The success Wal-Mart enjoys is because they fully embrace and understand the importance of solving consumer problems. Sure they have low prices but that is not the only reason you shop there. They have the products you need, when you need them, at a fair price. Let’s dig into a recent purchase of college moving supplies to see how Wal-Mart solves problems.
Packing up for college
Our oldest child lived at home for her first year of college. So, moving her to an apartment for year two was a new experience for all of us. We’ve lived in the same house for the last fifteen years, so the moving skills of my wife and I are a bit rusty.
We ran out of boxes. We had quite a supply of copy paper boxes but on the night before the big move we realized we were at least a few boxes short. Eventually one of us thought of those big plastic bins they sell at places like Wal-Mart and Target. I jumped in the car and headed to Wal-Mart a few miles away. Right there on one of the end caps, not too far from the front door – big plastic bins. On top of that on sale. Talk about a no brainer $35 transaction.
Wal-Mart knew what I needed before I did. Not only did Wal-Mart carry the bins I needed but they have people in merchandising smart enough to put them on the end caps and on sale during college moving season. My guess is they stock up at this time of year as well. Sounds pretty obvious and simple – right? I’m going with brilliant. With the size and complexity of their supply chain the decisions necessary to have an ample supply of plastic bins on the end caps and on sale had occurred months before.
Next time you are in Wal-Mart take a look at what’s on the end caps and what’s on sale. Then, think about why. Can you model that in your business?