Don’t write off Wal-Mart Yet

A recent Wall Street Journal article, “Wal-Mart era wanes amid big shifts in retail,” (October 3) makes a grand statement that “The Wal-Mart era, the retailer’s time of overwhelming business and social influence in America, is drawing to a close.”

The author cites a number of reasons for Wal-Mart’s supposed decline:
  1. Rival retailers offer “greater convenience”
  2. Rival retailers offer “more selection”
  3. Rival retailers offer “higher quality”
  4. Rival retailers offer “better service”
  5. Wal-Mart’s image is “down-market”
  6. Wal-Mart’s image is “politically incorrect”
  7. The Internet “has changed shoppers’ preferences and eroded the commanding influence Wal-Mart had over its suppliers.”

Don’t you believe it. Wal-Mart’s brand is all about saving consumers money, and the company delivers on that promise: A study showed it saved shoppers $263 billion in 2004 and even though that study is disputed, there is no question that the bottom line savings are there.

As long as Wal-Mart stays true to its brand, it will continue to be a valuable company.