Walmart is the largest retailer in the world. With thousands of stores and employees in nearly every country, Wal-Mart is the corporate giant. Until recent years Wal-Mart has been know for several things. Wal-Mart has provided consumers with a friendly place to shop and get low prices and convenience. The culture of Wal-Mart was so strong that its employees became known as Walmartians. Although you could find a Wal-Mart nearly everywhere you went, each store was just as friendly as the last and although very large, gave consumers a home town shop feel. Sam Walton, the company’s founder was well known for being an average guy.
Although rich beyond his dreams, Walton maintained a conservative lifestyle. He promoted that lifestyle to his executives and all other employees. Like so many companies, Wal-Mart did not luxurize traveling for its employees or pay for unnecessary luxury trips or items. Company cars were nice but still affordable economy cars. This way of life that Walton promoted and lent to the company showed people that their dollars were not being wasted on frivolous junk. Wal-Mart has always been a huge donator.
In 2005 Wal-Mart donated of 4 million dollars to a variety of reputable charities ranging from the Red Cross to Hurricane Katrina victims. Although Wal-Mart held up a great image as well as corporate culture, in recent years Wall-mart has become the target of much criticism. It held the record for being sued the maximum amount of times. Its work culture as also been under severe scrutiny including accusations of discrimination based on gender.
As for the actual company culture I can say this. I know people that work for Wal-Mart and from what I understand the company’s employee’s largest complaint is that of their healthcare program and wages. Wal-Mart may net be perfect but it is still a great place to shop and you can always find friendly knowledgeable staff. I have never witnessed any of Wal-Mart’s inexcusable behavior and people seem to think that it is a pretty good place to work for.
I think that in large part the reason so much criticism has surfaced is because of the size of the company. It is a very easy target. As for law suits, of course they are going to have a lot. With thousands of stores across the world and the increasingly sue happy culture of the USA, people are always going to find a way to sue somebody for something.