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Walmart is one of the most hated companies in America. People constantly attack its human resources practices and the leverage it puts on suppliers. However, Walmart is a company that changed the world. It revolutionized retail and has earned the top spot on the Fortune 500 list for a reason.
How did Walmart get to be the biggest company in the world? Rather than focus on profit margins per item sold, it focused on sales volume. By leveraging its size to get the best deals on inventory from suppliers, it has been able to pass on the lowest prices around to consumers.
I do enjoy shopping at Target, but I always get a better price at Walmart. Why should I pay extra for nicer decorations? I shouldn’t. I go to Walmart.
Whether or not you like their employment practices, each Walmart store creates hundreds of jobs. Its 2.1 million employees make it one of the biggest employers in the country. While all employees are not based in the United States, if they were it would represent over 2% of the population.
While a Walmart store might lead to the closure of a handful of small businesses when it enters a small town, it creates even more opportunities.
Yes, Walmart does often lead to closures of small businesses. However, it has taken years to see the long-term impact of a new Walmart.
Most new Walmarts come with the construction of a new shopping center. Those shopping centers become the homes of new restaurants and specialty retail stores. That area receives heavy traffic from the surrounding community, which leads to new shopping centers near the Walmart.
In many cases a new Walmart helps nearby businesses. In others, it is business as usual. Also, don't forget that Walmart started as Sam Walton's 5 and Dime in Bentonville, Arkansas. Walmart is an entrepreneurship success story.
Just for fun
Check out the People of Walmart. This is just funny stuff.
Walmart is good. It helps people save money. Millions of people around the world rely on Walmart’s low prices to provide for their families. During tough times with high unemployment rates, people need to save money more than ever. Why should we hate Walmart for doing that?
Disclaimer: I own shares of WMT in my personal investment portfolio.