Wal-Mart and Nordstrom

Wal-Mart and Nordstrom are well known companies and established brands listed on Fortune 500 list. Wal-Mart caters almost all needs of its customers from grocery to clothing while Nordstrom operates in fashion retainging industry. It keeps collection of more than 500 brands in its store.
Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in America. These discount stores became part of American’s life in 1960s. At present it is operating in 15 countries, it employs more than 1.8 million associates worldwide. The number of stores is nearly 6,500 stores and serves more than 176 million customers per week.

The “most admired retailer” according to FORTUNE magazine has just completed one of the best years in its history: Wal-Mart generated more than $312.4 billion in global revenue in the fiscal year ended January 31, 2006, establishing a new record and an increase of 9.5 percent. The company earned almost $11.2 billion in net income in fiscal 2005.[1]
Wal-Mart has gone through considerable changes through the year 2003-04. Wal-Mart had increased its advertising budget by $434 million between 2003 and 2004.
The mission of Wal-Mart has been to provide good jobs, good works, and citizens and do good investments in 2004. The vision of Wal-Mart has always been to provide customer each and every product at the lowest price. Wal-Mart focused on cost cutting by its strategy on the merchandise mix and various operations. It utilized its database for consumer and requirement analysis. This helped it to understand the demand pattern of various products and helped in inventory management to make products available when customer wanted it most.
The marketing activities revolve around the equation
People+ Price+ Product=Value.
Company’s promotional strategies are not limited to a particular source. Company has utilized all the traditional and modern channels to reach its customer with its best offers. Wal-Mart adopts simple price promotion strategy in all its strategies. Its website is colorful attractive and displays various products and offers in each of its web page. Wal-Mart uses billboards and signboards which are placed at the public places and the places with high visibilities. The pamphlets and print materials are used for both in side the store promotion as well as outside the stores.
Nordstrom
Its one of the largest fashion retail stores in US. Its annual revenue is $7,722.9 million. It is ranked 8th in the general merchandiser group of fortune 500 companies.
“Today, Nordstrom has grown from one downtown Seattle shoe store into a nationwide fashion specialty chain with renowned services, generous size ranges and a selection of the finest apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family. The company’s philosophy has remained unchanged for more than 100 years since its establishment by John W. Nordstrom in 1901: offer the customer the best possible service, selection, quality and value.”
This claims to provide branded clothes in the best minimum prizes. It adopts various promotional strategies for the promotion of its store. These strategies include electronic medium such as internet and computers, events and programs and printed materials. Events like designer clothes events, in store beauty events, sales events and many others. The web presence of the Nordstrom’s website is elegant. It also works as a platform for the promotional strategies.
Currently $ 5 shipping campaign is going on this website.  Its webpage has various attractive pictures creating interest about the products as well as self promotion of the company. It has its own e-catalogue which list all its product and accessories for the information and shopping purpose.
Each of the company uses almost all kind of promotional tools to reach their target consumers and other stake holders. The use of web pages in both the cases has been different with similar objective of attracting consumer and selling. However the e-catalogue of Nordstrom and images used in the website is more urban and attractive. Wal-mart tries to attract mass and it is evident from its website presentation. Nordstrom conducts various events as one of its most important promotional strategies.
Reference:
Kotler, Philip, Marketing Management, Prentice-Hall Inc. New Jersy, 10th Edition, 2000
Nankani, Economic Growth in the 1990s: Learning from a Decade of Reform retrieved on 22 January 2007  from http://www1.worldbank.org/prem/lessons1990s/chaps/01-Ch01.pdf
Serres, Chris Target vs. Wal-Mart, Is Target Corporation Any Better for Workers? May 22nd, 2005 retrieved on 22 January 2007   from http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/walmart/2005/target_better.php
http://investors.target.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=65828;p=irol-newsArticle;ID=233786;highlight=accessed on 22 January 2007
http://www.sathguru.com/Note_on_Retail_Industry.pdf accessed on 22 January 2007
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/snapshots/957.html accessed on 22 January 2007
http://about.nordstrom.com/aboutus/companyhist/companyhist.asp accessed on 22 January 2007
[1] http://walmartstores.com/GlobalWMStoresWeb/navigate.do?catg=5

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