With 329 stores in China producing $7.5 billion in sales annually, Walmart has experienced dramatic growth since it entered the market in 1996 with two stores. Last year, the company pursued its most aggressive expansion to date with the opening of 49 stores, and at a meeting for financial analysts earlier this week in Shenzhen, China, senior executives detailed plans to get a lot bigger.
Walmart’s past and future collided this week in a stark juxtaposition of events. While the company’s lawyers were engaged in oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court stemming from events in the past, senior executive of the international division were gathered with financial analysts in a hotel ballroom in Shenzhen, China to discuss the future.
No one disputes the philosophy that every day low prices enabled Walmart to achieve dramatic growth, but pricing studies continue to reveal a marketplace where price separation relative to competitors has become difficult to achieve.
A report released Tuesday by the Associated Press said that the U.S. Supreme Court may block a massive sex discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart on behalf of at least 500,000 women, and that could make it harder for other workers nationwide to bring class-action claims against large employers.
The nation’s court is set to hear arguments on Tuesday in a decade-old legal fight that could cost Wal-Mart Stores billions of dollars if the 500,000 women claiming sex bias are allowed to band together in a class action.
Walmart International takes center stage next week with investors, as international division president and CEO Doug McMillon and other members of senior leadership offer insight into operations in China and Japan.
It seems like this kind of stuff only happens at Walmart. A female employee at a Walmart store in Naples, Fla. bit off the tip of a co-worker’s ring finger during a fight over an alleged affair, the Associated Press reported this week. Collier County Sheriff’s deputies said they charged 43-year-old Clodia Coicour with aggravated battery stemming from the incident that took place outside the store where they both worked. The AP reported that the victim told deputies she was walking to her car after her shift ended when Coicour doused her with pepper spray and a fight ensured.