Walmart Inc. exhibits operational success in applying its mission statement and vision statement. The company developed its retail business with sound financial strategies to achieve its current global position in the industry. Walmart’s mission statement, along with its vision statement, reflects the business purpose and guides business strategies. In this regard, the company’s success is linked to its effectiveness in fulfilling its vision and mission for retail operations. This fulfillment involves implementing an appropriate generic competitive strategy (Porter’s model) and related intensive growth strategies (Ansoff Matrix). The generic strategy for competitive advantage and strategies for intensive growth develop Walmart’s business, ensuring competitive advantages to achieve goals based on the corporate mission statement and corporate vision statement.
Walmart follows its corporate vision statement and mission statement through the cost leadership generic strategy that builds competitive advantage in dealing with competitors, such as Amazon and its subsidiary, Whole Foods Market, as well as Costco and Home Depot. Also, various intensive growth strategies contribute to Walmart’s success in following its corporate mission and vision statements.
Walmart’s Mission Statement
Walmart’s mission statement is “to save people money so they can live better.” This mission statement reflects the business purpose and ideals of the company’s founder, Sam Walton. Strategic decisions in the retail business are a direct manifestation of this mission statement, which is synonymous to Walmart’s slogan, “Save money. Live better.”
Based on this corporate mission statement, Walmart’s business strategies and purpose involve using price as a selling point to attract target shoppers. The significance of such a selling point is noticeable in many of the retail company’s strategies. For example, Walmart’s marketing mix or 4P involves low prices as a strategy. Other areas of the company are determined by the need to minimize selling prices to achieve competitiveness that supports the corporate mission statement and the corporate vision statement.
Walmart fulfills the “save people money” component of its mission statement through low selling prices. For example, consumers save money by spending less on buying goods from the company’s stores, compared to buying the same or similar goods from midscale and high-end stores. However, it is not yet clear if the retail firm satisfies the “live better” component of its corporate mission. Low prices of merchandise do not necessarily come with improvements to quality of life. This component of Walmart’s corporate mission statement remains uncertain, as critics argue that the retail company’s large-scale sales of cheap imported goods have long-term negative economic effects on communities and small local businesses.
Walmart’s Vision Statement
Walmart’s vision statement is “Be THE destination for customers to save money, no matter how they want to shop.” The company’s previous vision statement was “To be the best retailer in the hearts and minds of consumers and employees.” This change in the corporate vision reflects strategic changes that Walmart implements in response to changes in the competitive landscape and the overall condition of the global retail industry.
In the past, the company’s corporate vision focused on leadership in the retail industry. Today, Walmart’s vision statement includes a similar aim, but with emphasis on business flexibility in accommodating customers. For example, the “no matter how they want to shop” component indicates the company’s strategic objective of achieving leadership in traditional brick-and-mortar transactions and in online retail or e-commerce transactions. The same change, however, removes “employees” as a component of Walmart’s vision statement. This shift represents a reduction of strategic support for the retail giant’s employees. Also, the shift in the corporate vision affects issues in human resource management, considering that employees are a major stakeholder group relevant to Walmart’s corporate social responsibility strategy and stakeholder management.
Walmart’s Competitive Strategy & Growth Strategies
Considering Michael Porter’s model for generic strategies for competitive advantage, Walmart Inc. uses the cost leadership generic strategy. This strategy minimizes costs to achieve financial advantages and enhance the competitive advantages noted in the SWOT analysis of Walmart. These advantages include attractive low selling prices and profit maximization, which contribute to fulfilling the market leadership objectives based on Walmart’s corporate mission statement and corporate vision statement. The retail business implements stringent measures that reduce costs to effectively apply this generic strategy for competitive advantage. Thus, Walmart’s generic competitive strategy relates to the corporate mission and vision statements in terms of using low prices to make the company the shopping destination of target consumers.
In the context of Igor Ansoff’s Growth Matrix, Walmart’s main intensive growth strategy is market penetration. To achieve intensive growth, this strategy involves selling more products to consumers in the company’s current markets. For example, Walmart’s strategic objectives include selling more goods to American consumers who shop online. The company grows its revenues through online sales, as the e-commerce environment continues to grow. This growth fuels the satisfaction of Walmart’s corporate mission statement and corporate vision statement. Other intensive growth strategies are involved in the business, although market penetration has the biggest influence on the company’s growth as a multinational retailer. These strategies for intensive growth relate to Walmart’s corporate vision and mission statements in terms of reaching more customers to achieve leadership as the primary shopping destination.
Assessment & Key Points – Walmart’s Mission Statement & Vision Statement
In view of ideal conventions for developing corporate mission statements, Walmart’s mission statement satisfies only some of the conventional ideal qualities. For example, the retail company’s mission statement is specific regarding financial savings for customers. However, the lack of other details, such as information about types of products, types of target customers, target markets, and business self-concept, makes for a challenging implementation of the corporate mission in the retail business. Thus, a recommendation is to improve Walmart’s corporate mission by integrating information about products, customers, markets, and business self-concept into the statement.
In creating ideal corporate vision statements, the conventions are satisfied in this case of Walmart Inc. The retail company’s vision statement is concise and clear. It is also abstract enough to encompass the business, and creates a beneficial challenge to motivate human resources, such as employees at the company’s stores. In addition, it is future-oriented, especially in considering the e-commerce environment. A way to improve Walmart’s corporate vision is to include information about other stakeholders, such as employees, who influence the actual performance of the retail business. This recommendation aims to make the vision statement encompassing, regarding Walmart’s operations and management.
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