Friday, January 27, 2006

Why Wal-Mart?

Some of our friends have asked us why we chose Wal-Mart as a namesake of the GME. We chose it because Wal-Mart has an amazing IT infrastructure and uses real-time sales data to manage logistics, pricing, and ordering from suppliers. In this sense, Wal-Mart has been focused on IAI and RTR since before Google was born. (We need to verify this, but we believe we once heard that when Amazon was scaling up its logistics and warehouses, it hired a bunch of techies from Wal-Mart).

Of course, Wal-Mart has a lot of baggage -- it is a "category killer" that has negative overall effects on local economies, it pays low wages and minimal benefits, and it is hell on its suppliers.

But lest you think that Wal-Mart is a dominating monster, remember:
  • Wal-Mart operates on ultra-thin margins
  • Wal-Mart controls less than 10% of retail shopping
  • Wal-Mart has essentially zero brand loyalty from its customers. If they can get a better deal, they will go elsewhere.

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