The retail industry is the part of the economy that deals with the sale of goods and services to end users making it the last part of the supply chain. Wal-Mart is one of the largest retail companies in the country having recorded the highest profits in the past year. Its founder, Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart store in the year 1962 (Archtmeyer, 2003). Walton was a major influence in the retail industry when it comes to using technology, for example, Wal-Mart was one of the first retail stores to introduce barcodes, which automated inventory control. Wal-Mart was also one of the first companies to introduce satellite inventory tracking systems.
Companies in this industry use different organizational structures, but the divisional structure is the most common (Galbraith, 2002). The divisional structure is made up of different divisions spread out over a geographical area but under one corporation. The divisional organizational structure is also seen in some of the other retail companies like Nordstrom and Amazon. Nordstrom and Amazon are two of the major competitors in the retail marketing industry, rated as some of the top companies in the industry. Small-scale retailing companies use the simple structure as their organizational structure. The simple structure is a design that is less formal, lowly departmentalized and has a centralized authority. In the retail marketing industry, sales and marketing personnel make up the majority of the workforce in the retail industry. This is because the main purpose of a retail company is to sell goods and services to consumers, and the only way to increase revenue is to have more sales.
Archtmeyer, W. (2003). Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Center for global leadership.
Berman, B., and Evans J. (2009). Retail Management: A Strategic Approach. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Galbraith, J. (2002). Designing Organizations: An Executive Guide to Strategy, Structure, and Process Revised. University of Michigan: Jossey-Bass.