Benefits and advantages of Wal-Mart shopping for Americans

 

 

 

by

Zhanaiym Aubekerova

 

 

 

 

ESL 015 - Section 7

Instructor: Jie Zhang

March 3, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every week, more than 127 million customers visit Wal-Mart stores, Super centers, and Sam’s Club locations across America. Eight in ten Americans shop at Wal-Mart. “Always Low Prices” is not the only reason why most Americans prefer doing big-stop shopping in Wal-Mart. This gigantic store meets most of customers’ wants by providing: convenience of stores location, 24 working hours, great variety of goods, low prices, high quality of both goods and services, and other advantageous offerings. There is other reason that makes Wal-Mart worthy of visiting. The Company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back to American community. Each year, they give millions to charities, schools and American Communities, support the country’s soldiers and their families, and donate those affected by disasters. Nowadays, when budget organizing, money saving and charities donating became problems number one for millions of people, we can definitely outline the most important reasons for Americans to shop at Wal-Mart: satisfactory prices, good selection of goods and feedback to the community.

Although Wal-Mart offers relatively low prices comparing to many other big retailers, sometimes for some products the “Less Price--Less Quality” statement takes place. This is happening because some items being sold on the shelves of the stores are imported from cheap production markets, whose production coefficient “k” is under 1 (k=Quality/Quantity), from different countries like China, Honduras, India, Thailand and others (class discussion, 2005). Probably, some of you experienced such situation: you buy a T-Shirt for few dollars in Wal-Mart and in a week you realize that

 

the T-shirt became just piece of rug. But this case doesn’t appeal to all products in Wal-Mart, most products in the stores are received from reliable well-recognized companies. (Wal-Mart Suppliers, 2007).  Eventually, you can just return that shirt to Wal-Mart if you saved its receipt.

Wal-Mart provides something that people want--low prices. A range of studies have found prices at Wal-Mart are anywhere from 8 to 39 percent less than its major competitors. Global Insight was hired by Wal-Mart to quantify the national benefits of Wal-Mart’s lower prices, and they found out that total consumer savings by 2004 were $263 billion, which is equivalent of $895 per person or $2329 per household (The economic impact of Wal-Mart, 2005). For some people it may seem suspicious, that the items in Wal-Mart are cheaper than the same items in other stores. They may doubt about quality of those products in Wal-Mart. But there is nothing strange in that: the main reason of cutting price in Wal-Mart is that the stores can earn more at cheaper retail by reaching increased volume of merchandise rather than they would have by selling less items at the higher price. So, by selling items for relatively low prices, Wal-Mart increases the quantity of the sold products which helps to refresh the store shelves frequently and fulfill them with new and better items.  The main purpose of cutting the prices is to satisfy the consumers with fresh products but not to “get rid of” the old and useless things.

Huge Wal-Mart stores provide convenient, one-stop shopping with wide selection and amazing services that are not available in many other stores. Wal-Mart has

 

almost all kinds of items that people need both in their everyday life and special occasions: from kitchen supplies to car items, from bathroom stuff to sport equipment, from organic flowers to garden seeds. Wal-Mart is also highly respected by many nationalities living in the USA for having great selection and variety of international commodities, especially foods. You can find Chinese pasta, Mexican chili, Russian pelmeni, Japanese rolls in Wal-Mart stores. Not so many stores prefer such convenient services as wish list making and eyes checking, car renting and arranging vacation trip, returning used items you’ve bought in Wal-Mart for full price refund (Wal-Mart Services, 2007). These convenient services in one place for satisfactory prices really attract a lot of people, because they can save customers’ both time and money in Wal-Mart.

The last thing I would like to discuss is that Wal-Mart and its customers make a big difference in lives of millions of other people. By shopping in Wal-Mart, millions of customers feed not only their own families, but also help thousands of other communities, such as military organizations, school, hospitals, which are daily donated by Wal-Mart Corporation. Wal-Mart supports the country’s soldiers and their families through charitable giving for years. The company donates approximately a quarter million each week to help military families with things like healthcare, child care, calling cards for soldiers abroad and more. Wal-Mart is one of the largest corporate supporters of children and education. In July,2006, Wal-Mart staff and suppliers, with help from Red Cross volunteers, filled 10,250 backpacks school suppliers to support children in need

 

 

throughout Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The backpacks went to low-income families and those affected by disaster (Campbell, 2007). During emergency situations Wal-Mart is always among the first supporters of those who suffered from disasters. For example, as Hurricane Katrina bore down on the Gulf Coast states in 2005, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has announced a donation of 8 million to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund and $1 million to The Salvation Army to provide early support for upcoming disaster relief assistance. Wal-Mart Corporation gave away immediate funds for shelter, food, clothing and other necessities (Bartels, 2005). Money left in Wal-Mart will in one way or another go back to community, because the Wal-Mart Corporation supports and contributes it.

As you see, Wal-Mart plays a huge role in the lives of millions of Americans. For some of them, Wal-Mart is the source of grocery and every day supplies, for others a saver during hard time and disasters. Certainly, Wal-Mart brings a lot of benefits to all those people. By shopping in big Wal-Mart stores, people get more than they expect: wide assortment of good quality merchandise; the lowest possible prices; guaranteed satisfaction with what they bought; friendly knowledgeable service and confidence in the bright future of those people, who are and will be supported by Wal-Mart until the constant loyal customers keep on doing big or quick stop shopping in Wal-Mart stores as often as possible.

 

 

 

 

References

Bartels, C. (2005). Even Wal-Mart critics say company did good job in face    

            of Katrina. Business News. Retrieved September, 2006, from 

            http://walmartfacts.com

 

Cambell, T. (2007). Needy school children get backpacks full of school  

            supplies. Retrieved  February, 2007, from http://www.5newsonline.com

 

Dmitriev, A. A. (class discussion, 2005) indicated that the quality coefficient “k” of      

            some markets in China, Honduras, India, Thailand and others is under 1   

            (k=Quality/Quantity).

 

Global Insight. (2005). The economic impact of Wal-Mart (Executive Summary):  

             Business Planning Solutions Global Insight Services Division.

             Wal-Mart Services.  Retrieved 2007, from http://walmart.com

 

Wal-Mart services and suppliers. (2007) Retrieved November, 2007 from 

             http://www.globalinsight.com/publicDownload/genericContent/11-03- 

             05_walmart.pdf