Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wither Wal-Mart

I am pushing through The Oz Principle now. Having endured unending peans to Jack Welch the name dropping has inevitably arrived at Wal-Mart. Every supposed success story drives me to google to see if there is a "rest of the story" and Wal-Mart is no exception. While poking around I came to this chart of Wal-Mart's profitability.

The first thing to notice is how consistent the trend of profit level has been. It is also flat and may be bending downward of late. Do they get kudos for maintaining such consistency over a decade or blame for failing to increase the profitability in any real way? I don't know and don't care.

The figure that struck me was under the chart where it says that Wal-Mart is in the 41st percentile for profitability among all corporations measured, 49th among services companies and 46th among discount, variety stores. Hardly a world beater - just middle of the pack.

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