a Merrill Lynch retail analyst in New York. That's probably what Sam Walton would say if he were still around.

[Illustration]
(Graph/chart) The Low-Rent Version of the Miracle Economy: During the '90s, dot-coms got all the buzz. But it now appears that the big gains in productivity came in less glamorous sectors, particularly retail, which is dominated by Wal-Mart. (Graphic omitted); Caption: 100 MILLION CUSTOMERS EVERY WEEK: A U.S. store, folksy founder Sam Walton; PRICING POWER: The huge American retailer has mastered the economies of scale; HOLDING DOWN LABOR COSTS: Workers in Las Vegas rally for union representation


Credit: By Richard Ernsberger Jr. ; With Stefan Theil in Berlin, Bianca Toness in Mexico City, Alexandra A. Seno in Hong Kong, William Underhill in London and Amy L. Webb in Tokyo

Case Assignment:

Please refer to the Newsweek article, visit the Wal-Mart website, and conduct additional research on Wal-Mart going global.

Then please think about Wal-Mart's global strategies. Please think of issues of Wal-Mart's global strategy, such as:

1. Decision Factors that Wal-Mart considers

2. Strategic Choices that Wal-Mart has

3. What strategic choices does Wal-Mart make?

4. Do strategic choice differ from country to country or are they similar?

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Bibliography

Ernsberger, Jr., Richard. Wal-Mart World. Newsweek. (International ed.). New York: May 20, 2002. pg. 50.

Kotler Marketing Group. Defensive Strategy in Price Wars -- Asda. Retrieved November 14, 2003. Web site: http://www.kotlermarketing.com/resources/miltonkotler/seeds/s18.html.

Wal-Mart Stores. Third Quarter Earnings Call. Retrieved November 14, 2003. Web site: http://www.walmartstores.com/wmstore/wmstores/Mainnews.jsp?BV_SessionID=@@@@1737567764.1068923194@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccciadcjjgkgekmcfkfcfkjdgoodglg.0&pagetype=news&template=NewsArticle.jsp&categoryOID=-8298&contentOID=13385&catID=-8248&prevPage=NewsShelf.jsp&year=2003.

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