Walmart is one of the world’s largest retail organizations. The company has successfully implemented the changes in various periods ranging from growing retail to the growth in e-commerce platforms relevant to the changes in the consumer market. It allowed the retail brand to maintain its competitive position in the market. Today, we’ll discuss Walmart change management case study; its historical background; organizational culture and structure; compelling factors, strategies, successful implementation, and lessons learned.
The retail chain brand has got different names in different phases in history, and they’re as follows;
- 1962 – 1969: Walmart Discount City
- 1969 – 1970: Walmart Inc.
- 1970 – 2018: Walmart Stores Inc
Some of the key traits of Walmart are as follows;
- Chain of hypermarkets, grocery stores, and discount department stores
- Low-cost products and wide range of products
- The convenient shopping experience for the customers
- Launching innovative SCM strategies and technology
- Lead players in the retail industry across the world
Historical Background of Walmart
- 1962 – James Walton and Sam Walton laid the foundation of Walmart on July 02, 1962
- 1972 – Walmart became the publically traded company in the US
- 1980s – The retail brand kept on expanding its stores across the US and various other countries worldwide in the following decades
- 1988 – It was the year when Walmart became the most profitable retailer in the US
- 1990s – Walmart had the most retail stores from coast to coast in the US market
- 2000s – The company became a retail giant with a variety of stores in different countries, and the company’s innovative strategies have greatly impacted the retail industry
- 2022 – Walmart has a network of 10,586 stores in more than 27 countries across the world; approximately 2.3 million people are working for the company to manage its worldwide operations.
Many critics and marketing experts hailed the retail brand for its cheap labor practices and strategy, but it didn’t impact the company’s reputation. But Walmart has never changed its focus from convenient shopping and low-cost products. It allowed the company to become the most popular choice of customers for shopping.
Organizational Culture & Structure of Walmart
Walmart follows a clear hierarchical structure with a proper chain of command and various levels of management. CEO is at the top of the hierarchy, and then vice president, senior vice president, and executive vice president. Every layer of management has got different roles and responsibilities to perform various operations.
Walmart has created a culture that focuses on offering a convenient shopping experience and low cost to the customers. It has allowed the company to attract the attention of customers across the world.
Efficiency & Collaboration
The focus of Walmart is promoting collaboration, innovation, and efficiency within the company. In fact, the company boosts the morale of its employees to take pride in the work and play their part in the company’s success.
Walmart has developed a workplace culture that focuses on adding customer value and customer service to the customers. In fact, the company offers training to its employees to make sure that they provide a good experience to the customers.
The company’s leadership has always focused on empowering its employees and giving them sufficient resources to experiment with new ideas. You can clearly see the reflection of the company’s approach in its policies;
- Offering training, learning, and development programs for employees
- Providing competitive salaries to earn their trust and confidence
- Offering benefits to the customers
Factors Compelled Walmart Towards Change Management
Some of the key factors and forces that compelled Walmart towards change management are as follows;
Online shopping trends and e-commerce platforms pose a major challenge to Walmart. Speaking of online shopping platforms, Amazon is the world’s leading e-commerce platform with a strong customer database. It has significantly disrupted traditional brick-and-mortar physical stores.
Investing in E-commerce
Walmart has invested a lot of capital resources in the development of its online platforms; improved its supply chain operations, and offered more products online in order to remain competitive in the online industry
In order to amplify Walmart’s tech capabilities, the company has acquired online platforms like Bonobos and Jet.com along with investing in its own platform. The purpose of all these efforts is to bring its platform up to the level of Amazon and various other online platforms.
Consumer behavior and the demands of consumer markets are always changing. Now, they want a more convenient shopping experience and personalized service from retailers.
More Convenient Features
In order to provide a convenient shopping experience, Walmart has taken various steps in order to improve the customers’ experiences. They’re as follows;
- Interactive displays
- Self-checkout machines
- Delivery services
- Online grocery pickups
- Investment in the mobile applications
- Launching employee training programs
Strategies on How Walmart Responds to the Changes
Here’s how Walmart responds to the changes in the following ways;
Accepting Digital Transformation
Walmart is employing the latest technology to amplify the customer experience and improve the efficiency of its operations. The company has invested its resources in the following areas;
- Improving in-store customer experience
- Data analytics to improve supply chain processes
- Artificial intelligence
- Robotics technology
- Autonomous robots to clean the floors and restock the shelves
- Analyzing data to comprehend customer behaviors and offer the relevant services
Walmart has realized the significance of natural environmental resources and the company’s sustainable practices. The company has taken the following sustainable practices;
- Decreasing plastic waste
- Investing in renewable energy projects for clean energy
- Reducing the carbon emission and showing commitment toward it
- Finding sustainable products, methods, and strategies
- Making conscious choices while purchasing and caring for the environment
Walmart acknowledge the growth of Amazon and other online platforms, and it motivated the company to invest its resources in the online store business. Along with investing in its own platforms, the retail brand has acquired other e-commerce platforms. It has helped the company to amplify its online services like delivery options and product selection.
A unique combination of online stores and physical stores has attracted the attention of customers to visit Walmart’s stores online and offline. In fact, the company’s efforts paid off during the pandemic crisis, approximately 79% of the company’s sales came from online shopping.
Successful Implementation of Changes by Walmart
Some of the key factors that helped the company to successfully implement the changes are as follows;
The focus of Walmart’s change management efforts and strategies is to offer a better customer experience. In order to reach its goals and objectives, Walmart invested in AI and data analytics technology to comprehend the behavior of customers. It would help the company to adjust its offers relevant to their needs and wishes.
Data-Driven Decision Making
Data analytic technology helps the company to make strategic and informed decisions that are important for the company. The company gathers data about the company’s supply chain operation and customer behavior; it helps the company to recognize the key improvement areas, and investment opportunities, and make decisions. Walmart has prioritized has efforts in the right direction that would help the company to gain maximum benefits out of them.
Lessons Learned from Walmart Change Management Case Study
Some of the key lessons learned from the successful Walmart change management case study are as follows;
Customer experience plays a significant role in amplifying sales and brand loyalty among customers. Walmart has focused all of its efforts on the improvement of individual customer experience and invested a lot of resources in the following;
- Convenient shopping experience
- Online Grocery delivery service and pickup
Agile & Flexible
Agility and flexibility are significant to the changing market conditions. In order to stay ahead of the competition, Walmart should quickly adapt to the changing market conditions, customers’ needs, wants, and wishes.
Employing Data Analytics
Data analytics offers a key insight into the psychology of customers and understanding their needs, wants, and wishes. It would help the company to recognize the weak areas that need improvements and make strategic decisions.
While creating a flexible workplace environment, employee engagement plays a significant role in the execution of the change management plan. In fact, Walmart invests a lot of resources in the training of employees and promotes a culture of innovation and creativity.
Powerful leadership is highly significant to the execution of change management efforts. The company’s leadership has helped the company to make sure that it would achieve its goals and objectives.
Conclusion: Walmart Change Management Case Study
After an in-depth study of Walmart change management case study; we have realized that Walmart has successfully implemented changes to strengthen its market position. If you are learning about the successful transformation of Walmart, then you should keep in mind the abovementioned strategies and factors.
Ahsan is an accomplished researcher and has a deep insight in worldly life affairs. He goes Live 3 days a week on various social media platforms. Other than research writing, he’s a very interesting person.