Over 59 years, Walmart Inc. has gone from one humble discount store in Bentonville, Arkansas, to a $555-billion-a-year retail behemoth. By comparison, the world’s largest retailer beats mighty Amazon Inc. in annual global retail sales by more than $200 billion.
Walmart’s strategy has always been an aggressive pursuit of low prices. And today, its massive logistics and supply chain networks and management strategies are studied at business management schools, where the company is used to explain important concepts and also to address related social issues, such as the company’s market dominance and reliance on cheap imported goods. (You might be surprised at how many people work at Walmart in each state and what they are paid.)
For the consumer, Walmart’s focus on eye-catching bargain-basement prices is a powerful draw. But this aggressive pricing strategy has its faults. Economies of scale can only go so far in driving down prices before they begin to affect the quality and selection of products. (That said, large-scale retail operations do sometimes sell top-flight products at good prices. Click here to see some surprisingly good Costco, Walmart, and Target products.)
To determine the products that you are better served buying elsewhere than Walmart, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed articles on the subject appearing on MoneyWise, Reader’s Digest, BestLife, Consumer Reports, Business Insider, CheatSheet, and Alot Living. The list’s overall message can be summed up with the idiom “You get what you pay for.”