Wal-Mart Gets Gold Medal for Pleasing Consumers
A few recent examples of Wal-Mart's ongoing innovation:
1. From today's WSJ an article "Slow Sales of Designer Line Show Higher-End Clothes Remain a Weak Spot" discusses Wal-Mart's worsening struggles in fashion apparel - a Wal-Mart experiment into higher-end clothing that apparently isn't working so well, which is why it's called "trial" and "error."
2. After being denied entry into the banking industry by federal regulators, Wal-Mart announced last week that it has teamed with discount brokerage ShareBuilder Corp. to offer low-cost investment services, marking the retailer's initial expansion of its financial-services offerings, read the WSJ article here. Wal-Mart is aggressively expanding its financial-services business, which already includes selling money orders, bill payment and check-cashing services.
3. Wal-Mart will contract with local hospitals and other organizations to open as many as 400 in-store health clinics over the next several years, and up to 2,000 health clinics in Wal-Mart stores over the next five to seven years.
4. Wal-Mart customers have saved $300 million on selected generic prescription drugs since 2006, when the company began selling prescriptions for $4 nationwide. The $4 prescriptions now account for 35% of all prescriptions filled at Wal-Mart, and 30% of the $4 prescriptions are filled without insurance.
When it comes to innovation directed toward consumer sovereignty, Wal-Mart gets the Gold Medal.