Walmart is one of the most popular and largest retailers in the world. Although Walmart is well-known as a successful retailer, it is also recognized for controversial business practices. For many reasons, Walmart has risen and fallen over the past several years.
Walmart was founded by Sam Walton in a small town in Arkansas in 1962. In the 1960s, consumers shopped at department and chain stores (Friedricks, 1995). With much success over the years after the first store opening, Walton began opening numerous Walmart stores from then on out. Walmart then became a very successful retail company best known for a low-cost and customer satisfaction strategy to win against other competitors. Walmart became an overnight success.
Over time, Walmart has grown tremendously in success and has also made major mistakes along the way. Many of the allegations against Walmart caused outrage throughout communities and with the public. There has been major controversy over the number of allegations from Walmart’s employees. Lawsuits have been filed everywhere from working employees overtime and denying adequate pay and healthcare benefits (Basker, 2007). Troubles began when the employees were working seven days a week straight for a month with no days off, denied pay for overtime hours, received underpaid wages and denied healthcare benefits.
According to an article, a total of 269 stores closed and around 154 closed in the U.S. over lost revenue. (24/7 Wall St.: In Walmart Store Closings, Texas Loses Out Far Worse Than California, 2016). As many as thousands of workers lost their jobs, which affected their families and the communities. The public is outraged over hearing of unfair, unjust and unethical practices that Walmart has in place for its workers.
Coming up with the strategy of having the best low costs has given Walmart an advantage over all the other competitors in retail. Although Walmart is the most successful top retailer worldwide, it still doesn’t make the company the best in business. Enforcing good ethical standards and procedures is important for companies to do. This sets an example of fairness and righteous behavior towards workers, and encourages them to behave in the same manner. All businesses should have a good reputation to show workers and consumers that they are not just in it for the profit but are doing business in an ethical manner. The most successful businesses stay in business when they run their business in an ethical way.
Rebuilding and Improving
Walmart has really a long ways to go when it comes to rebuilding and improving their reputation. Just recently, Walmart worked on improving their reputation by giving back to communities and helping families by donating millions of dollars. As far as wages and benefits go, there definitely is room for improvement. Also, Walmart is working to improve ethical standards of doing business towards workers and consumers. Walmart has been faced with a lot of bad rep on how their unethical practices can potentially destroy livelihoods. Walmart should mainly focus on working hard to show that a business is socially responsible for conducting business in an ethical manner.
The many concerns of denying employees healthcare benefits raised questions on how Walmart conducts business. Walmart has a social responsibility to ensure employees get healthcare benefits for their well-being. Not having benefits poses a major impact on families. Even though the cost of healthcare benefits has increased, Walmart should still find a way for employees to afford them. Since Walmart is one of the world’s largest retailers, that brings in billions of dollars a year off of their employees, they should be able to give all their employees adequate benefits.
Walmart has developed a bad reputation for unethical business practices and has numerous lawsuits filed by employees. One of the most important key factors for demonstrating good ethical business practice is by building a good reputation. Walmart has a social responsibility to their workers, families, and the communities to improve and rebuild their reputation by practicing good ethical behavior. The standard practice of ethics proves that by having a set standard of morals, values, and beliefs, it has a positive effect on the business and its employees. Walmart still has much room for improvement and still needs to understand the importance of business ethics when conducting business.
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