Monday, November 21, 2005

Los Angeles Times article on Wal-Mart in November 21, 2005 issue

Michael Hiltzik wrote an interesting article on Wal-Mart in the Los Angeles Times, and although I refuted some of his points by posting on his blog, I actually liked his article quite a bit. The article is viewable right on the blog and is titled "Wal-Mart Up Against a Stagnant Stock Price."

The article outlined the media's main points about why Wal-Mart is no longer such a hot growth story. (I disagree with this conclusion, but I do appreciate having the argument framed clearly.)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Kevin Brancato, greatest Wal-Mart blogger of all time, closing down all new writing on his blog

I am quite sad to learn of this news.

Kevin performed an incredible service that will be impossible to replicate by anyone in the blogging community. Kevin's dedication to increasing the awareness of the many sides of the Wal-Mart story and his presentation of well-balanced views of the issues surrounding Wal-Mart's operations will be sorely missed.

Fortunately his blog's contents will stay online for now. Although new content will not be added, the voluminous material already present will remain available to all of us.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Trivia question ... If Wal-Mart were a state, where would it rank in size?

If you took all of the Wal-Mart Supercenters, Discount Stores, and Neighborhood markets as well as all of Wal-Mart's distribution centers and put them all next to each other (laying them all out in a square) and then compared the overall size of the square to the size of the 50 States, where would Wal-Mart's size rank on the list of states from largest to smallest?

I posted the answer as the first comment to this entry.

Wal-Mart U.S. real estate (as of Sep 31, 2005) equals 23.4 square miles

The slide below comes from Tom Schoewe's presentation at the recent analysts' meeting in Bentonville.

Please note that the square footage below is building footprint square footage. It does not include the parking lots around the stores. [I will need to research what the average parking lot square footage is per store type to add those figures.]

The total number of square feet above equals 23.4 square miles.

Wal-Mart plans to add 60 million square feet of retail space worldwide in calendar 2006

At the recent analysts’ meeting in Bentonville, Tom Schoewe announced that Wal-Mart would add 60 million square feet of new retailing space worldwide in calendar 2006 (which is their Fiscal Year 2007).

I made a spreadsheet projection of the U.S. component of retail square footage growth out to fiscal 2016.

These numbers frankly boggle my brain and at first glance I would have guessed that a good bit of this was going to fall into the category of impossible. But maybe not. Why would it be impossible?

Rule #10 of Sam Walton's Ten Rules for Building a Business is "Swim Upstream." I think Wal-Mart has digested that rule very well.

Click on the graphic above to see the spreadsheet.