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    This 7-page paper is a SWOT analysis of Wal-Mart, examining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and strengths of this discount retail company. Bibliopgrahy lists 5 sources.

    Name of Research Paper File: D0_MTwalswo.rtf

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    discount center that has become almost an American icon. Strengths Sheer size. Though Wal-Marts profits during the past year have taken somewhat of  a downturn, the company is still a behemoth, especially in the area of retailing and supercenter discounting. It is the worlds largest company, as measured by sales, as well as  the number one retailer (Biesada, 2003). The size means it has resources in order to expand, and it makes it hard for the competition to have any power against it.  Small-town appeal. Because founder Sam Walton came from a small town himself (Bentonville, Arkansas), hed done his best to infuse his chain with  that same attitude. Each Wal-Mart has a greeter (generally a friendly one) and claims a good deal of interaction with the local communities in which it is located (Biesada, 2003).  Given the small-town standards, Wal-Mart attempts to integrate itself into the shoppers mind as the definitive place to be. Pioneer in the industry.  Pioneers, for the most part, face huge advantages when entering a new market. For one thing, because theyre the first, theyre able to establish brand equity and set up markets.  Because of this, these pioneers end up entrenched in their markets, which makes it difficult for other competitors to shake them up. This  is the case with Wal-Mart. Although discount stores certainly werent uncommon when Sam Walton first put up his single in 1962, discount stores in small towns were (Biesada, 2003). Walton  disdained advice to put his stores in larger cities, and to this day, Wal-Marts are primarily found in suburban locations versus downtown areas. As it turns out, Sam Walton knew 

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