Optimism, skepticism, confidence and concern are among the wide range of emotions shared by Wal-Mart trading partners who participated in the Second Annual Supplier Survey conducted by Connecting Northwest Arkansas.
If they sound like a conflicted lot, it's because working with any retailer is a challenging proposition, but when Wal-Mart is involved attitudes toward the opportunities and challenges associated with the business relationship tend to be amplified. As a result, suppliers are optimistic that Wal-Mart leadership is on the right track with the right strategies to restore growth and generally find merchandising decision-makers accessible and receptive to new ideas. However, they are skeptical that pursuit of those strategies will reduce their cost of doing business with the company or that initiatives agreed upon at the home office will be well executed at the store level. Suppliers are confident in their collaborative efforts with the company, their multi-channel understanding and the growth potential of Wal-Mart International and Sam's Club's. Suppliers are concerned about an intense competitive climate in which they are striving to help Wal-Mart execute its strategies while a range of world class operators are gunning for a larger share of Wal-Mart's pie.
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