Walmart & Carrefour Companies Analyses
June 9, 2021
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In recent years, two major retailers have been in the public eye for their continued growth and communication styles, namely Carrefour and Wal-Mart. Recent data collected indicates that they are number one and number two in the retailing industry respectively. Ascension of these two retailing giants has been associated with their distinctive communication styles. Essentially, both retailing giants have employed business models that have made them earn huge profits from their operations. There are some similarities between the communication styles of Wal-Mart and Carrefour. However, there are many distinct differences between the communication styles employed by the management of both companies. Notably, they both report huge profits even when the economy is not performing well. Mainly, this is because of their ability to compete with their rivals. The success of both Wal-Mart and Carrefour can be directly attributed to the communication styles they employ. Even though their advertising techniques differ, they all lead to increased profits for each company.
Profile of Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart is the number one retailing company in the world. It focuses on stocking a large supply of various products and selling them at low prices. It was founded by Sam Walton in 1962. Currently, it is recognized as the most competitive company in the retailing industry. It has greatly contributed to improving the lives of many people. For example, it donates billions of dollars each year to different schools and charities based in the United States. Recently, Giving USA acknowledged a receipt of 295.2 billion from Wal-Mart.
Currently, it has annual revenue of approximately $100 billion. It is the largest employer in the United States since it has employed more than 750,000 employees in its many stores worldwide. Furthermore, it operates more than 3,000 stores in different countries. Wal-Marts philosophy entails offering superior customer service and selling products at low prices. It applies the same philosophy in the operation of each of these stores. Recently, the company has adopted a cross-docking inventory system. This has enabled the company to achieve economies of scale, hence leading to the reduction of the costs of sales. This inventory system ensures that goods are unceasingly delivered to stores within 48 hours. Unlike its competitors, Wal-Mart is able to replenish its shelves at a faster rate. This earns the company a competitive advantage over its key rivals. Clearly, Wal-Mart guarantees its customers low prices and quality products. The main accomplishment of Wal-Mart is being the worlds largest retailer in terms of sales and profits. Before 2006, Wal-Mart managed to open many stores in the United States. The company went on to conquer more markets by opening new stores in other countries. This marked the success for the company.
Profile of Carrefour
On the other hand, Carrefour is an international hypermarket chain, which has its headquarters in France. Currently, it is the second largest retail chain after Wal-Mart. It operates 1395 hypermarkets in different parts of the world. Essentially, nearly all of its hypermarkets are located in Europe and China. In terms of profitability levels, it is the third largest after Wal-Mart and Tesco. In some countries, it operates small retail shops. Some of these shops are located in Morocco, Tunisia, and Brazil. The company is able to enjoy an attractive location portfolio by being present in different parts of the world. The first hypermarket to be opened under the Carrefour chain was opened in 1963. It was opened in France and attracted a huge number of customers. Most of the customers were interested in the non-food products and nourishment that it was selling at discounted prices. The company usually constructs its stores near passageways where land is low-priced, hence making the hypermarket easily accessible to customers. Price and convenience give Carrefour a competitive advantage in the retailing industry. Carrefour is in operation in 29 countries. Technological advancements in communication have enabled the management of Carrefour to take advantage of it and increase its sales. More so, the company is using its unique communication style to venture into the Asian market by opening up new storefronts. In France, it is the largest employer. The company employs 140,000 people in France and approximately 475,000 people in other counties. It aspires to be seen as a role model in communication efficiency, social responsibility, and human resources management. One of the low moments for this company must be the 9th of April 2011 when its employees who were based in France downed their tools, complaining of poor working conditions, low wages, and job cuts. During the strike, more than 150 stores were significantly affected. The main accomplishment of Carrefour before 2006 must have been introducing the concept of one-stop shopping for clothing, food, appliances, and electronics. Also, it has adapted successfully to Asian and Latin American markets. After 2006, the company has increased the number of stores to more than 9,000 stores.
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Comparison of the Communication Styles of Wal-Mart and Carrefour
Wal-Mart targets the low-end consumers. That is why, it focuses on selling its products at low prices. Evidently, many of its customers are low income earners. Therefore, it ensures that the products it sells are affordable to this market segment. On the other hand, Carrefour mainly focuses on selling to high income earners. Hypermarkets are usually associated with high income earners; hence, Carrefour falls into this category. Most of the products sold by Carrefour including electronics and appliances are expensive. Thus, low-income earners have to purchase their products from other stores such as Wal-Mart.
In order to analyze the communication styles of both of these companies, one has to examine their websites, annual reports, press releases, advertisements, and community citizenship activities. First, logging into the websites of Wal-Mart and Carrefour reveals differences in the way they communicate to the target consumer. Through the companies mission, one is able to see how the companies describe their employees and relate to the consumer. For example, the mission of Carrefour is to make it a recognized brand and ensure that consumers enjoy a better quality life each and every day. On the other hand, the mission statement of Wal-Mart states that it strives to help people save money so that they can have a better life. The mission statements of these companies are distinctively different. Nevertheless, they help the companies to do well with their corporate communication. Essentially, the mission statements communicate directly with the stakeholders and consumers. Both websites of Wal-Mart and Carrefour have attractive images that show glimpses of what they offer. For example, Wal-Mart lets consumers visualize the experience of shopping at their stores. Carrefour has an easily navigable website as compared to Wal-Marts websites. In terms of creating that urge to shop, Wal-Mart manages to outshine Carrefour. When one visits Wal-Marts website, he or she will be lured to do impulse purchases.
Annual reports of both Wal-Mart and Carrefour depict unique communication styles employed by both companies. In the annual report of Wal-Mart, it starts with acknowledging the contributors of the report. Besides, it indicates the mission of the company. The report also entails the objectives of the annual report and the auditors who have audited the companys financial accounts. This demonstrates that Wal-Marts communication styles emphasizes honesty and transparency. On the other hand, the annual report of Carrefour does not include the objectives of the annual report and the auditors who have audited the companys financial reports. Unlike Wal-Mart, which makes it report public, Carrefours annual report is only accessible to the board of directors of the company. Evidently, communication styles of Carrefour do not provide a good environment to enhance transparency within the company. On the other hand, the annual report of Wal-Mart indicates that it promotes transparency within the company. This is important because it gives employees a platform to discuss the annual report and share their views on what needs to be done to improve the financial performance of the company.
Both Wal-Mart and Carrefour customarily issue press releases. However, there is a distinct difference in the frequency of the press releases issued to the public. Besides, the tone of the press releases significantly differs. Wal-Mart typically issues its press releases every month. In this way, it keeps its customers updated over any changes in the management of the company. Also, it uses the press releases to inform the consumer of any changes in the prices of the products it offers. For example, if the company has to respond to any emerging issue in the market that concerns the customer, it does this through issuing press releases. On the other hand, Carrefour does not regularly issue press releases. It issues press releases when it has been forced to address a certain issue facing the consumers. Otherwise, it may not issue press releases. Upsettingly, the tone of the press releases issued by Carrefour is not welcoming. It is seems not in touch with the feelings of the consumers. On the other hand, the tone of the press releases of Wal-Mart is friendly and convivial. The company seems to be in touch with the feelings of the local consumers. Both press releases depict the communication styles of Wal-Mart and Carrefour.
In terms of public relations and community citizenship activities, Carrefour Company does not seem to recognize the values of the community. Importantly, the company does not seem to value the needs and wants of the community members. Besides, it does not participate in any community citizenship activity that would help improve the livelihoods of the community members. On the other hand, Wal-Mart highly emphasizes public relations and meeting the needs of the society. It uses values such as responsibility, honesty, and goodness to relate well with the community. In this regard, the company engages in community citizenship activities, hence building good relationships with the community members. This enables the company to communicate effectively with its customers. More so, it is able to get feedback about the goods it sells to the community members. The communication style of Wal-Mart is friendly and caring as epitomized by the recent activities of the company. Notably, the company donates to community schools and helps in the betterment of the lives of the community members. It is clear that Wal-Mart and Carrefour have different ways of communicating with the community members and engaging in public relations.
Companys values can be used to symbolize the communication style used by it. For example, Carrefour has identified three distinct values that serve as a guide of employees to ensure that the company succeeds. These are commitment, positivity, and caring. The company hopes that by instilling these three values, employees of the company will work towards exceeding the expectations of the customers. The three values show that the company stresses the emotional message style. In doing so, they make customers feel warm inside and safe. On the other hand, Wal-Mart chose to directly communicate with its customers. In this case, the company is able to collect vital information about the needs and wants of the customers. In this way, consumers are influenced to purchase the goods sold by the company. However, this style of communication is likely to be copied by the competitors.
There are differences in the way Wal-Mart and Carrefour use advertising to communicate their messages to the consumers. Wal-Mart usually uses advertisements mixed with product choices. In this case, it offers the consumers a variety of choices at an affordable cost. Wal-Mart uses its wide media network to advertise its products. It mainly advertises household items. On the other hand, Carrefour mainly advertises items that are normally found in a hypermarket such as electronics and appliances. The advertisements of both Wal-Mart and Carrefour are good-looking. Even though, Carrefour has a smaller advertising budget as compared to Wal-Mart, it manages to reach a huge customer base. The images of its advertisements are attractive and of high quality. It gives one the feeling of wanting to purchase the commodity.
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A detailed examination reveals that there are some differences in the communication styles employed by Wal-Mart and Carrefour. However, the ultimate goal of both companies is to ensure there is effective communication between employees and the customers. Both communication styles of Wal-Mart and Carrefour are effective. However, the communication style of Wal-Mart is more effective than that of Carrefour. This is demonstrated by the high sales and profits earned by Wal-Mart. Every company has its own strengths and weaknesses. This makes them differ in the communication styles employed by their management. For example, Wal-Mart has a more attractive website than Carrefour. Furthermore, its annual report allows for more transparency as compared to the Carrefours one.
Carrefour needs to create an online supply platform. This will facilitate communication between suppliers and retailers through an internet system. This may improve the effectiveness of the communication style of the company. Furthermore, the company needs to embrace technological advances to stay ahead in the industry. In order to compete with Wal-Mart, Carrefour has to implement these two recommendations. In conclusion, communication style employed in a company plays a vital role in the success of a company.