Inside the Box

Often businesses are rewarded for thinking outside of the box. With Wal-Mart, it’s inside-the-box thinking that matters.

Wal-Mart sales have been improving due to “downscaling,” where people who usually shop at Tiffany’s shop at Kohls, and Kohls buyers shift to Wal-Mart. Since Wal-Mart’s efficient operation allows it to be the low-cost leader, there’s not a lot of places for people to go downscale from Sam’s Club.

But what happens when things get better? Do customers migrate back? Wal-Mart has been working hard to see that that doesn’t happen. From electronics to prescriptions to apparel, the Bentonville retailer has been adding features and convenience to keep the increased traffic from evaporating.

Inside-the-box thinking usually pays off: care about your customers, treat your employees well, watch your expenses. With Wal-Mart upgrading itself, it’s less likely that its new customers will upscale away.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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By | 2014-09-04T21:09:43+00:00 May 19th, 2009|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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