In 2007, Wal-Mart faced challenges to its historically high growth rate. Lagging same-store sales and setbacks overseas led the company to consider strategic shifts. Wal-Mart was the world's largest retailer, but competition had become particularly acute as the company expanded from rural markets, which it had long dominated, into urban and suburban areas. Covers developments in Wal-Mart's merchandising strategy and its approach to store formats; its sometimes controversial human resources practices; its efforts to improve its image through a public relations campaign; its aggressive, though occasionally problematic, move into international markets; and its leading competitors, especially Target. Exhibits provide data (current as of February 2007) on Wal-Mart's financial performance, its stock-price performance, its international operations, and its store formats, as well as on Target's financial performance.
- 2007 HBS
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