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Sunday, April 18, 2004

Wal-Mart’s Mega-Growth Continues, But Is its Image Getting a Bit Tarnished? Via Knowledge@wharton

Wal-Mart’s appearance for the third time in a row at the top of the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. companies would seem to confirm what many have long suspected: This retailing behemoth is all-powerful and unstoppable With 259 billion usd in annual sales, walmart rerpresents a stunning 2.3% of U.S. gross domestic product, walmart accounts for 10% of US imports from china.In 2003, the average American spent $761 in Wal-Mart stores, which accounts for 32% of all disposable diapers sold through mass market stores, 30% of all photographic film, 26% of toothpaste and 21% of pain remedies, according to published reports. Retail Forward, a consulting company in Columbus, Ohio, predicts that by 2007 Wal-Mart will control 35% of the supermarket and grocery store sales in the United States and 25% of the pharmacy and drug store sales. Having grown too big, walmart is very careful to avoid getting into Microsoft like situations on monopoly.There is a sense that Microsoft is squelching innovation and charging significantly higher prices than they should. This is why Microsoft is on the Justice Department’s radar and Wal-Mart is not … As long as prices are falling it would be hard for the Justice Department to argue that they are abusing market power and heft. It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that a lot of people benefit from Wal-Mart.
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