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Environmental Factors

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Environmental Factors Paper

Wal-Mart is either loved or hated everywhere across the United States. It is either loved for its bargains or hated for its domineering presence that causes smaller stores to close shop. Regardless of the love/hate relationship communities have with Wal-Mart, the organization is still standing and still expanding successfully, all the way to China.

There was a lot of research put into the Chinese customs and culture before Wal-Mart could take its expansion efforts to China. It took Wal-Mart 10 years to successfully position itself in the Chinese market during which time Wal-Mart had to bow out of its normal thinking of decide and conquer(decide a store location and just start building) and actually flatter the Chinese before making an entrance. According to the October 30, 2006 issue of Newsweek Business, Wal-Mart has ingratiated itself to Chinese consumers by adopting their customs and culture, making its move from a minor player with just 3.1 percent of the market to a dominant force. Wal-Mart learned to do things the Chinese way, starting with food, which consumers insist be freshly harvested, or even killed in front of them. Initially, Wal-Mart offended Chinese consumers by trying to sell them dead fish, as well as meat packaged in Styrofoam and cellophane which is how fish and meat are sold in the United States. Shoppers were offended because they believed Wal-Mart was selling old merchandise. So Wal-Mart began displaying the meat uncovered, installed fish tanks and began selling live tortoises for turtle soup. In response to this, sales soared.

When Wal-Mart opened its first store in China in 1996, cosmetics were not offered because they were considered an unnecessary luxury. Presently, Wal-Mart stores have elaborate cosmetics counters just inside the front door with giant posters of attractive Asian women with extreme makeovers. Also, moisturizers containing sheep placenta is sold at the store as well because the Chinese believe it reduces wrinkles. Lucky for Wal-Mart its buyers learned to interpret the Chinese calendar. Learning the Chinese calendar enabled the buyers to stock up on diapers during the Year of the Monkey which is thought to be a lucky year to bear children. Needless



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