Walmart is one of the largets U.S. based multinational retail corporartion that runs a chain of retail stores in 27 countries and cities across the world. Walmart is known as the largest private employer and the world’s largest company as regards to revenue generation on annual basis. Notably, the company has over 2 million employees worldwide and as time goes by, there are prospects of expanding the business to cover other countries and this will certyainly increase not only its revenue but also an increase in the number of employees (Walmart 2016). It should also be noted that the company operates other subsidiaries including Vudu, entertainment, and private label brands. Despite having distanced itself from charitable donations since its inception, the company has recently engaged in several charitable giving in a bid to improve the living standards of their potential customers across the globe. However, the company has come under sharp criticism involving issues to do with racial and gender discrimination, poor job satisfaction, higher prices compared to competitors’, and delays in restocking shelves in the stores. Although Walmart has consistently refuted these claims, it is evident that the company is indeed facing these problems and therefore there is need to adequately address these issues to enhance business success.
Gender and racial discrimination at Walmart is a real problem facing the company and has negatively affected its financial performane in the recent past. For instance, Walmart was hit by not less than five litigations involving employees who claimed to have been harrased and fired due to their sexual orientation or racially discriminated against in different aspects at the workplace before being fired (Peterson 2015). A class action suit was filed in July 2015 by a former Walmart employee in Massachusetts who claimed that she was consistently denied efforts to have her same-sex partner added to her health insurance plan from Walmart. A month later, Walmart was again summoned in court to answer to charges of several employees from Louisiana who alleged that they were sacked due to racial and age discrimination. Although Walmart has always endeavored to distance itself from these allegations, it is evident that this is a real problem that direly needs to be solved. This will involve renewed commitment to the rapid eradication of any form of discrimination from the workplace. Embracing state laws that denounce workplace discrimination and tolerance to diversity is crucial to ensuring complete elimination of not only racial and gender discrimination but also other kinds of discrimination.
One of the major problems that Walmart has failed to notice its impact is poor job satisfaction among employees. This is a major problem that has led to unsatisfied customers. It should be noted that the executives of Walmart earn millions of dollars a month but the pay for normal staff may even be low enough to render certain workers living under the poverty line. This is coupled by the laxity of the company to effectively address the problem of low wages to employees who are constantly frustrated. Besides, employees have no job security as they can be fired and others hired within a short period. This plays a big role in lowering employees’ morale and thus lowering their performance in terms of the quality of services offered to customers. Certainly, there is need to address this issue from all possible perspectives (Peterson 2015). That is, Walmart should seek to adequately address employee issues to ensure their satisfaction. Therefore, the company should improve to ensure better pay for their employees and provide them with good work environment to perk up their morale and consequently improving their performance and quality of services to customers.
One of Walmart’s biggest problems is the fact that their prices compared to their competitors are usually higher. This has certainly contributed to the small gains in more competitive markets like in the U.S. and Canada where competitors provide similar products and services at a fairly lower price (Peterson 2015). Higher prices normally scare customers away and competitors who offer similar goods in the market stand a chance to benefit at the expense of Walmart. Even though Walmart was focused in keeping prices as low as possible from its inception, price wars between Walmart and other competitors in the market have highly impacted on the company’s overall performance in terms of sales since consumers consider their commodities and services to be relatively expensive compared to other players in the market. This is because, high prices reduces demand and vice-versa. Therefore, the company needs to curtail overhead and operating costs as well as leverage its haggling power to compel suppliers to lower their prices and thus reducing commodity prices and improve their sales. In addition, the company should embrace a new supply chain management system that optimizes efficiencies and at the same time help to reduce expenditures. This will help in keeping prices as low as possible and continue to attract more customers.
Another major problem facing Walmart involves persistent delays in restocking shelves in the stores because of the fact that the company is often overwhemed by inventory in the back rooms, which is in excess and given that the company’s processes are not well controlled, there is a certain level of undue shrinkage as well as out-of-stocks (Peterson 2015). This causes a lot of inconveniences especially to customers and could easily irritate them and thus shying away and going for other options other than Walmart. Such instances brings out a bad image concerning the company and customers begin to distance themselves because there is no customer who would associate themselves with a company whose quality of services is not consistently observing. This problem impacts negatively on the company’s reputation, which is detrimental in the long run. Therefore, there is need to implement certain changes such as marking down foods that are close to their expiration in a bid to decrease the volume of food that goes to waste. Besides, the company should improve its processes to ensure quick restocking and a smooth flow of stock to enhance convenience and customer satisfaction.
In conclusion, it is worthwhile to note that Walmart could improve its sales and consequently its revenue by implementing the aforementioned recommendations. These include, embracing renewed commitment to rapid eradication of any form of discrimination from the workplace, better remuneration to employees, reduce overhead and operational costs. By introducing new supply chain management system that optimizes efficiencies and at the same time help to reduce expenditures, and embracing improved processes that reduce wastage such as marking down foods that are close to their expiration in a bid to decrease the volume of food that goes to waste.
Peterson, H. (2015). Wal-Mart CEO reveals the company’s 8 biggest problems. Retrieved from Business Insider.
Walmart. (2016). About Us. Retrieved from Corporate walmart.