Case | HBS Case Collection | September 2003 (Revised January 2004)

Wal-Mart Stores in 2003

by Pankaj Ghemawat, Stephen P. Bradley and Ken Mark


Examines Wal-Mart's development over three decades and provides financial and descriptive detail of its domestic operations. In 2003, Wal-Mart's Supercenter business has surpassed its domestic business as the largest generator of revenues. Its international operation seems poised to become the next growth driver for the company as it marches toward the trillion dollar sales mark. But problems are starting to surface even as the company is winning recognition as the number one company in the Fortune 500--unions keep pressuring its minimum-wage employees and allegations of gender discrimination are alleged. Teaching purpose: To introduce students to creating a competitive advantage.

Keywords: Wages; Fairness; Corporate Strategy; Operations; Labor Unions; Problems and Challenges; Gender; Globalized Firms and Management; Competitive Advantage; Retail Industry; United States;


Ghemawat, Pankaj, Stephen P. Bradley, and Ken Mark. "Wal-Mart Stores in 2003." Harvard Business School Case 704-430, September 2003. (Revised January 2004.)