Wal-Mart Stores is the largest grocery store in the world. The company is based in America and has about 8500 retail outlets in about 15 countries (Wal-Mart 2010). The company has also established an online presence whereby customers can buy products online and get them delivered at their doorstep. Wal-Mart’s online presence has been relatively successful with about 1.7 billion annual online sales and is only second to Amazon in the online retail (Whittle, 2009). Wal-Mart competitors in the US include; Target, Meijer and Giant tiger among others (Jones, 2010). These companies have developed innovative methods, through which they compete against Wal-Mart.
Development of a Drive thru
Wal-Mart in the past has tried to develop drive thru sale points in a bid to merge its physical and online businesses. Doing so meant that customers could order their products online and Instead of waiting for their delivery they could pick them physically from one of their chain store (Whittle, 2009). This could be a very efficient way of shopping because the company would improve its supply chain system greatly. The system of serving customers at a drive thru should be very efficient. To avoid long waiting queues the system must be very efficient. If items are ordered online then it makes the store much more efficient because at the drive through grocery store customers could have their orders completed easily. However if items are to be ordered and provided at the store, then the products provided must be few and must have a high demand. For instance 10 products of high demand could be provided at the drive through store whereby the customer is provided with the item instantly at a given price. Wal-Mart does not need to construct new stores because it can create extensions to these stores so that the set-up costs of these stores is reduced A drive through store could improve the general efficiency of the store as well as gain more customers.