In the retail universe, there are retailers and then there is Walmart. Normal rules do not apply to this US colossus, whose annual revenues of over $500bn are roughly equal to those of the next four global retail groups combined. With Walmart, all the numbers are big. The company is the world's largest non-governmental employer, with around 2.2m associates. Approximately 275m people visit Walmart's stores every week, and 78% of American households shop there at least once a year. But America is by no means the only market to experience the Walmart effect. The group is also a force in the international arena with operations in 27 other countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia. Yet the business is only a little over 50 years old, and virtually all its extraordinary growth in the US since the first Walmart store opened in 1962 has been generated organically, rather than as a result of acquisition.
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Adbrands Daily Update 20th Feb 2019: Tech-based companies may be sexier, but the really big money is still generated by old-school retailer Walmart, which still generates as much money in six months as Amazon or Apple do in a year. Comparable US retail sales rose by more than 4% over the holiday quarter, one of the chain's biggest quarterly gains since the 2008 crisis. Full year revenues rose almost 3% to $514.4bn, while operating income jumped by over 7%. However, profits were dented by exceptional losses of $8.4bn against the sale of a controlling stake in Walmart Brazil as well as the group's investment in Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com. Net income slipped by almost a third to $7.2bn. That marked the second consecutive year and the second time since 2004 that profits came in under $10bn. There was also another weak performance from warehouse division Sam's Club, where sales slipped by another 2% last year.
Adbrands Social Media 20th Nov 2018: "Bring Holiday Magic Home". Canadian powerhouse Cossette recently took over from JWT as Walmart's lead agency in Canada, and their debut for the retail giant is just adorable. It could be bad news for Toys R Us, though. The focus of Walmart's ad on toys for its seasonal campaign, rather than any of the myriad other product lines it sells, is clearly an attempt to drive a nail into the coffin of rival Toys R Us, which lives on in Canada under new ownership despite the closure of its US operations.
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Aug 2018: Ads Of The Week "Ode to Motherhood". Walmart is continuing to push outside the envelope in its marketing. This appropriately unhinged 'Ode to Motherhood' comes from Walmart Canada and director Mark Zibert, in association with prodco Scouts Honor. Clearly someone considers motherhood a bit of a mixed blessing; luckily Walmart is here to help. It's quite far from the usual mass market advertising you might expect from the world's largest retailer, and all credit to them for that.
Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd Aug 2018: Walmart appointed Capital One as the exclusive issuer of its store cards, ending a 20-year partnership with Synchrony, formerly GE Capital. The changeover will take place in July next year. The deal is a significant blow to Synchrony, representing almost 20% of that company's card portfolio, with a combined balance outstanding of around $10bn.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th July 2018: Walmart named former TripAdvisor executive Barbara Messing as its new US chief marketing officer, taking over from Tony Rogers, who is moving across into the group's Sam's Club division. At the same time, Janey Whiteside is joining the group from American Express in the role of chief customer officer for Walmart US and its Walmart.com and Jet.com ecommerce division.
Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Jun 2018: In a surprise move, Walmart said that CMO Tony Rogers will transfer to the group's warehouse subsidiary Sam's Club in the newly created role of chief member officer later this summer. His successor at the main Walmart division will be announced shortly.
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