Walmart is known for being the largest company by revenue with over $500 billion in revenue as of 2018 according to the Fortune Global 500. Walmart has over 11,000 locations worldwide, over 2 million employees, and a supply chain management system that has carried their business to become successful. Retailers like Nordstrom, H&M, and Banana Republic have been lagging due to their lack of inventory control and could learn quite a bit from Walmart. While Walmart enjoys making a hefty profit, it also has a strong focus on its responsibility to the world to make it greener and rid it of unnecessary greenhouse gases.
Walmart’s Global Responsibility report begins its sustainability section by stating that they plan to reduce their emissions, it was approved by the Science Based Targets initiative and they were the first retailer to do so. The Science Based Targets initiative is focused on creating a more sustainable future by reducing greenhouse gases. Walmart is working to eliminate food waste, “As the world’s largest grocer, we are committed to reducing food waste from farm to fork, including eliminating food waste within our operations” (2018, pg.
74). They have chosen to accept the challenge to be one of the largest companies and cut back on waste to set an example for other companies.
Walmart associates themselves with several other companies with similar goals in mind. Science Based Targets wrote an article stating, “Many of Walmart’s global suppliers already have science-based targets, such as PepsiCo, Dell, Diageo, General Mills, Kellogg and Sony, approved by the Science Based Targets initiative” (2017, pg.
52). The same article identifies Walmart’s map to success by working with their supplies to reduce their emissions as well by cutting back on deforestation, waste, and several other factors.
In the United States, supporting the troops has many different forms, Walmart wants to support the troops by changing their lives. Walmart supports military members by giving them jobs in departments that utilize their skills or help them transition to a civilian (Walmart, 2018). They’ve chosen to take a stand for women, promoting their desire to enter the workforce and flourish. Worker safety, environmental stability, and dignity of their workers are emphasized throughout their Global Responsibility Report. They looked at small farmers in small markets and decided to give them a chance to make more money and grow. This also gives Walmart fresh and local produce for their stores and customers. Having a greener supply chain allows Walmart to improve the environment but also have a sustainable future where they can constantly reuse land, harvest raw materials, and have relationships with the communities.
Change is difficult, Walmart adapted when their market said they wanted to move into a digital world. Walmart did not hesitate to give consumers more options online and increase delivery speed. Walmart aimed to, “improve techniques for loading, routing and driving, as well as through collaboration with equipment and system manufacturers on new technologies” (Walmart, 2018) and not only hit, but exceed their goals. Along the way they avoided more than half of a million tons of CO2 emissions, yet again achieving their vision of a greener market. Walmart holds the elimination of waste across the globe for their stores. In the UK their campaign saves customers money and waste. In fact, it saved customers an average of £57 a year. The campaign gave customers advice on how to store food and use leftovers to reduce waste. In the United States, Walmart created ads to suggest food and energy saving ideas.
Project Gigaton, is Walmart’s goal to eliminate a gigaton of greenhouse gases by 2030. Walmart takes sustainability a step beyond their competitors by rewarding their suppliers for setting and achieving goals. Walmart displays companies who decide to join their initiative, along with the date they joined, and their goals. Walmart blows away their competition by being a sustainable, reliable, large, efficient, and environmentally friendly retailer. They consistently go out of their way to not only reduce their own environmental impact, but request that other companies do as well and promote their success as well. Walmart listened to their customers when they switched to an online platform by purchasing and reorganizing delivery companies. Some of Walmart’s competitors include Amazon, eBay, Target, IKEA, and Lowe’s. While these companies are large, they lack some of Walmart’s advantages. Walmart has thousands of stores worldwide, a strong internet presence, an incredible variety of items, same day shipping, same day pick up, and a strong brand.
Banana Republic has had more frequent markdowns to release unwanted inventory (Trujillo, 2017). Banana Republic carries a clearance section with a graveyard of failed products. In the article, Banana Republic’s solution is to hire new designers and fix their fashion sense. Trujillo points to a different solution, fixing their supply chain management. Given the fact that Banana Republic is already struggling to manage their inventory, “fast fashion,” as Trujillo puts it, is shifting the industry. “Top fashion retailers grew 9.7 percent over the past five years, almost three percent more than traditional apparel companies” (Trujillo, 2017). Consumers are going through trends and onto the next best thing faster than designers and retailers have seen before. Fashionable items have become cheaper, more common, and left high end retailers scrambling. Trujillo comments on H&M and their styles that go from the catwalk to the clothing rack faster than ever and at a lower price.
Nordstrom is known for being a high quality and high price tag retailer. Nordstrom much like Banana Republic, is chipping away at their high quality imagine by having mass sales to drop unwanted inventory. Consumers have become savvier and are becoming more aware of the value of a product. Consumers can compare product prices which makes store like Banana Republic and Nordstrom have sales even more frequently to be a viable competitor in the market.
Companies like Banana Republic, Nordstrom, and H&M could take a page out of Walmart’s playbook. These companies are known for creating more waste and pollution. Partially due to their fast fashion, getting onto the next best thing and tossing out materials for the last style. The other part is due to pollution by operating in cheaper places with more lenient environmental regulations and labor laws (Trujillo, 2017). Supply chain management techniques as simple as implementing an automatic inventory manager, can save a company time and money. Implementing barcodes when accounting for inventory can reduce theft, reduce misplacement of products, decrease required overhead, avoid overstock, avoid some errors, and has several other benefits (Trujillo, 2015). Walmart exposed their secret to supply chain on their career page, “Movement. That’s the secret to Walmart’s supply chain. We move products to 200 million customers through more than 11,000 stores. And, as our customers move to digital, we’re moving with them” (Walmart, 2018).
Parcel is a delivery service that Walmart purchased in 2017. Parcel is known for evening deliveries, same day delivery, and has relationships with many grocery companies. Walmart’s blog called Parcel, “a proven leader in e-commerce package delivery, including taking fresh, frozen and perishable food, the last mile.” Walmart plans to expand their ability to deliver more perishable goods to their customer similar to Amazon Now. Walmart bought Jet, another delivery service in 2016 and now hope to use Parcel to expand their delivery options (Corkery, 2018).
The Walmart Blog published an article in 2017, “Who is Parcel? What This Delivery Company Means to Walmart” to inform the public about the new delivery service they acquired. Parcel has been known for their 2-hour delivery service in New York City, a city known for their dense population and millions of potential customers. Since Parcel was created in New York, it has become a way to test the market for two-hour deliveries with less risk for Walmart. Walmart’s goal is to adjust to their customer’s desires, even giving them the opportunity to have same day delivery later into the evening, something Parcel has been known for.
Fortune Global. (2017). Fortune Global 500 List 2018: See Who Made It. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/global500/list/
Walmart. (2017, January 31). 2017 Global Responsibility Report. Retrieved from https://corporate.walmart.com/2017grr
Science Based Targets. (2018). Project Gigaton: Walmart CEO on working with supply chain. Retrieved from https://sciencebasedtargets.org/2017/04/28/project-gigaton-walmart-ceo-on-working-with-supply-chain/
Walmart. (2018). Project Gigaton. Retrieved from https://www.walmartsustainabilityhub.com/project-gigaton
Corkery, M. (2018, May 09). How Walmart, the Big Seller, Is Shopping for a Fight With Amazon. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/09/business/dealbook/walmart-acquisitions-flipkart.html
Walmart. (2017, October 3). Who is Parcel? What This Delivery Company Means to Walmart. Retrieved from https://blog.walmart.com/business/20171003/who-is-parcel-what-this-delivery-company-means-to-walmart
Trujillo, P. (2017, January 03). Poor Supply Chain Management. Retrieved from http://www.waspbarcode.com/buzz/banana-repubic/
Trujillo, P. (2015, August 18). 6 Reasons to Implement Inventory Management with Barcodes. Retrieved from http://www.waspbarcode.com/buzz/6-reasons-implement-inventory-management-barcodes/
Walmart. (2018). Supply Chain and Logistics Jobs | Walmart Careers. Retrieved from https://careers.walmart.com/corporate/supply-chain-and-logistics