Wal Mart 's Cultural Differences Essay

823 Words Sep 15th, 2015 4 Pages
Wal-Mart had such a difficult time connecting with consumers in Germany because they did not understand the cultural differences in other countries. Wal-Mart appointed a wrong person to oversee the company in Germany. Ron Tiarks, an American, did not learn the culture and norms before he supervised 200 stores. He displayed ignorance in the complexities of retailing in Germany, especially the legal and institutional framework in the nation. Neither did he understand the shopping culture between America and Germany. Tiarks ignored advices from former German executives, and he made them quit the company. Then, he was replaced by Volker Barth, a German. However, Barth could not make the stores successful because he was required to establish Wal-Mart cultures in German stores. German shoppers did not like the greeters at the store entrance or the exit. They felt like they were harassed by the greeters. Also, they did not like people handling their groceries which were a standard practice in the United States. Furthermore, the German male shoppers misunderstood the clerks who were smiling at them because it is the company’s orders. At the same time, many shoppers believed Wal-Mart was offering low-value, low-priced merchandise, and other rivals viewed it as “American junk.”

Wal-Mart could have better meet the needs of German consumers by learning about their cultures and values. Wal-Mart needs to understand the cultural differences in other countries when they want to do business…

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