Wal-Smart: What It Really Takes to Profit in a Wal-Mart World
With annual revenues of $312 billion, Wal-Mart accounts for 2.6% of U.S. economy and, with 1.8 million ""associates,"" is the world's largest employer. Whether or not one likes it, Marquard says, it's a Wal-Mart world we live in, and astutely choosing how to respond to Wal-Mart, and other industry big dogs like it, can mean the difference between a business's success and failure. Marquard, who helped Wal-Mart devise its very first business strategy and has since worked for other businesses competing against that strategy, knows his subject intimately and describes the controversial retail goliath with admirable neutrality, bringing together the conclusions of various research studies on relevant topics-wage and expansion policies, for instance-rather than praising or condemning Wal-Mart's polarizing business practices himself. What he does provide is a weary, pragmatic portrait of the rapacious retailer from Arkansas, how that retailer ""defines our world,"" and what ""twelve smart choices"" must be made to survive and prosper in its shadow.