Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2013 (Revised December 2013)

Walmart around the World

by Juan Alcacer, Abhishek Agrawal and Harshit Vaish

Abstract

After reaching the limits of its successful expansion in the United States in the early 1990s, Walmart sought growth opportunities in markets abroad. This case describes Walmart's attempts to replicate its successful U.S. business model in Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Central America, China, South Korea, Japan, Germany, the U.K., and Africa. Students reflect on the mixed results of these ventures and identify elements in the company's location choices, times of entry, and modes of entry that may explain the outcomes observed. They then formulate a set of recommendations for Walmart to maximize its chances of success when the company expands into India in 2013.

Keywords: Multinational Firms and Management; Success; Globalized Markets and Industries; Expansion; Market Entry and Exit; Failure; Retail Industry; Germany; China; Argentina; South Korea; Canada; Japan; Brazil; Africa; United Kingdom; United States; Mexico;

Citation:

Alcacer, Juan, Abhishek Agrawal, and Harshit Vaish. "Walmart around the World." Harvard Business School Case 714-431, October 2013. (Revised December 2013.)